Inspire a future for teenagers

Foster 4 – Warrington Borough Council’s foster carer recruitment service are launching a new campaign to encourage local Cheshire people to be foster carers, in particular to foster older children and teenagers.

Many people won’t consider the idea of fostering teenagers because of the negative public image associated with them. They may be seen as aggressive, noisy and uncooperative. But a brash exterior often hides feelings of insecurity, fear and confusion. As a result of these misconceptions, many individuals who could provide a young person with a nurturing home are deterred from fostering teenagers.

Foster4 want to highlight the positive benefits of caring for older children and will aim to encourage those interested in fostering, to specifically consider this age group.

Dianne and Paul, who live in Warrington, have been fostering for nine years and particularly enjoy caring for teenagers. Dianne is a part-time Youth Worker and it was her work with vulnerable young people that led her to fostering. She and Paul currently foster two teenagers and have helped them both overcome difficulties in their young lives to eventually excel in exams and for one to go onto an apprenticeship.

Dianne said: “It’s hard enough being a teenager but when children experience hardship and struggles early on in life, it adds another dimension. Fostering is about providing a positive environment for them and having an impact that will set them on a better and more stable path. It can be very emotional at times and you need lots of patience and tolerance.  However, the most important quality is to be able to listen and work with that young person, to guide them to make positive choices that will lead to emotional well-being and bright futures.”

Dianne goes onto say: “Foster4 provide a great network of support and training. Through its foster forum, there are lots of other carers you can speak to and share advice with, it is like a mini community that is there to support you on top of all the other help you receive from support workers.

Being a foster carer is very rewarding, not least to see a young person develop and grow as a result of your guidance and care.”

Cllr Matt Smith, Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Foster carers are so important in helping to nurture, guide and support children who may not have had the best start in life. It is, therefore, vital that new carers come forward who in particular can support older children and be a positive influence in their lives.

“Foster carers play such a valuable role in Warrington and we’d love to encourage even more people to consider taking their next steps into fostering. There is marvellous support and training to help them too, so I would urge anyone interested to get in touch with the Foster4 team”.

Have you been spending more time at home with your own teenage children during the coronavirus pandemic? Has it made you realise how rewarding it can be? If you, or anyone you know, is interested in fostering older children or teenagers and you would like the opportunity to be there for those children that have not had positive or fulfilling relationships in their lives, you can find out more about fostering at foster4.co.uk/enquire

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