‘I do not feel fostered’ - Yasmin’s success

PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 May 2012

Yasmin and foster parents Bez and Martin Clarke.

Yasmin and foster parents Bez and Martin Clarke.

Archant

ARRIVING nervously on the doorstep of her foster home with just a school uniform, 10-year-old Yasmin did not know what to expect.

Eight years later the bright and happy teenager is on the verge of completing her college course and is looking forward to travelling the world.

With The Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight starting on Monday, the campaign is aimed at raising the profile of fostering and highlighting the need for more people to come forward and open up their homes to young people.

Yasmin was placed in the Weston foster home of Bez and Martin Clarke after a day at school when she was just 10-years old.

She said: “My sister and I were collected from school and we arrived just with our school clothes, nothing else. We got to the house and we were so shaky and worried, as we did not know what these people would be like.”

Foster parents Martin, aged 54 and Bez opened their home up to Yasmin and her sister, who were their first long-term placements.

Martin said: “We started with exchange students and then we thought we would give fostering a go.

“We decided we would have to try it for a whole year because it wasn’t going to be plain sailing. We knew if we were going to do it, we would need to give it 100 per cent and the children would become a part of our family.”

Yasmin said: “I had to grow up very quickly and I have missed a lot of my childhood, but when I moved here I got most of it back.

“I would not have been able to do what I have done now if it wasn’t for them.”

After fostering for eight years Bez said she and her husband have learned a lot through the experience.

She said: “You will often get a room trashed or you will be sworn at, but you just have to hang in there. And you soon realise that some of what you have tried to instil in the child does stay there.

“But the rules are the same for everyone who stays here, be it our children, grandchildren or the children we foster.”

Yasmin is now finishing a hairdressing course at Weston College, is looking at higher education and aspires to go travelling with her hairdressing business. Although she has now moved out of Bez and Martin’s home, she visits frequently and after years of calling them mum and dad, she has asked Martin to be the one to give her away when she decides to get married.

Yasmin said: “I do not feel fostered, I feel they are my real family.

“I have had my ups and downs but it’s the good path I have gone down. My mindset had completely changed since I have been here.

“I’ve learned to love a whole family and this family is my heart.”

To find out more information on becoming a foster carer contact the North Somerset Fostering team on 01275 888999.


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