To mark International Youth Day on 12 August, we are inviting people to consider becoming foster parents and specifically of young people.
By fostering a child you will offer them a home on a temporary basis, most will return home after a period of time, but some foster parents do offer long term care. Foster carers share responsibility for the children with us and the parents of the children. You do not have to be married, own your own home or already have children.
Carol shares her experience of fostering teenagers
Carol was inspired to be a foster carer by a close friend who had a traumatic childhood.
She has been a foster carer for over fourteen years and currently looks after teenage twin girls who have been with her for four years. She said: “fostering teenagers has been challenging at times especially as they love going out with friends so I’ve learnt to be flexible to a point. The twins are now eighteen and will leave my care next year. I want them to move close to me so I can keep an eye on them and still be there for them as they develop into young adults.”
Carol said that although she knows some people find the fostering process intrusive at times she believes that the social workers are trying to get to know you so they can ensure the best interests and safety of the child. Carol remembers the first time that she fostered a baby six years ago. “I hadn’t fostered a baby before but it wasn’t just the child but also the sixteen year old mother so it was difficult to know when to take over caring for the baby and when to just offer encouragement and advice. I ended up doing a bit of both. They were with me for seven months.”
Carol has only praise for the Lambeth social workers that have supported her and her foster children over the years. “I just couldn’t choose a favourite social worker even if I had to, they have all been fantastic and I have learnt a lot from them and grown as a person. They really know their job and care about you and the child. They have only ever been a phone call away and have always called me back even out-of-hours in their own time.” she said.
To begin the fostering process or to find out more, telephone 020 7926 8710 or submit an enquiry form online at www.lambeth.gov.uk/fostering.