Mobeena and Wajid's fostering story
After putting it off for 13 years, Hillingdon couple Wajid and Mobeena finally fulfilled their dream of fostering.
Wajid and Mobeena first enquired with a local fostering agency and had even started on the training course before realising how much commitment is needed to be a foster carer. They decided to put their plans on hold until their own children, two girls and one boy were a bit older.
Wajid said: "We didn't want to be selfish, we wanted to give 100 per cent to the child. We have plenty of love to give and a warm home and we felt we could better provide that for the child once our own children were older."
In 2020, with their children now teenagers, the couple decided they were ready to take the steps into fostering.
After discussing with Naila, who recommended going through Hillingdon Council, Mobeena began by completing an enquiry form on the council's website. She said: "The process wasn't very difficult; everyone is there to help you."
The couple had an initial meeting with the recruitment officer over the phone, followed by a home visit with a social worker, where they discussed the process in-depth which included viewing the bedroom for fostering.
Following a positive home visit, the couple were invited to formally apply, where they undertook various background checks.
They went through a very rigorous training process that was all done online. Wajid and Mobeena were some of the first people to complete fostering training during lockdown.
Once they successfully completed the course, they were allocated a social worker to complete their fostering assessment. One of the first questions they ask applicants is what age group they want to foster. This ensures that they get the match they want, wherever possible.
Hillingdon recruits foster carers for children from birth to 18 years of age and the assessor will frame their questions and scenarios to the applicants around how they deal with certain issues a child of that age may be experiencing.
The couple were approved by the fostering panel in October and have already had two placements. Their first was with two primary school age siblings over three nights who then went on to live with other family members. Their second placement was with a teenage girl, over nine days and she needed extra support as she had some emotional issues, including an eating disorder.
Mobeena sat and talked with her for several hours during her stay trying to identify her concerns. Soon, the young person was asking Mobeena to cook certain foods and meals. The couple could see the difference they were making, and the teenager's school fed back that they could see positive changes. Mobeena said: "It makes me happy, because I've done something good."
Cllr Jane Palmer, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: "We have many foster carers in Hillingdon who do amazing work every day to support our children and young people in care. If you've been thinking about fostering for a while or are just curious as to what the role entails, please do get in touch with our dedicated fostering team who are on hand to support you every step of the way."
Mobeena encourages anyone interested in fostering to give it a try. "Do it if you've got the time, love, patience, attention and can provide a safe place to live," she said.
Wajid added: "It puts you in a situation you've never been in. You need to accept that that person has come from a different world, for example a different culture. And when they go away and they've done well, you think that's good."
Could you be a foster carer like Mobeena and Wajid?