Following on from our previous blog, here’s 4 more wonderful stories from the 8 exceptional foster families, who have fostered children with disabilities for over 25 years for Leeds City Council. Find out more about the service and how you can get involved via Foster 4 Leeds.
1.Christine and Jeff Steeden
Christine and Jeff Steeden started fostering children with disabilities in 1992, when their own children were school aged.
They initially provided short breaks for children who had more challenging needs, and developed a special interest for with working with children on the autistic spectrum.
Christine and Jeff have helped look after lots of children from a child who liked to be superman to the boy with autism who was interested in everything and master of melt-downs.
Initially the boy was in shared care between Christine and Jeff and his birth Mum until he needed full time care the couple were happy to welcome the now 26 year old as part of the family.
2. Marion Harris
Marion Harris is a warm nurturing person with a big heart and was approved to be a disability foster carer in 1993.
Marion offered short breaks and emergency placements to children with disabilities always being there when a child needed a home. She initially cared for a little boy who was medically fragile giving him all the love and care he needed until he died when primary school age due to his disability.
In 2006 a 2 year old with muscular dystrophy was placed with Marion and her house was adapted to meet the child’s physical needs. She continues to thrive with Marion and is part of Marion’s extended family. Marion has cared for more than 20 children in her career.
3. Joyce and Andrew Lacovou
Joyce and Andrew Lacovou were approved in 1994. Andrew is a Greek Cypriot and Joyce came from a large family and had herself experienced living in care and looking after her siblings. They have a big family with four daughters and even bigger hearts.
They cared for an 8 year old who had autism short term whilst his future plans were decided and enjoyed this experience and were sad when it was time for him to leave.
Throughout the years they have supported many children with autism and when a teenager needed an emergency placement the family decided that they wanted him to stay. They understand the support he needs with managing his autism and help him to develop his independence skills and negotiate his way through college to adulthood.
4. Patsy Fraser
Patsy Fraser started her fostering journey in 1994. Her journey started as a teenager in a fostering household as her mother was one of the first foster carers to look after disabled children in her own home.
When she had her own children she wanted to foster too as she felt that she had benefited from being brought up in an inclusive open family and that this had been a very positive experience.
You could make a huge difference to a young person’s life.
#Foster4Leeds run information events at coffee shops and community hubs around the city. Visit www.foster4leeds.co.uk for more information or follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @LdsFosteringAdv.