2017 Excellence in Foster Care Award recipient.
Yasser El Shall, his wife and their children made the decision to start fostering five years ago.
“First and foremost, you have to have the support of your family,” he says.
Yasser says he got into fostering almost by chance, when a neighbour asked him if he’d be interested. But soon it became a passion for the father of four biological children.
Yasser says he knew he was making an impact when a child in his care came to him and called him ‘Papa’ after 3 or 4 years in his home.
“He said Papa I just want to give you a hug and thank you for everything you’ve done for me. This was the biggest certificate I ever had in my life. Not the bachelor, not the work. It was nothing like the word ‘papa’ – when you hear it because it came so warm – from the heart.”
A child wrote about Yasser, “I love my Papa and that’s why I nominate him as the best Papa in the whole wide world.”
Yasser’s commitment to each child in his care is unwavering in the face of any challenge. They flourish thanks to his ability to understand and manage complex emotional, social, behavioural and learning needs.
He is an astute assessor of needs and strengths, and takes every opportunity for further training available. He is also known for his openness to other cultures and understanding of how important it is for children and young people to connect to their culture.
In his nomination social workers and other professionals spoke of Yasser’s unprecedented skills and his tireless passion, describing him as a selfless individual. In Yasser’s words, “Every day I wake up I feel so blessed for having a child in my care because they are so very precious.”
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