The children in foster care who are in need of a loving, stable home environment are diverse, including the age at which they come to us.
Although Foster Portsmouth approve foster carers for children from birth to 21, many first apply with a set idea of the age of children they wish to care for, possibly due to experience or family circumstances, or a belief that younger children will be less challenging.
However, once our carers have progressed in their fostering journey, they often discover the rewards fostering different age groups can bring and the greater need for carers for children over the age of 10.
Children like 12-year-old Emily* who loves music, art, drawing and all things creative, as well as a Starbucks coffee, fashion and make-up. Described as intelligent and articulate, Emily also enjoys sharing facts and information, is thoughtful and caring, and has a great sense of humour.
12-year-old Pompey supporter Luke* also thrives on one-to-one time, has a great imagination, and enjoys singing. He is active, enjoys physical activities including football, and is described as caring and sensitive.
It is true that older children may have been exposed to more trauma in their lives, but this doesn’t necessarily translate to challenging behaviour. Instead, if they are shown they are cared for and that someone is taking an interest in their wellbeing, the rewards of caring for older children can be significant.
“[Fostering] gave me another shot at my life which I am so grateful for and I can now
see a successful future. Please give another young person the same chance I have had.”
Wayne, Aged 19
Carers also receive a wide range of quality training and 24/7 support including through our mentoring scheme and our innovative award-winning Mockingbird programme which can provide a support network of other foster carers similar to that of an extended family.
We simply ask our applicants keep an open mind regarding the children they feel they can care for while they explore the options, gain insight from our existing foster carers, and discover the support on offer.
When placing a child with a foster family, we consider a range of criteria to ensure the best match possible and secure its success. These include not only the age and gender of the child and those of the foster carer’s children, but also the number of children in the home, location, ethnicity and religion, as well as additional factors such as pets. However, the most important consideration is the individual needs of the child and a foster carer’s experience.
“The 21 year old that lives with us came to stay when he was 11 as a
short-term [plan],but we all clicked and got on really well.”
Sally, Foster Carer
Even if you’ve not parented or cared for older children, this would not discount you from applying. Sometimes a fresh approach is what is required. If you have had older children of your own, you’d start with an understanding of their needs at that age. Either way, we only require a determination to make a difference to their lives by providing them protection and a loving, stable home.
“I want to be loved by a family that puts me first.”
Megan, Aged 12
Older children deserve care, guidance and support as much as younger children, and we want to ensure they receive it. They are never too old for you to make a difference to their lives, provide them with opportunities, and help them ultimately reach their potential.
“You can see the difference in a child from when they first come to you to when they leave
your home, no matter how long or short that time may be. You’ve made an impact.”
Maggie Bebbington, Foster Carer
The council welcomes all enquiries about fostering. This could be a short or long term placement for a child or siblings until they’re ready to live independently or be reunited with family, support for unaccompanied minors or children with a disability, supported lodgings to develop their independent living skills, parent and baby placements, or respite care.
Anyone aged 21+ with a spare bedroom could foster with Foster Portsmouth regardless of their age, gender, faith, ethnicity, sexuality, marital or work status, or whether they rent or own their own home.
Can you provide a caring home to children who are looking for a loving home like Emily and Luke?
To enquire about fostering with Foster Portsmouth, or to arrange a 1:1 with one of our experienced team or existing foster carers, please fill in our contact form below, call 023 9283 4071 or email email@example.com.
*Some photos contain models and names changed to protect identities.