Retired couple who ‘gave something back’ by fostering 50 children

A remarkable couple who wanted to “give something back to the community” after they retired have been fostering children for almost 10 years.

Syed and Razia Jaleel, of Conistan Gardens, Redbridge, have looked after more than 50 children aged between three and 18 since they started fostering in 2003.

As Forter Care Fortnight was launched Mr Jaleel said: “I used to be a banker and when I retired I thought that I must give something back to the local community and that’s when I looked into fostering. I was interviewed to become a foster parent and the whole process was very smooth, easy and co-operative.

“My wife and I wanted to give neglected children a positive influence in their life.

“It is important to be patient, open-hearted and make children feel at home and we have had very few that have struggled. The couple, who are currently looking after two foster children, also have two sons and two daughters of their own.

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“I’m really amused by all the children we’ve looked after. It’s good to be able to help them with their day to day lives and with their education. I would recommend fostering to everyone. By helping youngsters to become good members of the community we are helping the community as a whole.”

The couple who looked after four siblings so they could remain together when they first started fostering, remain in contact.

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Mr Jaleel added: “The longest a child has stayed with us was three years, but we find many of are foster children are older and once they turn 18 are able to live independently.

“Fostering is a wonderful thing to do and if you have the time and patience to listen you can really help in a big way.”

To find out more call the duty fostering team on 020 8708 7528 or visit

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