Every year for nearly 40 years, Black History Month has been celebrated nationwide in October. First launched in London in the 1980s, the aim was to raise awareness, challenge racis1 Columnm and educate others about the history that was not taught during school.
We would like to take this opportunity to share the achievements of famous icons and former looked-after-children across the world.
Pandora Christie – Kiss FM Studio Presenter
Pandora Christie was raised by her alcoholic mother, Jay, who struggled to cope with raising two children whilst battling her addiction. From birth, Pandora and her older sister were in and out of care, "If my mum was too drunk I would get sent to a care home. If she decided she was going to rehab for a couple of weeks, me and my sister Abigail would go back into care, and if she just decided she’d had enough and wanted a break again, back into care we went."
At the age of 9, Pandora's mum passed away from a heart attack, and both Pandora and her sibling were put into full-time care.
In 2018 Pandora posted a blog piece about her experience growing up in care and the experiences she went through. She even states that going to different families for a short time almost felt like going on holiday, just with people you didn’t know.
Pandora has recently met with some looked after children. They told her that they “felt like their futures were over, and not worth living for”. In Pandora’s blog she writes, “that it’s not true, you cannot let your past or present situation affect your future, from the moment you realise this you will know nothing is unachievable. Do you think I got where I am by accident? You cannot change the past but the future is yours to make.”
Pandora is now a successful actress, Kiss FM Presenter and a Beauty Blogger.
The day Lorraine was born her mother handed her straight to the Mothers’ Hospital in East London. Lorraine was placed with two foster carers immediately after she was born where she lived happily for eighteen months. The couple had wanted to adopt Lorraine but had only signed up to be short-term foster carers and by that time they were expecting a child themselves.
At eighteen months Lorraine was adopted and brought up in Oxfordshire but at the age of three her adoptive parents divorced, so she stayed with her mother who unfortunately became ill and could no longer look after her Lorraine was seven at this point.
Lorraine spent two years with two foster families until she accepted a place at a boarding school, funded by a charity called ‘Buttle’. Social Services had agreed that this would be better than going back in and out of care.
Since then Lorraine has worked with TACT and The Fostering Network to celebrate fostering and encourage others to become foster carers. Lorraine states, "I realised early on that how my life began didn’t have to determine how my life played out. I knew that how my story evolved and ended up was down to me."
Lorraine is now a British TV chef and USA Food Network host and a former top model. She is best known for selling almost one million books in the UK alone.
Seal was born in 1963 at St Mary's Hospital in London. Shortly after his birth Seal went to live with a foster family in Romford, Essex. He remained with his foster parents and four foster siblings until he was four years old when he returned to his biological mother. Soon after, he came under the care of his father, where he says he suffered beatings until he finally left home aged 15. Seal goes on to say “I don’t regret anything about my childhood, it was all integral to making me who I am today”.
Seal has since gone on to be a Grammy Award winner, having sold over 20 million albums worldwide, with his international hit “Crazy” and his most celebrated song “Kiss From a Rose”.
Seal has won multiple awards throughout his career, including three Brit Awards and four Grammy Awards.
Simone Biles was born 14 March 1997 in Columbus, Ohio, United States of America. Growing up, Simone's birth mother suffered from drug and alcohol abuse which led her in and out of prison. At the age of three, Simone and her three other siblings were put into foster care.
After learning that Simone and her three siblings had been taken into foster care, their Grandparents began temporarily caring for them. In 2003, the couple adopted Simona and her youngest sister and the two oldest siblings were adopted by their Great-Aunt.
At the age of six, Simone tried out gymnastics where she soon enrolled in an optional training program and at the age of eight began training with a coach.
Since then Simone has achieved -
• "Olympic Gold medallist in vault, floor, Individual and Team all-round, Bronze medallist on beam at 2016 Rio Olympics.
• First woman gymnast to win three consecutive World all-around titles.
• Most World Championship gold medals won by a female gymnast in history
• Most decorated World Championship American gymnast with 14 total medals (10 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze)
• The first woman to capture four gold medals at a single World Championship (2014 – 2015)"
Eddie was born in April 1961, in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of three, Eddie's parents divorced and just five years later his father passed away.
Following the death of Eddie's father, his mother struggled financially and soon after was hospitalised, and at the age of eight, Eddie and his brother were sent to a foster home.
At the age of nine, Eddie's mother remarried and he and his brother were reunited.
Eddie only experienced being in foster care for one year but he credits the experience which he believes has helped him develop a sense of humour and has made him realise “how important it is to find laughter in every situation”.
Tiffany was born in 1979, in Los Angeles and was raised by her mother. Tiffany's mother suffered severe brain damage in 1988 after surviving a car accident. This damage was believed to have caused her mother schizophrenia. Tiffany states, “I didn’t want to be with my mom no more, she had become very violent and very verbally abusive. You never knew who she was going to be. Every day was like a different day.”
At the age of twelve, Tiffany and her siblings were put into foster care where they were temporarily separated from each other. Tiffany went into different placements and when she was fifteen, she and her siblings were reunited and were cared for by their grandmother.
Tiffany is best known for her role in 'Girls Trip' where she earned critical acclaim, including a prestigious award from the New York Film Critics Circle and also an Emmy Award.
During the Summer of 2019 an article was released from an interview with a young carer whose situation had become so desperate that she felt like there was no option but to ‘put herself into foster care’. At age 15, Laura Kinsley, spent nine months in foster care after not receiving adequate support. Read more here.
We're pleased that you would like to register your interest in fostering with Futures Group.
To give your application the best chance please ensure you meet the prerequisites below:
We're always looking for foster carers from different cultural, religious and racial backgrounds, single people, couples (whether married or living together, with or without children). Together we can make a difference to children's lives.