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Digital Subscriptions > Be Kind > July 2019 > “On paper, this should be chaos, but it’s not”

“On paper, this should be chaos, but it’s not”

Many of us take for granted a stable loving home. We meet the people that open up their homes and hearts to those in need

There’s currently around 65,000 children living with fostering families in the UK – would you consider joining them and becoming a foster carer? “The level of neglect for all of the children is quite massive. People are under the illusion that social workers can just come along and take children away, but they can’t. Fostering is both a fantastic and awful job – I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I love the kids we work with, but it can be upsetting when you have to deal with the stories they come with. They just need some guidance and support, some space and some learning.”

These are the words of Karen who has been fostering for the past 25 years. Although we only spoke over the phone, her enthusiasm and warmth for her career bubbles through the speaker, and it’s obvious how passionate she is about the young people she works with. In fact, she’s lost count of the amount of children she’s fostered over the years and with three birth children who are now aged 21, 23 and 28, and four adopted children too, family is just second nature to her. It’s foster carers like her that the world so desperately needs more of.

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About Be Kind

Hello, What makes a home? Is it where your family is? The town you grew up in? Or maybe it’s wherever you lay your hat? After years of moving around to different cities, taking different jobs and making different groups of friends, I’ve realised that home can take many forms throughout your life. My nan’s house watching Gladiators and Blind Date with my brother was home. The campervan that housed all my worldly possessions when travelling in Australia was (a very tiny) home. The London flat share with my best girlfriend in my 20s was home. The house I grew up in will always sound, smell and feel like home. And I hope I still have many homes left to discover. This month I’ve read so many stories of ‘home’ – from foster parents, the elderly, my colleagues and the communities striving to make the displaced feel safe and welcome. I’ve spoken to the people who attempt to make their towns a better place for all to live in, the ones who say ‘yes’ and go the extra mile to help other people. I’ve learned about places where neighbours are friends, not anonymous nuisances, and those who are happy and comfortable living alone. A home forms part of your identity and that’s a lot more than just bricks and mortar – it’s the people you love and the community you’re surrounded by that underpin it all. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor