Anne is 15. She was placed in local authority care when she was 9 due to severe neglect. She still keeps in contact with her Birth Dad.
Anne missed a lot of her junior school and needs extra help in school to keep up. Anne can become very withdrawn and has found it hard to trust adults. She had four placements prior to living with Denise. Anne had a lot of responsibility when she was living at home so can be fiercely independent but has a good sense of fun.
Anne has been living with Denise since she was 13. The plan for Anne is that she will stay here until she finishes college.
“I like living with Denise as I really feel it makes a big difference having someone that will back you up no matter what. I would rather be living at home but I know that is not going to happen now.”
“I think living with other girls is good. We get together for family meals, DVD nights and that but we have got our own rooms if we need to be on our own. I don’t see my brother now, so these are the nearest to sisters I have got.”
Denise began fostering seven years when her own children left home. She cared for children from 5-16 for the first few years of her fostering career. She now specialises in caring for teenage girls who want semi-independent care. Denise’s strength lies in the fact she is able to offer stability and create an atmosphere where the young people offer each other mutual support. Denise believes in encouraging the young women to develop their own independent living skills.
“My home has always been a family home. It was just too quiet without someone to share it with.”
“I believe that by giving the girls a safe space and a place to belong it gives them a springboard to their own life. While they are living with me I like to give them loads of chances to make happy memories. Sometimes they face disappointments and difficulties and you live through that with them.”
“I have a great relationship with my supervising social worker. She lets me talk through any worries or concerns I have. Especially when Anne is going through a quiet spell. I need to talk through what I have tried and make a plan on how to support her best.”
“People say living with three teenage girls in the house must be a mare. I say don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. It works for us, it might for you.”
Viv has been the support worker for Denise for the last three years.
“We were able to set up occasional respite for Denise to enable her to recharge her batteries to be on hand for the girls.”
“We know for Denise and the girls she cares for that careful matching is important to keep the peace and stability in the household when considering a new placement’.
Denise looks after her own wellbeing by attending the support groups but makes the most of the regular supervision we offer. It is great to support Denise as she is so committed to the young people she cares for. She is giving them the stability they so badly need to and a family to be part of when they go on to get their own places.”