Solihull couple celebrate 44 years fostering - The Solihull Observer

Solihull couple celebrate 44 years fostering

Solihull Editorial 30th May, 2024   0

CELEBRATIONS are in order for a Solihull couple who have marked 44 years as foster parents.

Over an astonishing four decades, Jean and Ken Jones have provided a loving place to call home for in excess of 40 children, from babies to 17 year olds.

The couple were inspired to take in children after talking to their neighbours who were short term fostering a number of pre-adoption babies at the end of the 1970’s.

And it wasn’t long before they started to make enquiries and getting ready to welcome vulnerable children into their home.

Jean said: “We didn’t think we could have children but shortly after our very first foster child, Jacqueline, was placed with us, I fell pregnant. Ending the placement didn’t enter our minds, we felt very fortunate to have both children.”

Now both retired, Jean, who managed a hair salon, and Ken, who worked in the automotive industry providing training to apprentices, continued to foster children over the intervening years.

They have taken on children over varying lengths of time, from emergency and short term foster care, to long term care.

They accepted an emergency placement of a sibling group of three children, who were with them for two years, before being adopted.

Jean and Ken have also had Special Guardian Orders for three young children placed with them, through The Fostering Network.

Their experience with fostering made such an impact, that the couple took the big step to adopt two young boys in the early 1990’s one of whom remains at home.

Jean said: “Providing reassurance and security are crucial parts of fostering.

“We are proud to be foster carers, there are lots of ups and downs but I can honestly say the joys are so rewarding. It’s a great feeling to see a child become the best person they can be in life. And when one of your previous foster children gets in touch or we arrange to meet up, this really speaks for itself.”

In relation to people being unsure about becoming a carer, Ken said: “There is no specific skillset and feelings of apprehension and uncertainty happen to everyone when thinking about fostering.

“You get a real sense of putting something back into society, and by offering warmth and friendliness, you are making a big difference to a child.”

Councillor Karen Grinsell, cabinet member for children and education, said: “It was a real pleasure to meet Jean and Ken and to hear their fostering story, it’s both humbling and inspirational in equal measure.

“Their fostering journey began 44 years ago and ever since they have provided a loving, safe and welcoming home environment to countless children and young people.”

For more click here, call 0121 788 4474 or email [email protected].


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