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Fostering as a single mum: Zena’s story

Thursday 21 October 2021
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Zena is a single mum. She raised her own children and fostered siblings. Then, 14 years later, she contacted Action for Children. Zena felt she had room for more

Mother and a foster carer

Zena is a mum to two boys. When they were 12 and 13 years old, Zena begun fostering through her local authority. She fostered siblings and went on to care for them under special guardianship.

Fourteen years on, they're still part of her family.

A family member fostered with Action for Children and promoted them

Zena

Recently, Zena decided to return to fostering.

She said, “When I began to look into fostering again, I started by enquiring with a few different agencies. A family member fostered with Action for Children and promoted them. I feel it’s best to go with an agency that someone you know recommends.”

Girl with long hair standing outside in the garden

Making a difference by fostering

Zena is now fostering a young boy and describes the experience as powerful. For her and the children in her care.

“It’s all about making a difference, really. There's so many children that need help. For me, it’s about making a small difference to children’s lives in a big world.

“Like with the young people I'm caring for under special guardianship, they blow my mind with the changes that have taken place over the years.

"Like the last time one of my young people came home from university, I saw so much empathy and wisdom in him. He’s like a little wise man and I’m thinking, WOW.”

Teenage boy laughing

In this together

“I’ve always been a mum. I don’t know what I'd do if I wasn’t a mum. Even though I’m not the children’s biological parent, for me it’s about caring for these children and watching the changes in them.

"Changes don’t come quickly and sometimes it escalates before it gets better. But I don’t look at the situation and think it’s that way forever. I look at them and think: ‘let’s walk this journey together’.”

Both boys are involved in our young people’s lives, they are a great role model for them

Zena

Zena’s biological children are now adults that have their own homes. But they're still part of the fostering family.

“Both boys are involved in our young people’s lives, they are a great role model for them.”

Fostering is a privilege

“Fostering is amazing. There are so many children out there that haven’t got a safe place to live. To bring a young person into your home is a privilege. I would always recommend fostering and Action for Children.”

We need more foster carers like Zena to provide a safe and happy homes to children.

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