Wolverhampton council will offer foster carers extra cash as part of a raft of rewards aimed at recruiting more carers onto the authority's books.
Wolverhampton has a chronic shortage of foster carers, with a minimum of 35 extra needed every year to cope with the high number of looked-after children in the city.
Now, council bosses have rubber-stamped a scheme to reward foster carers for the quality of care they provide, replacing the current system which sees pay determined by the number of years service offered.
Council bosses say they hope the scheme will address the ‘unbalanced’ provision of foster care in the city, which sees more than two thirds of children in care staying with foster families recruited by private agencies.
Currently, foster carers who have been registered for up to two years receive £170 per week, with the figure rising to £255 per week for nine or more years. On top of that they get a child allowance of between £137 and £236 depending on the age of the child.
The new scheme would see payments starting at £85 per week for one child with an additional children’s allowance, rising up to £600 once a foster carer has reached ‘specialist’ status.
This involves completing all three levels of a diploma in childcare.
Councillor Val Gibson, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “The scheme is aimed at recruiting foster carers.
“We want to offer them better rewards and hopefully more will come on board. At the moment, we have to use agencies for a significant number of children, which is more expensive and incurs an additional agency fee.
“The new package rewards our foster carers in relation to skills and expertise rather than for the length of time they have been with us. We also hope the scheme will help us to keep children in Wolverhampton rather than having to place them outside the city."
The scheme will also offer incentives to family and friend carers for the first time, while more money will be paid for carers who take on more than one child.
As part of the proposals, foster carers will be asked to agree to take children aged from 0-18 years when registering. Currently, carers have a bigger say over the age range of youngsters they accept.
The scheme was planned out over 18 months and was given the go ahead by Wolverhampton council bosses earlier this week.
The number of children in care in Wolverhampton has fallen from 780 to 715 in the last six months, but the city still has one of the highest proportions of looked after children in the country.
FtSE Member News: Barnardo's calls for more Asian families to foster children in Greater Manchester to represent wider diverse population
Children’s charity Barnardo’s is urging more Asian families to foster children across Greater Manchester.
The charity has identified Manchester would most benefit from having more Asian Foster carers.
Last year only four per cent of foster carers in Manchester came from Asian backgrounds, despite that fact 14 per cent of people in the city are Asian.
Charity bosses said it is important a diverse range of foster carers are available to fully represent society.
Barnardo’s chief executive, Javed Khan, said: “Children in Manchester reflect the city’s hugely diverse population.
It’s crucial that we can offer foster care to vulnerable children that is as unique as they are.
Foster caring is an incredibly rewarding experience that can help a vulnerable child and enrich their life when they most need it."
We are urging Asian would-be foster carers to use their unique skills and heritage to help change a vulnerable child’s life for the better.”
Tarah-Joy Baines, Barnardo’s North West senior family placement manager, said: “As society becomes increasingly diverse, the background of those who foster is not.
We want to encourage Asian foster carers to come forward, so that the sector is more representative.
If you think you have the skills necessary to help care for a child, I would urge you to contact your local Barnardo’s foster care team.”
Children may need fostering because their parent is sick, or they may have experienced abuse or neglect.
They often require love, stability and support from foster families.
It comes after the M.E.N revealed hundreds of children in care across Greater Manchester are being moved to new homes almost 30 miles away from their local communities.
The report, published by the Children’s society, found more than a fifth of those being moved far away were only told the day before.
Almost 2,000 youngsters were placed outside their local authority area, the report revealed.
Barnado’s is one of the UK’s leading children’s charities and works with more than 240,000 young people each year.
The charity runs more than 960 different services across the UK, including counselling for children who have been abused, fostering, adoption services and disability inclusion groups.
For Care Leavers' Week, foster carers and young people tell Community Care what the new Staying Put duty has done for them
Leaving home can be a daunting experience. Sadness, excitement, doubt and the gnawing fear that you don’t know how to iron properly are all common emotions.
For Mark Moorhouse, the idea of seeing Luke leave his home “really panicked” him, and the idea of living independently now “scares the pants” off of Luke.
Luke is Mark’s foster child. Now 18 years old, Luke has been with his foster family since he was 16 and, luckily, was eligible for Staying Put, the policy that means a local authority has to support young people in foster care from the age of 18 until they are 21, rather than them having to leave their foster families.
Mark says it was always their intention to allow Luke to stay past 18, because they didn’t feel he was ready, and the fact they qualified for Staying Put was a bonus.
“It’s a great idea, a brilliant plan, it gives you that security that you know you can still look after them, with that little bit of financial support, and you can still give them what [they] need,” Mark says.
Bernadette Moylon, a foster carer, agrees. Her daughter has been with her since she was 9. “[She] calls me mum, I would have found it very difficult at … 18 to say ‘No, you can’t stay here’.”
Like Mark, Bernadette always intended to house her daughter past 18 – “how could I turn her out?” – but she admits she was lucky.
