Malik has been a foster carer for over 20 years, and has housed over 50 different children in his home at different times. He has 3 of his own children with his wife, and they live in Bradford. *name changed for privacy.
Q. Why did you decide to start fostering?
A. I was actually in foster care for a few years growing up, and it’s always been a plan of mine to foster at some point. I had a conservation with my wife and kids and once I got the go ahead from them, I decided to just go for it. It felt like the right time, and I had always wanted to help provide some sort of stability – no matter how short, for a child in need.
Q. Over the years, you’ve fostered over 50 different children. It must be difficult saying goodbye to them?
A. It’s always difficult to say goodbye, but knowing I’ve done my best as a foster carer and treated each child with kindness helps alleviate some of the pain in seeing them go. It’s a truly fulfilling experience, and one that’s changed my life for the better.
Q. Is it difficult juggling being a dad and a foster carer?
A. Initially, I had reservations about how I’d make time for my biological children, but it all came together seamlessly. My children are great and older now and have always been welcoming to any foster child in our home. It really is a family effort.
Q. What would you say to potential foster carers? Particularly those from ethnic minority communities?
A. Please go for it, if you’ve been considering it. We desperately need more foster carers from ethnic minority communities.
Q. How did you first hear about Muslim Foster Network?
A. A few years ago, I was talking to a friend of mine about the need for more Muslim foster carers from communities like mine, and she told me about the great work you do here at Muslim Foster Network.