Bev, from Coventry, has been providing specialist foster care with Barnardo’s, looking after young people aged up to 18 years old who find themselves involved in the criminal justice system (remand foster care).
“Many of them [young people] have had horrendous experiences. You just have to be there for them – supporting, listening and not judging. For some it’s the first time that they feel someone has really listened to them and cared for them, and then they start to really open up about what their life has been like so far. It can be heart-breaking.”
Almost nine years on, Bev is still in touch with many of her former foster children; “Sometimes it’s just a telephone call to ask how I’m doing, other times they’ll knock on the door whenever they’re passing. They like to let me know how they’re getting on.”
Fostering is a life-changing experience for both carers and the young people; “one of the boys eventually enlisted with the armed forces and one of the girls went on to study at college. Another young man has been in touch to invite me to his wedding, and even joined Barnardo’s at a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace! They’ve completely turned their lives around.”
Bev concluded “all that these young people needed was a second chance. It can be difficult not to judge someone who’s been in trouble with the law, but they weren’t monsters. They just had no boundaries or support when they were growing up. They deserved some extra help and nurturing.”
“I’d definitely recommend the role to people. It’s like a continuation of a little family. One of them has a child who calls me ‘nanna’, which is lovely.”
Teenagers need your love and support. Take your first step with Barnardo’s and help change a young person’s life.