“I had a large house so I did have room for her to stay and she’s lucky as well. That’s really what I object to,” Bernadette says.
When her daughter was 17 years old, Bernadette was paid £400 a week – £200 as a fee and £200 for keep. When this became a Staying Put arrangement, this became a flat rate of £120.
“What gets me is, if I was relying on the income, I wouldn’t be able to keep her, and I would have found that incredibly difficult to keep her. A lot of foster carers do rely on the income because it’s very difficult. I do work part time, but it is very difficult for some carers to find work outside of fostering and it just seems unfair it’s not funded properly,” Bernadette says.
This is her home
There is an expectation, Bernadette explains, that if the young person receives benefits or is – as is the case here – in full-time work, they pay their foster carer.
“You’re in the situation where she thinks of me as a mother, and I’m trying to get £120 a week off her… this is her home.”
Mark says the money is a big thing carers notice when a placement becomes a Staying Put arrangement. He fostered through a private agency, and said when Luke reached 18 the agency “washed its hands of him”, and then it was up to the authority to handle the arrangements.
“We were prepared for it, but it was the local authority we found that weren’t prepared for it because it is such a grey area. There are certain grey areas local authorities are not even aware of until it’s brought to their attention,” Mark explains.
These grey areas are reflective of a bedding in period as local authorities develop their policies, he thinks. An example of a practice he finds confusing is that his local authority insists on taking the arrangement to a review panel every three to four months. As a result, Luke “never feels settled”.
“What frustrates me is when we were looking after Luke they were saying to us all the way through his care, ‘he might be 17 but he’s got delayed learning and will only act like a 15/16-year-old’. But as soon as he turns 18 they say ‘he’s 18, he’s an adult he can do this for himself’.”
But it’s through staying that the benefits come: “He’s doing so well at college and when he first started he had no aspirations of college or anything – Now he’s got a career ahead of him.”
Bernadette agrees: “If I was in that position where I didn’t have room, and didn’t have capacity to take a drop in income, and she was moved in to independent living – she would not be in full-time work now, she would be one of our unemployed.”
Zoe Witherington is probably one of the best early examples of what Staying Put can do.
Currently in her third year at university, Zoe was an early adopter of the arrangement, so much so that the official Staying Put policy wasn’t in place when her and her family decided she should ‘stay put’.
“I was fostered out of the borough, I was in Essex and my local borough was in London, so they wanted me to go back to London and just leave the rest of my exams,” Zoe says.
She says a friend of hers went through the same thing as he approached 18: “He didn’t finish his A Levels or university because he was made to go in to a supportive lodgings place away from where he was studying. He really did struggle with the lack of support.”
Several years later Zoe still has a good relationship with her foster carers, and was part of the campaign to make the Staying Put policy exist.
“At that age the support they gave me was fundamental really. I was coming to the end of my A Levels, there was a lot of stress that you get through education and making your future plans for university, and I think the Staying Put programme really does help children implement the plans they make for their future,” Zoe says.
Watch the video ‘What can we do better for care leavers?’
Fostering News: Council that removed fostered children from their beds criticised for ‘knee-jerk’ response
Sandwell council has been advised to pay a foster carer and two children compensation after it did not properly assess the children's best interests
A council that removed children from a foster placement without showing it had considered their best interests has been criticised by the local government ombudsman.
An investigation found Sandwell council failed to demonstrate it had fully weighed up the options when removing two children, aged six and seven, from their beds 90 minutes after police told the authority their foster carer was going to be arrested.
The serious allegations made against the foster carer, who was the sole carer for the children, were later decided by police to be “unfounded and malicious”, according to the ombudsman’s report into the council’s management of the case.
The minutes of a Position of Trust meeting convened when an allegation is made against a person who works with children and chaired by a local authority designated officer, described Sandwell’s response as “knee-jerk”.
But the ombudsman emphasised the council’s failing was not in removing the children from their home in itself but that it had failed to record any assessment or discussion of the children’s best interests and was unable to produce any evidence it had considered alternative ways of separating them from their carer.
Dr Jane Martin, the local government ombudsman, said: “Essential safeguarding processes are in place not to add time and bureaucracy but to ensure children’s welfare is paramount.
“Clearly councils do not take a decision to urgently remove a child from their home lightly, however they must be able to demonstrate they have thought about all their options and considered the child’s best interests.”
In the Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance, councils are required to hold a strategy meeting when taking action to safeguard children. Sandwell did not hold a strategy discussion at any point in its handling of the case.
It also failed to carry out its duties under the National Minimum Standards for foster care services to provide independent support to people subject to allegations.
The foster carer complained he was not advised of his right to independent support or kept informed of the actions and decisions of the council.
He also complained Sandwell failed to return the children to him in the prescribed timescales after it was decided the allegations against him were unfounded.
The council has agreed to apologise to the foster carer and pay him £750. It will also apologise to the children in age-appropriate language and put £500 for each child into their savings accounts for when they leave care.
