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Romford foster mum speaks of 'rewarding role'

PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 June 2015

Jan and Ian Bonner have been fostering for 15 years

Jan and Ian Bonner have been fostering for 15 years

Archant

A foster mother has spoken of her experiences and love for the role in the hope of encouraging others to take it on this Foster Care Fortnight.

Jan Bonner and her husband Ian have been welcoming young people to their Romford home for 15 years.

Eight years ago a brother and sister came to stay for a couple of months.

They became part of the family and, now 18, Louise [not her real name] has a bright future ahead of her.

She said: “I’ve had a good life with Jan and Ian.

“Before we moved here I had to be mum to my brother, and when we moved in, I didn’t have to be anymore.

“They’ve helped me grow up. If you’re with the right people it can make a huge difference. They are your parents, and bring you up to become a better person.”

Louise is studying childcare at college. Next year she’ll be undertaking a teaching assistant course, having been inspired by Jan to work with children.

She also volunteers at a theatre group for children with additional needs, helping them to put together their own shows.

Jan, 56, and Ian, 61, also have four children of their own.

It was Jan’s love of children that drove the couple to fostering and they even upsized their family home to accommodate their growing family.

Jan said: “My kids have been so supportive and we have thoroughly enjoyed it. 
Sometimes it’s hard work but I find it so rewarding, especially when we have a mother and baby at home and I can help her learn to cope on her own – I love having little ones round too.”

Jan hopes to inspire other local people to come forward and foster.

Although she’ll be moving out of the family home soon, Louise will be just down the road and will remain part of the Bonner family.

For more information about fostering visit havering.gov.uk/fostering, call 01708 434 574, or email fostering@havering.gov.uk

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