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Young Barnstaple carer wants others to foster to support children in need

As under 25s in England face bleak employment prospects as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, one of our foster carers, Suzanne, is encouraging other young people to consider a  career in fostering due to the security, stability and flexibility it offers.

Suzanne, a former nursery manager and support worker for adults with learning disabilities for over 12 years, first considered fostering when her mum passed way from cancer four years ago. After she lost her mum, Suzanne felt the need something new to motivate herself. Working with children at her local nursery alongside caring for adults with additional needs for over a decade, led Suzanne to believe she could extend her skills outside the nursery and residential homes to take on a new challenge and provide a safe and loving home to those in need.

In 2017, Suzanne left her jobs to become a full-time foster carer with us and is currently looking after a 14-year-old young person on a long-term basis, meaning they will stay with Suzanne until she is able to live independently as an adult.

Speaking about her experience as a young carer, Suzanne said: “There’s this misconception that fostering is something for older people or for people who have brought their own children up. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Of course, fostering has its challenging moments, things aren’t easy all the time. For me, it’s all about having the right support around me through friends, family or my social worker, and being equipped with the right tools… Regardless of age, sex, gender, race or religion, fostering is all about the compassion and care you can give to a child. I think if you can provide that, you will see some incredible changes in the young people you care for, which makes everything worth it.

“It is also reassuring knowing my career isn’t at risk since foster carers are needed so much more than ever before.”

Young people make great foster carers, and we are always in need of them, particularly as the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped us from recruiting foster carers. In some areas, we’ve actually seen an increase.

If you’re looking for a career with progression opportunities alongside flexibility, a vocational career, like fostering, could be a great option.

Picture by Jim Wileman.

For more information on foster care, contact Five Rivers Child Care on 0345 266 0272 or

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