A private fostering story

Playing on swingsToday we have a great story of a private fostering arrangement in Leeds, to show how brilliant it can be for all involved. This type of fostering is when a private arrangement is made between a child’s parents and someone other than a close relative to look after their child for at least twenty eight days.

Mykey now lives with his private foster carer, Carol. When he was 9 years old he became unable to keep living with his birth family, and his neighbour, Carol, became concerned that he was underweight and poorly clothed. She wanted Mykey to feel safe and well cared for, and along with her daughter Charlotte, wanted to offer him love and care. She made an agreement with Mykey’s family that she should care for him under a private fostering arrangement, and notified the council.

Within six months of living with Carol, Mykey’s weight improved. Now aged fifteen, Carol is so proud of him and now sees him as one of her own children, and his relationship with Carol and Charlotte is that of a loving son and brother.

As a privately fostered young person, Mykey receives regular support visits from Ruth, their social work assistant. She is also very proud of Mykey’s achievements and describes him as a successful young man who she is sure will achieve well throughout his life. Mykey is now very confident and outgoing and has studied for 15 GCSEs, has plans to go college to study a two year diploma in Performing Arts and has further career aspirations to go to university to do a teaching degree.

Mykey’s advice to any young person who may have similar difficulties to those he had as a young child is to

“talk about your problems to someone who will listen to you. Otherwise you might continue feeling secluded and lonely. When you finally settle with a family you get out of that unhappy situation. You feel a difference, a relief at the loss of the difficulties.”

Because of Carol he says he’s developed the right morals to become a good parent himself one day and to contribute to the wider society. He is so happy that he trusted Carol to care for him.

Although private fostering is different to fostering with Leeds City Council, the rewards are similar – you too can make a difference in a child or young person’s life. The council has a duty to make sure all children in Leeds are safe and well looked after, so we need to know if these arrangements are happening. We can also offer support and advice to people looking after other people’s children. If you are involved in a private fostering arrangement, please call the council on (0113) 222 4403 to let us know, and to get our help and support.

We’re working to make Leeds a child friendly city – you’ll find information about this at www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyleeds or read more on our blog.

Picture posed by models.

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