A former teacher who gave up her career to become a foster carer is encouraging others to give teenagers a loving home.
Supporting cared for children through the routine and stability of education is a key part of the role, and we're on the lookout for people who can make a real difference to a child's life and become a foster carer.
'I feel that I am making a big difference in enabling the children to be the best they can be'
Trish, who became a foster carer with us in 2018, gave up her teaching job to foster and she says that seeing the children she cares for thrive in education is a rewarding part of the job: "I have transferred my teaching skills to use with the children in my care. I feel that I am making a big difference in enabling the children to be the best they can be educationally and also in their personal growth."
There are over 55,000 children and young people living in foster care placements across England and around 43,500 households foster with their local authority. However, there continues to be a decline in the number of people becoming foster carers. Councils across England are looking for people to come forward as new carers.
'I'd really encourage people to contact the council's fostering team and take that first step'
Trish is encouraging people across Rochdale to come forward and support local children in the borough. She said: "It's a challenging but rewarding role, which has enabled me to achieve a better work-life balance as I am at home during the day and not rushing in from work at 6pm every night. I'd really encourage people to contact the council's fostering team and take that first step."
The former teacher has fostered many teenagers, and she's encouraging others to think about fostering teens, she said: "I love fostering teenagers through this difficult yet exciting stage of their lives. I can teach them vital life skills that will set them up for their future. They have often already gained a level of life experience, which enables them to be independent and for me to learn from them too. Teenagers in foster care often have an undeserved stigma attached to them, however, they usually just require the safety and stability of a loving family who will listen and respond to their needs."
We're always on the lookout for people who wish to take up the rewarding role of being and fostering carer. We are currently running a campaign urging people who are considering fostering teenagers, who are often very hard to place, to get in touch.
Training, support and guidance is available from our fostering team. You'll also have a dedicated social worker to support you throughout.
'We'd like to hear from you, you can make such a huge difference'
Councillor Kieran Heakin, cabinet member for children's services, said: "We have an increasing need for new foster carers. We particularly need to recruit carers for older children and teenagers and for children who need more specialist care. If you've got experience working with children through your profession, volunteering or raising your own family we'd like to hear from you, you can make such a huge difference."
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0300 303 1000 for more information.