In the lead up to Taunton Pride this weekend, a same sex couple from Somerset are sharing how fostering teenagers has a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable young people, as well as their own.
Somerset Council foster carers, Caroline and Liz, have fostered with the Local Authority for seven years, providing care for more than 20 children and young people during that time. They’ve provided a home for periods of time from one-night emergency situations to more than a year.
With nearly 300 teenagers currently in care in Somerset, these are the young people most in need of foster homes. Commenting on why they choose to foster teenagers, Caroline said:
It just seems to come quite naturally to us. We get what teenagers need; when to leave them alone, when to support them. It’s quite unique really, we just seem to get them, and they get us.
Cllr Tessa Munt, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Children, Families and Education praised the commitment foster carers like Caroline and Liz make to Children Looked After, and the importance of supporting teenagers during a critical period in their lives.
Through no fault of their own, teenagers are often the most difficult young people to find homes for. They may have experienced trauma, or have difficulties with trust and attachment due to past experiences, but there are huge benefits to fostering teenagers. Carers like Caroline and Liz have made a real difference to the lives and futures of over 20 young people, providing a stable home and supportive family environment when they need it most.”
“I hope that Caroline and Liz sharing their experiences, may encourage others to consider fostering young people, in particular teenagers.
There is an urgent need for more foster carers in Somerset. Foster carers provide a home and family for vulnerable children and help them to develop, grow and achieve their true potential. To foster you need to be aged 21 or over with a spare room in your home. Full training and support are provided, and carers receive – a weekly fee and allowance payment.
The Fostering In Somerset Team will be attending Taunton Pride on Saturday 16 September at Vivary Park, providing an opportunity to learn more about fostering while also taking part in some fun, free activities – including a craft session and pride photobooth with free prints to take home.
For more information on fostering, please visit www.fosteringinsomerset.org.uk or call 0800 587 9900 to find out how you could change a child’s story.