Joshua is a foster carer. Here is his story.
There is still a common misconception that childcare is very much a job for women. In my experience this view could not be more inaccurate, More so when it comes to the role of foster carers.
This fact has become more apparent to me in the last twelve months, after being made redundant. Although my wife and I have fostered for nearly five years, during this time I worked long hours, so my input was somewhat limited. Unlike a lot of people in my position I viewed being made redundant as a positive thing, as this allowed me to play a much more active role as the male care in our "fostering family".
Since being at home full time I have come to realise just how important my role is. Many children within the care system have at some point been subjected to different forms of abuse, often at the hands of a man. It is this very fact that makes the male foster carer's role in some ways more important than that of a female carer. As this is the perfect and maybe the only opportunity to teach a child that not all men are bad and are actually a very important part of a stable family home.
Being a foster carer is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I have ever done and for the first time in my life I can go to bed at night knowing that I have done something today that makes a genuine and lasting difference to a child's life.
Fostering through Kent County Council is what I consider to be the front line of what we do. We are dealing with social services directly and at many different levels which helps us to ensure the very best care to the children we look after.