East Yorkshire foster mum Lilian attends wedding of first boy she cared for after he fled Kosovo as a teenager

East Riding foster carer Lilian at the wedding of the first boy she fostered
East Riding foster carer Lilian at the wedding of the first boy she fostered -Credit:East Riding of Yorkshire Council

East Riding foster carers, along with people who have themselves been fostered, are to share their experiences to celebrate the fostering community and encourage people to consider fostering.

Foster Care Fortnight runs from May 13 to 26 and this year celebrates Fostering Moments - the moments that define fostering journeys, big and small, the moments that built confidence, made young people feel safe and created memories. In the East Riding, more foster carers are needed to help care for children and young people.

East Riding Council is asking people to consider opening their door to fostering and is inviting people to come along to one of the drop-in events happening during the fortnight. Lilian, who has been a foster carer for over 30 years, is just one of the people who is sharing her own Fostering Moment, which happened earlier this year when she attended the wedding of the first boy she ever fostered.


Lilian cared for him when, at the age of 14, he arrived in Goole fleeing the Kosovan War, where his parents had died. He did not speak English, but with the care and guidance from Lilian and her husband, he passed O and A Levels, gained a first degree and a distinction master’s degree and he now works in marketing in London.

Lilian, who looked after him for ten years before he moved to the capital, said: “I’m incredibly proud of him, his work ethic to achieve what he has and the remarkable journey he’s been on. Fostering enables children to thrive and to flourish and makes such a real difference to lives.”

Lilian is sharing her Fostering Moment as part of Foster Care Fortnight, to encourage others into the role in the East Riding
Lilian is sharing her Fostering Moment as part of Foster Care Fortnight, to encourage others into the role in the East Riding -Credit:East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Lilian’s background was business, and when her daughter had a friend at school who needed looking after, Lilian took her in. She ended up staying with Lilian for three years and made Lilian and her husband realise what a difference fostering made, and that she really enjoyed it.

Lilian changed careers, moving to do youth work at Barnardo’s and becoming a foster family. Fellow carer Paul has been fostering in East Yorkshire for a year, after fostering previously in another area for many years.

Paul runs his own business and is also studying for a degree in child psychology. He said: “There are very few of us single, male foster carers out there! There is a stigma as to why we’d want to do it, but I really wish more people would consider it.

“There are young people who have female role models in their lives, but really benefit from care and guidance from a male foster carer. My Fostering Moment has to be that I’m still in touch with the children I’ve fostered, and they have still got someone to go to. Two of the children I fostered now have their own children and I’ve benefitted from grandchildren.”

Roscoe, now in his thirties, has experience of being in care. He was fostered at age 14 and he said that meeting the right foster family was his Fostering Moment.

He said that lots of factors are considered when children are matched with foster families, to ensure the most compatible match. Roscoe is still in touch with his foster parents, 20 years on from them caring for him.

Councillor Victoria Aitken, the East Riding’s cabinet member for children, families and education, said: “Sometimes children are unable to live with their own family. This may be due to a crisis in the family, ill health, relationship difficulty, bereavement or because the child needs to be protected.

“This is where foster carers come in, providing a safe, secure, and loving home. We have over 100 amazing foster carer families in the East Riding, who enable children and young people to thrive.

“We want to create the very best experiences, support and training so foster carers can, in turn, provide the most loving, stable and supportive homes for our children. We endeavour to make fostering the most fulfilling and rewarding experience.”

She stressed there is no “ideal” type of foster carer, with the most important attributes being having time, patience, a sense of humour and the ability to love. She said: “Foster families come in all shapes and sizes, and people can decide what type of foster caring arrangements would work for them, with different types of fostering to suit different homes, family dynamics and life commitments.”

You can speak to the fostering team at one of these drop-in information events:

  • Saturday, May 18 - East Riding Leisure Beverley, 9.30am to noon

  • Sunday, May 19 - Bridlington Kite Festival, 10am to 5pm, at the Fostering information stand, Sewerby cliff top

  • Wednesday, May 22 - East Riding Leisure Haltemprice, 4.30pm to 7pm

For more information, contact East Riding Fostering by calling 01482 394095, by emailing fosteringrecruitment@eastriding.gov.uk or by visiting eastriding.gov.uk/fostering

You can also find East Riding Fostering on Facebook.