Tim and Claire’s Story

Archived: Posted December 9, 2016

Tim (38) and Claire (28) Jarvis from Redditch have been foster carers with Foster Care Associates (FCA) for three years.  Inspired to foster by his parents, who are also foster carers with FCA, Tim talks about his fostering journey so far.  He said:  ‘’I’ve always loved being around kids and feel like I’m a bit of a kid at heart, this is where the idea to become a foster carer initially stemmed from. Claire and I spoke about fostering for a long time and we decided one day to take the plunge and do it. We really wanted to help look after children in need and wTim&ClaireJarvise haven’t looked back since.

‘’Claire and I spoke to my parents about all of our concerns and asked them lots of questions. They really helped give us an overall picture of what it would be like and really encouraged us to do it. We first looked into fostering with the local authorities but decided to follow my parents advice and joined them fostering with FCA.

‘’I have still manged to continue running my own business around our fostering, taking time off whenever I need to with Claire being a full time foster carer – she gave up her full time job just before we went to panel.’’

Claire and Tim have recently welcomed Hadley Timothy Jarvis, their first birth child into the world, following three years fostering a mix of long term, short term, emergency and sanctuary seeking placements with FCA.  Tim said: ‘’Over the years we have opened our home to young people of all ages and from different walks of life. We have looked after children on a long term basis, taken care of a sanctuary seeking child from Iran, and our current placement is an 11 year old girl who has been with for just five months.

‘’On the 20th November Claire and I our expanded our family and had our first birth child. We are so excited to be parents again however this doesn’t change how we feel about being foster carers in the slightest.

‘’When we have opened up about being foster carers some people automatically ask, and often assume, that people foster because they can’t have children of their own. Although we have become parents we are still fostering and always will.’’

Tim reflects on some of the challenges the couple have experienced so far, and the type of help and guidance they have received from FCA to help them deal with these times.  He said: ‘’Our last placement was very challenging. At one point it felt like each new day we had something new to deal with, however we gave 110% and got them through some really important milestones like their exams.  It was very emotionally draining for both Claire and I, however with FCA’s help there was always light at the end of the tunnel.  

‘’FCA were amazing, and always have been in our experience.   We have received incredible support from them and their therapist has been really helpful in challenging times. FCA also offer really extensive training sessions which we have always attended. ‘’

Tim describes some of the couples favourite fostering memories, and sums up their fostering experience as simply knowing they are doing the right thing.  He said: ‘’ Claire and I started fostering before we got married and we have had many ups and downs. We have had tears of laughter and tears of stress. The things we have been through have sometimes put pressure on our relationship but at the same time have brought us so much closer together.

‘’We foster for a reason and as long as we do the right thing for the child and give them the life they really deserve, we are happy and know we are doing the right thing.

 ‘’We have had so many fond moments over the years. When you see a child smile and laugh it’s amazing. It makes you feel so good knowing that you have helped make that smile possible but sometimes it’s the life changing things that they don’t smile at, like helping a child through tough exams that stand out the most to Claire and I. They may not realise the importance of these things yet but will in years to come and hopefully they’ll remember us and the effort we put in to help get them through.’’

Tim offers some valuable advice to new foster carers, reminding them to keep an open mind at all times.  He said: ‘’We wouldn’t offer any advice other than to always remember to be open minded and expect the unexpected. You will have happy times and you will have sad times but every day you are looking after a child is an extra day that child is safe.’’

How can we help?

Ready to start fostering a child or young person? Or just want a bit more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you? All you need to do is contact us.

Phone us

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Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we're here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

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Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we,re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call me back

Haven't got time to chat now? Leave your details and we'll call you back at a time that suits you:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • Why do we need this? We appreciate that starting to foster is a big decision that needs careful consideration and you are likely to have questions. We’d like to help answer those questions.
  • Please enter your postcode to see news and events in you area
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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