Herman and Belinda

​​​​​​​Pastor Herman, a former family court adviser, and his wife Belinda, a professional hairdresser have been fostering for Hillingdon since 2014.

Foster carers Herman and Belinda"My wife and I always thought about what it would be like to offer love and care to a foster child. We always wanted to help a child, but the question was how would we blend that in with the responsibilities of caring for our own children?

Belinda said: "In my salon, I speak to clients all day, some of whom are foster carers, so I asked them what it was like. They said that every child is different, coming from a variety of backgrounds, with different life experiences. They said you're supported and work together with a social worker so you're never alone.

"When I saw a fostering advert at Botwell Green Sports and Leisure Centre, I spoke to Herman and said we should try. Even now, I tell my clients, if you have the space, it's good to help, if you can."

Pastor Herman said: "You look at the emotions of the child, and you can see they really miss their own parents. However, there were times when they blended well into our family. You go through a rollercoaster of emotions, so we were always learning."

When a foster child leaves, the couple have taken a pragmatic approach to dealing with their emotions.

Pastor Herman commented: "You unconsciously develop a thick skin, because as time goes on, and children come and go, you find a coping mechanism."

Belinda added: "Even though you love this child, you have to let them go. Our girls do feel sad when a foster child leaves, but get excited again when someone new is going to be joining us."

The couple say they hope they've taught their foster children some positive life-long lessons and they believe they've picked up additional skills themselves.

The couple are enjoying their fostering experience and would encourage anyone to take a leap of faith.

Pastor Herman said: "You must be courageous, follow that instinct that first told you that you wanted to venture into helping someone."

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Page last updated: 07 May 2021