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Foster carers Damian & Graham celebrate 5 years of fostering with us

Damian and Graham celebrate five years of fostering

Foster carers Damian & Graham celebrate 5 years of fostering with us

East Midlands couple Graham and Damian, specialise in fostering children with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities), fiercely advocating and giving the children in their care the childhood’s they deserve. Whether it be within education or social settings, the couple said,

‘We have fought for their voices to be heard and for them to have the support they deserve’.
‘Fostering is the most rewarding job, however challenging, and at times draining, but there is always a light at the end. A smile from a child can brighten anyone’s day up,’ the couple said.

Prior to fostering

Graham, 34, had experience working with vulnerable adults, as prior to fostering he worked within the NHS as a Health Care Assistant and Damian a manager for an energy company. ‘My mum is a foster carer, so I had seen first-hand the impact you can have. Then after seeing quite a few adverts, we knew we could offer a caring, loving, and stable home for children in need’.

The couple have three children currently in placement, two are siblings aged seven and eight years old and the other child is one and a half, 'They are all doing amazing and have come on leaps since being with us, the changes that we see are massive rewards for us.’ Graham said,

‘We absolutely love to see the children doing well, they all get on great and have a very special bond. You wouldn’t know they aren’t all siblings and even with the differences in age, its lovely to see when they’re playing together’.

Support for their children

Graham and Damian wanted to create a non-judgemental space within their local community for other families that have children with SEND.

After realising there weren’t many activities around for children with SEND, and having two children with additional needs meant that they weren’t always included in typical groups or activities.’

From what started as a local social media page for parents and carers to join, soon turned into a monthly disco event, a highlight for families and parents with children with additional needs in their local area.

Damian said, ‘At first we set up monthly support groups for parents and carers to come along to, have a chat and get together, which then led to the monthly discos.’ Since setting these up they now have around 40 children and their families come along, ‘the joy we get out of seeing the children have fun and make friends is so special.’ Graham continued, ‘we’re not funded by anyone, we pay for the room, and we charge £2 per child and any additional children such as siblings, are £1 each and that helps cover the cost of the room.’

Initiatives like Graham and Damian’s SEND disco, demonstrate the power of community-driven efforts to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for children with special needs and their families. It's heartening to see foster carers taking the lead in such endeavours.

The relationships you build as a foster carer are for life, even once the child moves into independence.

The couple said, ‘one of our children is now twenty years old, I speak with him nearly every day and will go and see him often for a catch up, take him shopping or just for a bite of lunch he will always be part of our family. He still loves coming home for Christmas as he says I cook the best dinners.’

Foster carers go above and beyond their role as a foster carer

Graham and Damian go above and beyond for the children in their care carrying out extensive research to get the right healthcare appointments and to ensure they are in the right school, even if that means more travelling involved for them. The couple said ‘We had a child that came to us, he wasn’t doing well in school, he was involved in gangs and wasn’t bothered about what happened to him.  When he came to live with us, he said everyone had given up on him and he was going to go into a children’s home. We got him settled in, we listened to him and what he wanted, and allowed him to make choices and mistakes.

'We encouraged him to go to school, promising him we would always be here for him. That young man passed his school exams with flying colours, and we were so proud of him.’

Family contact is sometimes distressing for children and foster carers but ultimately it is important to maintain those relationships with birth family and for the child’s identity. Only two of Graham and Damian’s children attend family contact. Graham says, ‘I take the children to see their family and have always made sure that I have a positive relationship with their family as this is so important.’

Graham and Damian have adapted their parenting style to suit the needs of each of their children, showing compassion, empathy, and vulnerability.

The couple said, ‘by being open and advocating for the children in the best way that we can, we will always go above for the children’, has been key to their success as foster carers.

‘Graham and Damian are determined, passionate and enthusiastic foster carers who succeed in everything they do’, explained Tanya their Supervising Social Worker. ‘All three of their children, with their varying complex needs, have flourished in their care. The team are incredibly proud of what they have achieved in their fostering career and appreciate all the hard work they do.’

Therapeutic fostering

Therapeutic fostering is a specialist type of foster care, tailored to support children who have dealt with trauma and abuse, recognising that your child’s behaviour is communication. ‘Caring for children with additional needs and medical needs has been a big but rewarding change to our lives’, said the couple. Therapeutic in their parenting style and skilled at caring for children with additional needs from autism, non-verbal, various disabilities, to health issues, along with the support from professionals within the fostering agency, Graham and Damian have given these children a chance to have a childhood and have a positive future.

With training and support to help the child move from an emotionally dysregulated state to a regulated one.

Graham and Damian explained, ‘with fostering you always have a team of professionals behind you. Support or advice is only a call away. We have a family support worker who takes the children out and we regularly meet with the agency clinician, who offers us advice when the children struggle with their emotions, past traumas, and additional needs’.

As Graham and Damian celebrate their five-year fostering milestone this February, they look forward to their bright future as a family unit as they continue to work towards the adoption of the three children in their care. Graham says ‘these children have stolen our hearts, and we love them dearly.’ The couple hope to welcome another child into their home and hearts in the future'.

Graham and Damian's advice to anyone that is considering fostering

‘Just go for it, get as much information as you can along the process. Go into it with open eyes as fostering isn’t for everyone and it takes someone special to care for children from a trauma background.’

Graham and Damian are advocates of therapeutic-led fostering. ‘From the beginning, it became clear Nexus Fostering had a strong, caring ethos, and it felt like we were joining a family. Having an outstanding OFSTED rating made the decision easy.’ says Graham. ‘We completed Skills to Foster Training during the assessment process to become foster carers, which we loved, we got so much information and Nexus Fostering made it very relaxed and gave lots of information to us all.

If you have been inspired by Graham and Damian’s story and think you can make a difference to a child’s life, start your journey with Nexus Fostering today. Call 0800 389 0143 to speak to one of our team or enquire here.



Fostering stories


  • Advice
  • Young person
  • Long-term fostering
  • Foster Carer
  • Therapeutic
  • Siblings
  • Social Worker
  • Support
  • Disibility

Date published

31 May 2024

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Children and young people come from different backgrounds, so we require foster carers who represent the diversity of today's society.

To reflect the diversity of the young people in care we welcome carers of different sexualities, marital and relationship statuses, with or without children. And we actively encourage fostering applications from persons with different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. 

Some of our foster carers work while others are at home. Some carers have children at home, while others don't have any or have children who have grown up and left the family home.

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