15 May 2017

Sheffield City Council is asking more families to help change the lives of children and young people throughout the city by becoming foster carers.

The call for more carers comes during Foster Care Fortnight, which runs nationally until Sunday 21 May.

In Sheffield there are 275 fostering households who look after more than 265 children.

Diane from Sheffield has fostered 13 children and young people over the past five years.

Working as a teacher and a youth worker for the past 20 years Diane had always wanted to foster and knew what an amazing difference foster care can make to a young person’s life.  As her own three children were getting older, she had a spare room, and she found she had a lot more time on her hands and so decided to give fostering a go.

At the moment Diane is looking after two young children, two teenagers as well as her own children.

Diane said: “I love it – particularly working with teenagers. The teenagers I have looked after often come to me with no boundaries.  But as soon as you give them some rules, as well as the respect and trust they deserve, you get a great response.

“I am very active carer and I really champion the teenagers’ rights and needs. I’m on their side and I’m prepared to speak out for them wherever they need the support.”

As well as being a foster carer Diane is also a mentor to other foster carers who are working with teenagers.

She said: “I want to dispel the myth that teenagers in care are more difficult to look after. They just need boundaries in place and to be treated with respect.

“If people are thinking about it but are unsure, I want to reassure them that they can do it, even if they haven’t had experience of bringing up teenagers.

“With the right support people can help make a real difference to these young people’s lives.”

“One girl came into my care when she was 10 on a long-term placement. She couldn’t read or write at all. Three-and –a-half years later she can now read and write in three languages.  She is heavily involved in school life and she even helps me with some of the other children that come into my care.

“Seeing what caring can do for people has been transformational for her and now she wants to be a foster carer when she grows up.”

Joel Hanna, Assistant Director for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said “The foster carers in our city do a brilliant job. We need many more people to become foster carers – it’s rewarding and  can be challenging but those that do become foster carers can and will change lives.

“Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more details – we’d be delighted to hear from you.

He added “I’d like to take the opportunity during Foster Care Fortnight to say a big ‘thank you’ to all foster carers for the wonderful job they do.”

For more information go to sheffield.gov.uk/fostering or come along to meet our team and foster carers like Diane at our information evening on 24 May, 5.45pm-8pm at Quaker Meeting House. You can call Ruth to register 0114 273 5075.