12:07 PM 20th October 2023
Foster Parent Encourages More People From Black Communities To Take Up Fostering This Black History Month
Foster mother Marva Warmington
For Black History Month this year, Active Care Solutions (ACS), a cultural and faith-based foster care agency with services in North West England is celebrating foster mother Marva Warmington, who has been looking after foster children for almost 30 years alongside her husband, Lionel, and fostering with ACS for more than 10.
The theme for Black History Month this year is ‘celebrating our sisters’. Being born in Jamaica and part of a family full of strong and resilient women, Marva comes from a long line of caring women, many of whom became nurses and worked in caring professions. In the 50s and 60s women from her own family, alongside other Jamaican people, left their own children behind to start new lives in the UK.
"I carry on the legacy of being a kind and open-hearted member of the community, by taking in children who need a family.
“You can imagine how that must have been! I think that when you think of sisterhood, Black women had to be so strong.
"When I talk about celebrating women, I want to celebrate their contribution to their communities in both England and where they had come from before.”
A BBC analysis of official figures shows that out of the 50,000+ children in foster care in England - there are more than 80,000 in the entirety of the care system in the UK - 23% come from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME) and yet two thirds of councils in England have a shortage of BAME foster parents.
Marva wants more people like her to take up fostering to help bridge the large gap between foster parents and foster children, giving children from Black and other minority communities the chance to be placed in families that feel like home.
Throughout their fostering journey Marva and Lionel have looked after children from various countries and ethnicities, coming from diverse backgrounds, and those who have had a traumatic past or are struggling with mental health issues. The couple provide culturally sensitive care and help children maintain their cultural identity.
“When you have children from difficult backgrounds, you must look beyond what is and see what could be, and this comes with understanding and a lot of patience, and that’s why we need more Black people to foster.
“People from within our communities can feel nervous about sharing information about their personal lives, but just remember that the children’s safety is so important, that’s why a fostering agency needs to know so much about you. You can change a child’s life for the better. So don’t be put off by the questions. Go on ahead. Go on ahead and do it!”
To know how to become a foster parent or for more information about ACS, please click here