Who are the children?
All our children are special and come from diverse backgrounds with different life experiences.
All our children are special and come from diverse backgrounds with different life experiences. We need foster carers with a range of experience who are able to understand the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of our children.
There are many reasons why children and young people need to be looked after. Sometimes families need extra support to get them through a difficult time. Some children will have experienced neglect or abuse and others will have disabilities or complex health needs.
There are often sibling groups whose greatest wish is to stay together.
When children and young people come in to foster care they need an enormous amount of commitment, nurturing and attention to make them feel secure. Those who have experienced difficulties may not have met all their developmental milestones or may display a range of challenging behaviours and find it difficult to share in family life.
They will need your support and for you to give them the opportunity to experience the same life chances as other children and young people.
These are the stories of just a few of our looked after children.
Hannah and Lucy
Hannah is 12 years old and her sister Lucy is 6. They have a younger brother, Harry, who is 6 months old. Hannah and Lucy have never lived with Harry as he was born after they became looked after and he was placed in a separate foster family at birth.
Lucy has Global Developmental Delay and both children suffered chronic neglect while living at home. Hannah and Lucy have been in a short term foster placement for the last 9 months while decisions were made about their future and now need a long term foster family. The plan for Harry is adoption.
Hannah and Lucy have a close loving relationship. Lucy is a happy little girl who loves attention while Hannah is an academically bright, caring girl who loves animals. Hannah lacks confidence in her own abilities and finds change hard. Both girls have progressed well with their short term foster carers and now need long term carers who are able to build on this to provide them with the stability and safety of a long term family environment. Training and support is available to foster carers to help them manage Lucy’s special needs.
It is planned that Hannah and Lucy will continue to meet with their mother every school holiday and letterbox contact (annual written updates) with Harry.
My highlights as a carer are when the children move on and you see their lives improve. We’ve been lucky enough to have kept in touch with many of the children who have moved on and it’s great seeing how their lives have changed in a positive way. Mandy - foster carer
Jack is 15 years of age and has lived in his foster family for just under 2 years. Jack witnessed domestic violence linked to drug misuse. Jack’s experience of being parented was one where his parents were unreliable, inconsistent and at times scary. Jacks’ family life had a significant impact on Jacks schooling.
Jack was initially placed in a foster family but struggled with family life as he was very wary of establishing any relationship. Jack found the situation too overwhelming and would go missing on a daily basis. As he could not manage living within a family home. Jack went to live in a residential unit for 12 months. During this time Jack made significant progress. His attendance at school had improved, his confidence had grown, and he was more able to make and maintain relationships. The decision was made that Jack was more able to manage family life and family relationships and a foster family was identified for him. It was important that Jacks foster carers were able to focus on Jack, support him in his schooling, help him in understanding his feelings and emotions and look at better ways of him managing his fears and anxieties to eventually support him with his independent life skills.
Jack had experienced a number of traumatic experiences in his life which had led to him mistrusting adults and being too independent Jack’s foster carers were able to see the impact of his life experiences and understood that a lot of his behaviours was Jack being fearful and were able to parent him at a younger level. Jack is continuing to make progress especially in regard to his relationship with his foster carers and his class tutor who he will now approach for support when he is feeling unsure and overwhelmed.