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Empty-nesters called on to consider fostering vulnerable young people in Cambridgeshire





The Cambridgeshire Fostering Service has urged parents whose own children have flown the nest to consider fostering vulnerable young people.

There are more than 400 young people in the 12-18 age range who unable to live with their birth families for reasons beyond their control.

Foster carers Guy and Clare
Foster carers Guy and Clare

The fostering service says they would benefit greatly from the invaluable experience of people who have raised teenagers and supported them on the way to independence.

Foster families get training, allowance and round-the-clock support.

Foster carers Guy, 61, a retired GP, and Clare, 60, a lecturer, are now in their fourth year of fostering for Cambridgeshire County Council.

“We considered fostering for a long time before even applying,” said Clare. “The idea first came up in conversation with our own children as they grew up. Changes in our circumstances, with Guy retiring early and the children leaving home, led us to apply.”

Their youngest was still living with them when they began fostering.

“Our own grown-up children were very encouraging, and remain very supportive,” said Guy. “The application process was thorough, and although it took a while, we learned a lot about ourselves, our relationship, and our previous parenting experiences.”

They now provide short-term emergency care for teenagers, either when those young people are on their way into care at a time of crisis, or when something else has gone wrong.

But they say they are well supported by their own social worker and the wider fostering team.

“We really enjoy the full-on approach for the weeks we have someone, and then a rest!” said Guy.

Claire added: “Being accepting and calm, and genuinely interested in our young people, is central. We don’t make a drama out of a crisis! Reflecting together and with our young people has proved invaluable.”

Find out more by following @CCCFosteringService on Facebook, visiting the Cambridgeshire Fostering website, or calling 0800 052 0078.



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