Transferrable skillsets aren’t limited to your job roles!
We often (as we highlight in our series) focus transferrable skills onto job roles that make great carers. And whilst this is obviously true, being a mirror of a child’s culture and making the effort for them, is all the relatability needed to unlock the potential of young, care-experienced people.
None more so than when fostering asylum-seeking children.
All of the 82,000 care-experienced young people in the UK are predisposed to negative outcomes in life. It’s a worrying and sadly true set of statistics. Moreover, when you’re fighting for your life to enter a new country, culture and way of life, your chances are even more diminished.
However, celebrating this diversity and showing up for these children provides them opportunities that would otherwise have felt like a much distant goal having left their homes.
CFT Carers Taira and Anwar make these goals a reality, harnessing the power of relatable cultures to make England, home for asylum-seeking children. We spoke with Taira, who elaborated on how she brings out the potential of the teenagers in her care.
“I worked in a statutory led team and have seen other foster parents care for children and I always thought I’d do the same one day
That day came during the pandemic, and although nervous, taking on her first placement was an experience filled with confidence alongside her family and supervising social worker.
“There were lots of difficulties, this child had a lot of trauma in his life and was very very challenging. I’m a very positive person and my family were a great strength.
The CFT work exceptionally hard and are dedicated to their carers. Alongside us, we got all the support we needed.”
Asylum-seeking children have extra layers of difficulty having to assimilate into a culture they may have no experience of. Being able to feel familiarity of home whilst difficult in a new country, Taira’s beliefs made them feel safe in their home.
“We share the same culture and beliefs so they were witnessing us live our life in England and still follow the way of life they recognised. Therefore we were able to role model life for the asylum-seeking children we have.”
Taira and Anwar’s success culminated in an Andrew Turner Award for their foster children. SS, a child in thier care was able to become an exceptional role model for other children in their care.
Whilst Taira and Anwar are able to model the way of life for them, having a young person thrive and guide others in their home could not be understated. Summarising the benefits of this, Taira explains.
“SS is becoming an exceptional role model as he comes across as positive and happy, and looks ahead to challenges that he may be facing such as exams and career paths. SS sets a very strong and positive example of how he is achieving goals in spite of everything he has overcome.”
Whilst Taira and Anwar both work exceptionally hard to open the children to British culture, maintaining their sense of identity in a new home environment is paramount for them.
“My husband and I give the children a lot of space to maintain their sense of identity by listening to their music and watching some of the tv drama they watch in their language.
We allow them to bring their Afghan friends home and we like to cook their authentic food; I ask the children what their mothers would cook for them and if then I try to cook the same type of food.
We ourselves wear our traditional outfits at home and the children also wear their Afghan-style clothes as and when they want.”
Asylum-seeking young people in this country are here, borne out of a need to escape their homes. Children who lose family members and experience intense trauma appear to have the world against them. Taira and Anwar’s ability to mirror their culture in the home environment dissolves barriers that would otherwise create divides as they learn a new way of life.
And their advise for other carers?
If anyone would like to foster a child and would like to bring them into your lives, know you can do it. Just ask yourself,
Do I have patience and a good heart?
Can I be the person a child will look for support, for encouragement, for guidance, for love?
If so, then you will surely be rewarded with lots of love in return and even more.
Taira and Anwar exemplify what it is to dedicate oneself to the children in thier care, this has enabled them to take strides in their education and home lives, leading them towards a future in the UK.
A phone call is no committment – If you want to follow in their footsteps, and work alongside us to care for vulnerable children get in touch.