Foster care in South Yorkshire: Andrea’s story of providing a home for a teenager will inspire you to find out more

Find out more with Team Fostering. Stock imageFind out more with Team Fostering. Stock image
Find out more with Team Fostering. Stock image
When single mum Andrea was thinking about fostering, to help make a difference to young peoples’ lives, she had her doubts.

Andrea is a mum of a grown-up daughter, and even though she joined Team Fostering because she was keen to be a foster carer, she wondered if she would be able to cope on her own.

An experience giving a home for three months to a young 19-year-old woman from Ukraine, helped to change Andrea’s mind.

Andrea provided a place of safety for the young woman who had fled the war, and who was trying to be reunited with her family.

Become a foster carer in West Yorkshire. Stock imageBecome a foster carer in West Yorkshire. Stock image
Become a foster carer in West Yorkshire. Stock image

After this positive experience, Andrea reconsidered fostering.

Andrea had initially thought about fostering younger children, as stories she had heard about fostered teenagers had made her unsure about that age group.

Andrea’s story will encourage others in South Yorkshire

She’d heard teenagers could steal, or run away without warning; yet Andrea’s experience has been totally different.

Now it is hoped that Andrea’s story will encourage others in South Yorkshire to find out more about becoming a foster carer to teenagers.

The perception of offering foster care is to young children, but teenagers need just as much support.

Hundreds of teens join the care system every year and Andrea says: “You need to be open-minded because it’s not the young person’s fault they’re in care.”

Andrea decided to foster a teenager and was soon matched with J, a girl in her mid-teens.

Andrea soon discovered that J was a typical teenager “sometimes stroppy” who had never “been told no”. J was testing boundaries and pushing limits. She didn’t have any routines in place and school attendance was poor.

Exams loomed, and Andrea told J that she needed to “work her socks off” to pass her exams.

Your goal is to be diplomatic with teenagers

To Andrea’s delight, J did exactly that. The teenager passed the exams with the grades she needed to follow her chosen career of working with children.

And all because of Andrea’s encouragement.

Andrea says: “Your goal is to be diplomatic with teenagers; treat them like an adult but be smart about it and encourage them to make the right choices.”

J was appreciative of the support, and told Andrea “if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have done this”.

With Andrea’s help, J experienced things in life other teenagers can take for granted, such as holidays, or even seeing a sheep in real life for the first time.

Andrea helped to change J’s life; and in turn, the change in Andrea’s life has been supported by Team Fostering.

She was able to contact the experts at Team Fostering any time she needed advice and support, which, Andrea says, “has been outstanding”.

Andrea can ring for advice at any time and “even if it’s something they need to find out more about, you always get a response straight away” she says.

Find out more about fostering at these recruitment events

Team Fostering is holding recruitment events in January.

If you would like to make a difference to a teenager’s life in 2024 and beyond, then a first step would be to find put more about fostering with guidance from Team Fostering.

There are in-person drop-in sessions at Team Fostering offices, plus a chance to meet the team in the community, as well as online events.

To find out more, and to choose the way forward which is best for you, go to the Team Fostering website