An appeal is being made for more foster parents, particularly for teenagers.
Last year, Bedford Borough Council’s fostering team placed 142 young people in foster care but there are still a significant number of teenagers, in particular, who are looking for a foster home. The council is calling for prospective foster carers to consider fostering a teen.
Carley Smith, experienced foster parent to teenagers, said: “Fostering teens can be hugely beneficial because you can reason with them. I have fostered a broad spectrum of children and I can honestly say that the most rewarding placements I have had, have been teenagers.
“The rewards are immediate, you can see massive improvements in a short space of time. Teens blossom within days of experiencing life in a loving home. I had one teen that spent the evening in with me; we just talked and ordered in a pizza and at the end of the evening he turned around to me and said it was ‘the best night of his life’. People may underestimate how much teenagers just need love and support, they are not scary and actually respond extremely well to a stable environment.”
Cllr Sue Oliver, Executive Member for Children’s Social Care at Bedford Borough Council - and a former foster parent - said: “As foster carer to teens myself, I can confirm that it is very rewarding. We desperately need more foster carers and we have a high number of teenagers looking for a placement.
“If there are people out there who can picture themselves giving a loving home to a young person, we want to assure them we will support them every step of the way.”
Bedford Borough Council launched its own Fostering and Adoption Service in January 2014.
If you are interested in becoming one of Bedford Borough’s Fantastic Foster Carers, get in touch with the team on 01234 718718.