With more than 65,000 children currently living in care throughout England, Lancashire charity Modus is appealing for lesbian and gay families, couples and single people to think about becoming foster carers.
Latest figures from the Department for Education show the number of children currently in care across England increased slightly from 64,400 in 2011 to 65,520 this year.
Modus’ service manager, Yoni Ejo, says the charity needs people with “commitment, energy and openness” who can provide a home and offer safety and security in addition to “round the clock care” for young people.
Yoni, a lesbian, is true evidence of the benefits of fostering. She was in care at birth and lived with several foster carers, until she was a year old and taken to a new couple, when her carers went on holiday.
They became her long term foster carers and later her adoptive parents. Yoni is now an adoptive parent with her civil partner and is a passionate advocate for foster carers and cannot stress enough the difference they can make for vulnerable young people.
While Modus foster carer Denise has been caring for children for the past eight years and has looked after a number of children and young people with a variety of needs and vulnerabilities.
She is a single carer with two biological children of her own, a boy aged 16 and a girl aged 14, and her family come from the Caribbean.
Denise was previously a local authority social worker for ten years and it was during this time she became aware of the amount of young people who appeared to be “lost” in residential homes.
She would often see vulnerable teenagers going into “hardcore” residential homes and know that they would struggle there but it was often their only option.
Denise says being a foster carer is very rewarding, although one of the main challenges is to help new children understand you’re on their side.
She describes one boy who was at his most vulnerable when living with her but is now a confident young man who is getting on with his own life.
Another placement was a young mother and her new born baby.
Denise describes the day they left as very emotional and said: “it is only when young people leave that you can sit back and think, yes, I did well there.”
For more information about foster caring with Modus please click here
Disclosure: Modus advertises for carers with PinkNews.co.uk