In 2011 Rebecca came to live with Shahnaz & Muhammed when she was 12 years-old. Rebecca had been in care for several years since the death of her mother when she was eight years old, and previous arrangements to care for Rebecca had broken down.
Rebecca is now 18 and she is remaining with Shahnaz & Muhammed on a ‘staying put’ arrangement. She attends college full time and is currently in her 3rd year studying aviation. Rebecca plans to work at East Midlands airport in the future either in Security or in Immigration. Her long-term aspiration is to work at Heathrow.
Muhammed said: “We feel like she’s our daughter”
Shahnaz said: “I have children from my previous marriage and he has children from his previous marriage, we feel like she is ‘our’ daughter.”
Here’s the video from the BBC programme of Rebecca and her carers:
Muhammed and Shahnaz also foster two other children. Shahnaz continued:
“If you’re a foster carer you’ve got to have in you a nurturing nature, you’ve got to look after a child regardless of race and religion… You’ve got to love that child, you’ve got to protect them and make them safe and secure.” She is a child with her own identity, we are her parents, that does not mean we control her life.
The carers have been supported by their Supervising Social Worker, Varsha Mistry during their fostering journey. The family have recently appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme to celebrate their successful fostering journey. The BBC team explored the matching process of children and carers of different faiths or cultures.
The programme highlighted how Rebecca, a white British young person placed with Pakistani muslim carers, has had her needs met for the last six years by her carers who have supported her through stressful periods like GCSE’s & college.
Rebecca said: “I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for my foster family, I am not considered a foster child in my home I am treated like a part of the family”.
Well done to Rebecca, Shahnaz, Muhammed & the family for your continued support as foster carers from everyone at Capstone Foster Care. Over the previous 11 years you really have made a difference to all the children you’ve supported, and we are grateful for your hard work and dedication.