Teenage fostering - Abbee

Abbee is a single foster carer from Nuneaton and has been fostering for Warwickshire for 3 years.  In that time she has cared for 16 young people including a baby, an 8 and 10 year old, teenagers and a parent and child. Abbee cares for 2 or 3 children or young people at a time on a short term basis.

Abbee had always wanted to foster and had experience of working in children’s homes and as a youth worker. She felt she had the skills needed to work with young people and felt that fostering would allow her to use these skills in a different way to help and support young people.

Through fostering Abbee has faced a lot of challenges which have mostly been around the young person’s behaviour, their life experiences and advocating for young people with other professionals.  She has overcome these challenges by being positive and encouraging with young people and taking an interest in them.

As Abbee explained "I feel that by being firm, consistent, honest and caring from the start then this can help you to overcome the challenges you may face with young people.  Young people in care need someone to care for them and so I think one of the most important things you can do as a carer is to show them you care in whatever way you can and be there for them.  The support I have had from both my own and the children’s social workers has been excellent and this has helped with any challenges I have faced."

"Another positive is meeting other foster carers through support groups and training as this can give you invaluable support from people who have been through caring for young people with similar issues.  The training available to foster carers is really helpful, particularly for those who do not have experience of working with young people who may present challenges."

"I also think it’s important to be a positive role model for young people I work and go to university and so this helps young people to see what they could achieve as adults.  I feel that when young people see me contributing to society this helps me to encourage them to be more positive about what they can achieve at school and in later life."

Abbee has experienced many positive sides to fostering "I would say the rewards come from the little things; when a young person has had a good day at school after being on the brink of being excluded, and the family sitting down together to enjoy Sunday lunch. A young person that was with me for over a year had no aspirations and through my support she was able to go to college and this was a real positive for her and for me.  I am still in touch with some of the young people I have cared for and when they ring you to tell you about something positive, like they have got a new job it makes you feel good to think you helped them on their way."