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Myth-busting foster campaign launches to recruit carers for teens in Gateshead

Foster a Teen

A new foster care campaign aims to myth-bust the misconceptions around fostering teenagers and encourage people to find out more about becoming a carer for older children.

Gateshead Council's fostering service is launching the new campaign as the number of teens in Gateshead looked after by the council reaches one in 50 - the highest percentage recorded by the authority.

For many people, misconceptions about teenagers in care are what stands in the way of becoming foster carers. The most common myth about teenagers is that they are in care because they are 'troublemakers' whose families could not cope with the responsibility. However, most teenagers are in care for the very same reasons as younger children. It's not that they have behavioural issues, but rather because of neglect and even abuse in their family home.

Andrea Houlahan, Deputy Strategic Director for Children's Social Care and Early Help at Gateshead Council said: "While it's not uncommon to find your teenage years challenging, they're especially difficult for teens who have had no other option than to be brought into care because of a family breakdown. 

"It is vital that these vulnerable young people get the stability they need to become well-adjusted adults. Your teenage years can have a significant impact on the rest of your life, and we know how much of a difference a supportive family home can make. By fostering a teen, you can help them to achieve their goals and live thriving lives."

Over 40 per cent (41.9%) of children in care in Gateshead are teenagers. Without more people coming forward to offer them secure homes, these young people may have to move into residential care or in with carers at the other end of the country.

Councillor Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Gateshead Council, said: "Leaving the community you've grown up in can be the hardest thing about entering the care system. Not only have our cared-for teens been through a family breakdown, but they are also often faced with leaving behind their friends if we can't find carers in the area.

"We welcome people from all walks of life to help our young people reach their potential while staying close to our Gateshead communities. As a foster carer, you will receive exceptional training and support from our fostering community, who have years of experience and expertise to share with you."

Find out more by visiting the fostering a teenager web pages or contacting the Council's fostering team on 0191 433 8333.

Foster a Teen
15 August 2022

A new foster care campaign aims to myth-bust the misconceptions around fostering teenagers and encourage people to find out more about becoming a carer for older children.

Gateshead Council's fostering service is launching the new campaign as the number of teens in Gateshead looked after by the council reaches one in 50 - the highest percentage recorded by the authority.

For many people, misconceptions about teenagers in care are what stands in the way of becoming foster carers. The most common myth about teenagers is that they are in care because they are 'troublemakers' whose families could not cope with the responsibility. However, most teenagers are in care for the very same reasons as younger children. It's not that they have behavioural issues, but rather because of neglect and even abuse in their family home.

Andrea Houlahan, Deputy Strategic Director for Children's Social Care and Early Help at Gateshead Council said: "While it's not uncommon to find your teenage years challenging, they're especially difficult for teens who have had no other option than to be brought into care because of a family breakdown. 

"It is vital that these vulnerable young people get the stability they need to become well-adjusted adults. Your teenage years can have a significant impact on the rest of your life, and we know how much of a difference a supportive family home can make. By fostering a teen, you can help them to achieve their goals and live thriving lives."

Over 40 per cent (41.9%) of children in care in Gateshead are teenagers. Without more people coming forward to offer them secure homes, these young people may have to move into residential care or in with carers at the other end of the country.

Councillor Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Gateshead Council, said: "Leaving the community you've grown up in can be the hardest thing about entering the care system. Not only have our cared-for teens been through a family breakdown, but they are also often faced with leaving behind their friends if we can't find carers in the area.

"We welcome people from all walks of life to help our young people reach their potential while staying close to our Gateshead communities. As a foster carer, you will receive exceptional training and support from our fostering community, who have years of experience and expertise to share with you."

Find out more by visiting the fostering a teenager web pages or contacting the Council's fostering team on 0191 433 8333.

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