Foster families needed for teenagers

Families interested in fostering teenagers are being urged to come forward in a new campaign.

The latest push for so-called “resilience foster carers’ is being organised by Staffordshire County Council’s Fostering Service.

Resilience fostering is where foster carers look after young people aged 10 to 18 years old, who are moving out of residential care.

Carers will help to build resilience in all aspects of a young person’s life. They will do this by providing a secure base, encouraging friendships, promoting education, developing their social skills and inspiring the young person to reach their full potential.

Neil Hamilton has been a resilience foster carer for the authority for two years and is now encouraging others with similar experience to get in touch.

Neil said: “We’ve been fostering for just over 2 years and it’s a great thing to do. We get rewards every day; they are little things which add up and make you know that you are making a difference to a young person.

“The support and training you get is second to none and it’s always been available when we’ve needed it. Fostering is challenging but definitely worth it and I would encourage anyone thinking about fostering to just go for it, it’s the best thing we have ever done. “

To be a resilience foster carer, people will need to have experience in supporting teenagers with emotional and behavioural difficulties. The service is particularly keen to hear from anyone who has a professional background as a children’s residential care worker, teacher or teaching assistant, ex-police, prison officer or people who work in similar professions.

Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council said: “Our foster carers play a vital role in providing young people with a safe, loving and nurturing home

“While we have lots of foster families making a real difference to children’s lives every day, we do have a need for carers with specific experience in dealing with young people with behavioural and emotional difficulties. As a resilience foster carer, you will need the relevant experience, have a spare bedroom and have no other children under 18 years old living in the household.

“Being a resilience foster carer is a full-time role, paying a competitive weekly rate depending on your skills and the age of the young person you are caring for. It can be a challenge but our carers tell us that the rewards are huge, when you see the difference you can make. I would encourage anyone who thinks they have what it takes to contact the team to find out more.”

People can find out more at www.fosterforstaffordshire.co.uk/resilience or by calling 0800 169 2061.

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