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An Interview with First-time Foster Parents, Victor & Vivienne

Updated: Apr 12

Did you know that there are more than 550 foster families in Singapore*?

Foster families provide a safe home for children or young persons who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. In some cases, their parents have passed on, have a physical or mental illness, or are in jail. This is usually a temporary arrangement, until it is safe for them to return home to their families.

31st May is World Foster Day and it is all about celebrating families that provide foster care to children and creating awareness of this unique family structure.

For this special day, we’ve invited first-time foster parents, Victor and Vivienne, to share their experience with us. Their foster child is a 5-year-old girl nicknamed BubbleBee (in view of the confidentiality of her identity), and she joined the family in October 2020.

Share with us how you decided on fostering.

Caring for children – especially community children from families with needs – has always been our passion, and so fostering has been on our minds. However, we wondered whether we could cope, given our busy lifestyles and nature of work (Victor is a school teacher, and Vivienne had to work on weekends). We also faced apprehension from people around us.

That was until we saw from a first-hand experience a child in our church community whose parents were both incarcerated for drug abuse and she was left alone with her elderly grandmother overnight. At that point we were even more convinced that fostering is so important – to fill the void and provide for the child in the areas of lack that they’re facing.

We heard that the fostering almost did not happen. Can you tell us more?

Vivienne’s dad passed away suddenly and she had to quit her job and take over his food business (IG: @linlinveg.delight). It was a difficult time. People around us also discouraged us from fostering as they were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to cope.

But the both of us had (and are still having) many conversations about the challenges that we may face, and agreed on how to split the load of taking care of a foster child. We had heart-to-heart talks about our views towards fostering, our fears, and also took the opportunity to affirm each other.

In the end, we both agreed that first and foremost, it is about having a mindset shift – instead of just looking at ourselves, we should put on the lens of the child. It’s about intentionally prioritizing the child’s needs. With that mindset change, we felt more ready to give this a shot.

What was the process like after you all made the decision to foster?

We applied to be foster parents via the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) website in November 2019. Within a short period of time, someone from MSF contacted us and arranged for a phone interview, followed by a detailed 5-hour home visit and interview. Within 3 months, we were approved as Foster Parents.

Then Covid hit, and we did not receive any news from MSF for almost a year. It was a little disappointing for us as we were really excited to meet our prospective foster child. In September 2020, we finally received a call from a fostering agency to foster a 5-year-old girl, who is BubbleBee.

There was an integration period where we got to meet our foster child for a few hours during each visit. When she was more familiar with us, she started to visit our home to get accustomed to the new environment, and in our case, to also get accustomed to the two huge dogs we have at home. To our surprise, BubbleBee fell in love with our dogs the moment she met them, and she moved in with us the following week.

How did you feel before bringing BubbleBee home?

We were really excited about welcoming BubbleBee to our home, always talking about the various things that she might like or dislike, such as food, toys, her favourite colours, and many more.

Share with us some of the joys of fostering.

Some of the joys are to see BubbleBee blossom after time and effort is made to know her, and to help her become who she can be. Most importantly, it’s to see her rediscover the joy of childhood when she has that sense of security and stability.

How about some of the challenges of fostering?

The most immediate challenge was the impact on our routines and lifestyles. While we were adapting as adults, BubbleBee was adapting as well. Coupled with her past ‘baggage’, it translated to tantrums, nightmares and hurtful words.

What have you learnt so far from this fostering journey?

Initially, we thought that fostering is about what we can provide or do for the child. But the past 8 months with BubbleBee has helped us to gain many life lessons that we often overlook.

One of them is that even though effort does not always equate to the expected results, it doesn’t mean we stop giving or putting in effort. We’re also learning to be realistic with everyone’s needs and work out a plan that is agreeable for all.

Another lesson that BubbleBee has taught us is to love without prejudice and judgment, and to give unconditionally.

What would you say to someone who’s considering fostering?

Take a step of faith – not because we are capable, but knowing that every word or action in the act of fostering helps the child to love him/herself, the people around them and the world they live in :)


We are glad that people like Victor and Vivienne have stepped forward to provide a home for children in need of foster care. If you have the desire to make a difference in a child’s life through fostering, we hope their experience encourages you to take a step of faith!

Share this post with someone who’d be interested to find out more about fostering or to encourage someone in their fostering or parenting journey!

*as of 31 Dec 2020

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