Drive to encourage more people to consider fostering teenagers
Teenagers and those who have been in care are sharing experiences of how a foster family can change a life.
Teenagers and those who have been in care are sharing their experiences of how a foster family can change a life as Wiltshire Council launches a drive to encourage more people to consider fostering teenagers.
Cameron, aged 24 who lives in Wiltshire knows the value of having a good family to support and help shape your future.
He explained: "I can't imagine being where I am today without the support of my foster family."
He can now look back at the difference a stable home has made to him. In his early years he was predicted low grades but while in foster care he turned this around and studied hard attaining A levels and then going to university.
In Wiltshire dozens of children in care need a loving foster home but sometimes people can have concerns fostering a teenager may be too challenging.
As part of a week long campaign Wiltshire Council is sharing teenager's experiences and providing details of information and support to remind people older children need support too.
Louise, a 14 year old currently in foster care explains how foster carers can help teenagers deal with the ups and downs of growing up.
She said: "When I've been upset, they've cheered me up. They also help me understand my feelings and help me with my worries. They are also good fun too and don't take things too seriously. Children need foster carers who have lots of time. They listen to what I have to say and are interested in my thoughts.
"The three things I think are most important for foster carers are: listen to what I say, make me feel like I am a part of their family and get along with me in general."
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: "Our foster carers are unsung heroes who provide a stability and inspiration in children's lives of all ages.
"We have some amazing foster carers who look after teenagers but we always need more. It can be difficult to look past the hard exterior and see the person needing that help from you. We want people who are thinking about fostering to consider older children. Get in touch with us and talk about it and we can guide you through the process."
Wiltshire Council plans to recruit 100 foster carers over three years to ensure Wiltshire children can find a loving home in the county with the campaign hashtag #FosterForWiltshire.
To foster, people need to be aged 21 or over and have a spare bedroom. More details are available on the careers website.
For those who want to find out more there will also be an online information session on Tuesday 24 November at 7:30pm on this link.
People can hear from the fostering team, including listening to a foster carer talk about fostering as a career.