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Could you foster a young person?

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 08/05/2013

Like other authorities, our biggest need is for people who can foster children aged 11 to 18-years-old as there is a national shortage of carers for this age group.

Our foster carers Sandra and Dave Smith from Chipping Sodbury are already enjoying fostering teenagers. Sandra said: “We have seven children of our own and as they left home, one by one, the house became empty. We had previously talked about fostering. I had been working as a maternity assistant for over 22 years and it’s really hard to give up a job that you enjoy and you do well but I needed something different to get my teeth into.

“We were happy to take any age and initially seemed to have babies and toddlers but just recently we have had teenagers. I love looking after people, feeding them; making them comfortable and helping them develop, to discover who they are and to help them to become independent young people. It’s also nice to welcome them into our family and have them join in with all that we do. Some young people believe that what they are and what they have is all they can be and all they deserve. I try to break the negative beliefs some of them have and show them that with hard work, a plan and structure they can achieve anything they want especially when there is someone fighting their corner.”

Cllr Ian Blair, Chair of the Children & Young People’s Committee, added: “We need more foster carers like Sandra and Dave to come forward in South Gloucestershire to take on short-term or long-term placements, especially for young people aged 11 and over. The benefits for foster families include the knowledge that they are making a genuine difference to the life of a young person in need. And foster children can also make a very positive contribution to family life, bringing a fresh perspective.”

So why not come and meet our Family Placement Team at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway on Saturday 25 May. They will have an exhibition stand on the upper floor of the shopping centre where they will be talking to people about what it takes to become a foster carer – time, patience, flexibility and an encouraging and supportive nature. And if you can’t make it along to The Mall, just after Foster Care Fortnight, the team will also have a stall at our Family Fun Day in Kingswood Park on Wednesday 29 May.

Foster parents form part of a team working with social workers and other staff and there is a wide range of support and help available. Information about the application process, advice and further details on becoming foster parents is available at

If you would like to talk to someone about taking the next step to becoming a foster carer, contact Tony Bray in the family placement team on 01454 866423.

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