Lucy Stevens - 10th July 2022
The other day, a foster carer said to me, “If people knew how dire the situation is for children in foster care, they would be shocked and would feel moved to do something.”
At Eastern Fostering Services we absolutely agree with this statement. Each week, we receive hundreds of requests for children who require foster carers. Each week, many of these children are turned away because we don’t have enough carers for the sheer volume and needs of the children and young people. This basic truth echoes across the whole of the UK, leading to thousands of young people in improperly matched fostering arrangements or unsuitable accommodation. The children of the UK urgently need more foster carers.
What sort of foster carers do we need?
By far the largest group of children in need of foster carers are adolescents and teenagers. We often hear people say that they don’t want to foster teens because “the damage is already done” and there is less time or opportunity to make a difference. At Eastern Fostering Services we would strongly refute this view.
Adolescents and teenagers undergo significant and rapid brain development comparable to that seen in early infancy. Teenagers are interesting, diverse, engaging, rewarding and desperate for someone to believe in them and encourage them. It’s the perfect terrain for fostering.
As a foster carer myself and someone who has only fostered teens, I can honestly say that the rewards are profound, if not immediate. Yes, there are challenges as there are with children of any age, yet I’ve noticed in my teens a desperation to be guided and supported. It is my belief that an adult who values you, listens to you and believes in you has the real capacity to make a difference in the life of a young person. In my personal view, teenagers are more emotionally and intellectually stimulating, less physically demanding and make for a more interesting and varied fostering life. They may test your resilience (and much else besides), but they are a fantastic group of children to care for.
What qualities do foster carers need?
If you have some or all of the qualities listed below, and you have a spare room, you could be just the person a teenager is crying out for.
Do you have?
- Good communication skills
- Emotional intelligence
- A desire to make a difference
- A desire to learn
- An ability to work well with others
- A belief that this generation of young people deserves a helping hand
I think I could foster; what shall I do now?
If you live in Essex, Suffolk or Cambridgeshire and you’d like to know more about fostering, you can get in touch with us at email@example.com or message us on Facebook. Alternatively, you can call us on 01206 299775 or get in touch via our website.
We’ll arrange to have a chat with you, answer your questions and then visit you at home when you’re ready.
Our teens need you. Please get in touch today.