Ethan's story

Ethan was in short-term foster care waiting for his home for good through long-term fostering. Foster carer Jane shares his story.

"I can’t say that I always wanted to foster, but since my children have grown I have had a desire to use my home for good, knowing that I had spare bedrooms that could perhaps offer shelter to those who need it. I considered various options and learned about short break foster care, which is regular and pre-planned stays with particular children – it could be for a weekend each month, or one night a week, or whatever is appropriate for each child.

I was approved as a short-break carer in 2015 after a positive assessment with a great social worker, who really saw my faith as a strength in my application. The following year I was given the Home for Good book for my birthday and I dipped into it, enjoying the stories, but I started to read it properly just as I began my fourth placement with ten-year-old Ethan.

Ethan was in short-term foster care and he came to me alternate weekends. I was aware that his social workers were seeking a long-term foster family for him, and I was praying that the right one would be found, but in all honesty, I never thought it would be me. I started reading Home for Good rather smugly, thinking I was already doing my bit, but I soon realised there was so much more I could do.

Could I foster Ethan long-term?

I remember being in church a few weeks later on Easter Sunday, battling with this question. There were just so many obstacles and I couldn’t see a way through. I was suddenly challenged by the women who went to the tomb to anoint Jesus – they had no idea if they would be able to do it, or how they would even move the stone, but still they went, and when they got there the obstacle had gone. We went on to sing a hymn and I found myself worshipping with the words ‘dare I withhold my own life...

I rang my social worker soon after and asked to be considered as Ethan’s long-term home. I also phoned the Home for Good enquiry line and was so encouraged by the support and advice I received. There were lots of conversations and an additional assessment, but with the support of my family, church and Home for Good, Ethan moved in permanently a few months later.

It is harder than I thought, in ways I didn’t expect, but we are growing together and forming a strong relationship. Ethan has settled with me and is doing well at school, and he loves coming to church, where they have made him so welcome. One family has even come forward to be back-up carers and they, along with my son and his wife, give Ethan additional care and support in the way that I used to.

It’s not always easy and I know that there will continue to be challenges, but I am always reminded that God has brought me here, and there are so many people around us who encourage and support us, including Home for Good."

Author:
Ethan's foster carer, Jane


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