#HumansofWMP: Jack Hadley, temporary superintendent
Becoming a foster parent is something I’ve always wanted to do. It sounds a little cheesy but it’s about paying back some of the good fortune that I’ve had. My sister and I grew up in the care system and had a really positive experience. If it hadn’t have been for the family that fostered us initially and then went on to adopt us, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
My adoptive family provided me with opportunities and a stable environment to physically and emotionally learn and develop. Without that level of support my life would have been very different.
I was born into a family that had some really complex needs. I'm a twin and we were taken into care as babies by social services. We were in and out of care during my early years and we lived in a children’s home ran by nun’s - which was unusual for toddlers at that time. We moved around a number of foster homes before being long term fostered when I was about five to a family that then went on to adopt my sister and I when we were teenagers.
Throughout my police career, my childhood has helped me understand the difficulties and vulnerabilities that some families have. It has enabled me to empathise and understand the vulnerability felt by young people. It has definitely shaped me as a person and as a police officer. I’ve been out to lots of jobs where I’ve wanted to scoop the children up out of the chaos they’re in and I just haven’t been able to do it.
Being a police officer is a way of being able to give help and support to vulnerable children. It always surprises me how many there are out there in this day and age.
I've been fostering for two years now, so it's still very new, very fresh. My wife gave up work to become a foster carer, she was a teacher but now does it full time. At our busiest period we had five foster children in the house, in addition to our own five children. Ten children at home made life extremely busy.
My care journey is still on going at the moment. I’ve recently got all my records from the children’s home and I’m now in the process of applying for my adoption records which should show everything from my history. It certainly makes interesting reading!
People forget that police officers are human too. They only see the uniform. We quite often hear 'what would you know, you’re the police'. People think we've all got perfect lives and we haven’t had or have the challenges that everyday people have.
My personal experiences remind me that diversity within West Midlands Police is much more than the traditional strands. We all have unique experiences from our lives which make us who we are.
Everybody’s individual life experiences helps create the diverse nature of our organisation. My experiences as a child in care and now has a foster carer has definitely influenced and shaped me into the person I am today.