Stephen, from Northamptonshire, is 18 and this summer he becave involved in a campaign for Northampton County Council to urge local residents to consider fostering.
We think his words on fostering really get to the heart of what children need (and why) from foster carers.
A Safe Space
Many prospective foster carers ask us why having a spare bedroom is so important. Stephen’s words about what his bedroom in his foster home meant to him highlight so perfectly why a safe space of their own is crucial for fostered children:
When I moved in my bedroom was my safe place. I filled it with things that have happy associations and memories and it became my quiet place where I could chill out or listen to my music. It helped me to feel safe and welcome.
A Good Role Model
Many people assume they couldn’t be a foster carer because maybe they rent their home, are single, or gay, or too old, or too young… But none of this really matters so long as you can be a good role model for a young person, and a source of kind and patient support:
“I didn’t need a parent, I already had parents; I needed a role model. My foster carers had a lot of patience, they helped me to make sure my voice was heard and they looked out for me.”
Stephen’s foster carers helped him to turn things around at school, and to give him a positive, productive future to look forward to:
In the last few years Stephen’s school attendance has soared from 29 per cent to 95 per cent and he achieved 10 GCSEs before going on to study engineering. He is now looking to move into his own place and hopes to train prospective foster carers by helping them to understand the scheme from the child’s perspective.
If you could give a child a bedroom in your house and be a good role model for them, then would probably make a great foster carer. Why not start your own fostering success story and find out more today?