People think that with five children and three grandchildren we’re busy enough already, but once our youngest child left home to go to university, we realised we missed having young people living in the house.

We’d thought about fostering for a while, and after seeing a poster in the library we decided to find out more, so we got in touch with Middlesbrough Council.

They told us they urgently needed more foster carers, as sometimes there aren’t enough placements for children in the local area, so they’re often moved away from their schools, friends, and sometimes siblings, who are in the care of other foster families. As family is so important to us, we decided to become foster parents to prevent children being uprooted out of the area by creating a safe and loving home.

We’ve now been fostering for Middlesbrough Council for the past seven years and have made strong, lasting bonds with the children we’ve cared for. We’ve fostered children from all different backgrounds; we’re Muslim and sometimes the children attend the mosque with us if they want to – even if they’re not from our faith – as they enjoy seeing familiar faces from the community. We spend a lot of time getting to know our foster children and what they like to do, and make sure that we plan activities they’ll enjoy.

Our children and grandchildren love meeting new foster children, and the grandchildren especially love having new friends to play with! I retired from work a couple of years ago so the extra income we get from fostering is helpful for family days out and holidays, which we all enjoy together. In the last school holidays, the whole family went to Edinburgh to visit the zoo, and our foster child Zoe, who’s nine, especially enjoyed it as she’d never been on a family holiday before.

Being able to give children in Middlesbrough new experiences and a safe, caring home is an amazing feeling and has given us a new lease of life!

Is fostering for you? If, like Peta and Imran, you could help a child when they need it most, talk to us on 01642 201962 or email to find out more.

Giving children in Middlesbrough a safe, caring home is an amazing feeling and has given us a new lease of life!

Adult playing a board game with a child