A copy of the ombudsman report will be placed on their files to help answer any questions they may have when they are older.
ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) has been chosen to lead one of the first Regional Adoption Agencies under a new government scheme to find adopters quicker for children in care.
PACT’s bid alongside Medway, Milton Keynes and Brighton and Hove local authorities was given the green light by the Department for Education (DfE).
They were one of 14 groups from across England who were handpicked by the government to form some of the country’s first Regional Adoption Agencies, brand new groupings of local council and charity adoption agencies that join forces with one single purpose – to place children waiting for adoption with their forever family without delay.
PACT Chief Executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are delighted that our bid was successful and are excited to be joining forces with our partners at Medway, Milton Keynes and Brighton and Hove councils.
“This is a new and innovative way of delivering adoption services and our vision has the children at the very heart of it.”
Too often Staying Put is seen as an event', the sector says as Community Care analyse the impact of the policy
“This one piece of legislation can be transformational for our care system. We believe if it is enacted and implemented properly, it will reduce the long-term negative outcomes for lots of children and young people [who are] care experienced.”
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, is talking about Staying Put, the policy that places a duty on local authorities to support children in foster placements past their 18th birthday to the age of 21.
Staying Put means local authorities have a responsibility to recognise these young people, and offer ongoing financial support to help the placement succeed and give the opportunity to remain to families who otherwise could not afford it. Brought in by the coalition government in 2014 it was, arguably, the most popular reform to fostering and care leavers’ policy made during the last government.
– The spirit of the policy is well intentioned, and something everyone regards as the right thing to do
– More than 1,500 care leavers are believed to have taken advantage of the policy
– Backed by £40m of government money over the next three years
– The rates foster carers are paid by local authorities after placement changes to a Staying Put arrangement
– That the money allocated is not sufficient
– Local authorities still not having Staying Put policies in place
– That it isn’t available to young people in residential care
– It isn’t available to every child, because that would make it unaffordable
There were concerns – the decision not to extend the same right to children in residential care has been a controversial one, which many have spoken up against – but overall the move was popular. The government backed local authorities with £40 million over three years to implement the policy, and figures released this month show that 1,560 care leavers last year stayed with their families for three months after their 18th birthday.
But, despite the policy’s popularity, in the year following Staying Put’s launch there have been further concerns over funding for councils and for carers, how local authorities will implement Staying Put, how this change effects the dynamic within families, and that recurring question of why the policy hasn’t been extended to residential care.
Under Staying Put arrangements some foster carers’ rates have fallen from £400 to £120 a week for the child in their care, which is particularly significant for those who foster as a full-time career.
“There’s a real implication of ‘can foster carers afford to keep young people?’,” Williams explains, “We’re seeing some local authorities not fully understanding that actually those foster carers not receiving the same level of funding means that has a direct impact on their ability to continue to foster.”
Sab Jagpal, practice support team lead on Staying Put for The Fostering Network, says councils have also voiced concerns about the £40 million earmarked for helping with Staying Put: “I think services have been very critical that that money hasn’t been ringfenced specifically for Staying Put. There’s no national standard or expectation around what that Staying Put allowance will look like.”
Some of the funding was “under-costed”, according to David Graham, national director of the Care Leavers’ Association. “This is one of those policies where you have to say not every foster child in foster care will be able to do it otherwise it would become unaffordable,” he says.
“We know from real life that not every young person is going to want to do that, which is fair enough, but if it becomes a really positive thing then you would want a lot more young people to be having it, in which case it is going to cost a lot more,” Graham adds.
Alison O’Sullivan, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, shares this concern, saying that local authorities are seeing “as we implement Staying Put for foster carers, the money that the government has allocated is not sufficient to meet the costs”.
’Problems in supporting Staying Put arrangements extend wider than just pay for foster carers.
“If you were a reasonable parent,” Williams explains, “and you have an 18-year-old who has started work, you may not charge them the full going rate in terms of rent and support costs. So reasonable parents might charge a small amount for an 18-year-old to remain living at home whereas, as part of the funding arrangements, the young person if they are working seems to be paying a large element towards their costs.”
It can be perceived, in this circumstance, that the young person who stays with foster carers and gets into work is being punished for the kind of success the policy is designed for.
Away from funding, there are wider implementation issues. Jagpal admits she has “seen sight of only a few revised policies to date”.
Duties not met
Chloe Cockett, policy and research advisor for The Who Cares? Trust, adds it is concerning that, a year after the legislation came into force, she is hearing about local authorities not fully meeting their duties.
For example, she says they are “putting conditions on young people being able to stay put, [or] having to be in education or training, or having to have been in their placement for a certain length of time. We have also heard of placements not being planned in advance, and young people being told that they can’t stay put at the last minute, which can obviously be traumatic for the young person.”
Concerns were expressed that the turnaround for the policy was too quick and that local authorities did not have enough time to prepare.
‘Basically a lodger’
Graham maintains that while the national policy is good and well-intentioned, it still hasn’t completely stopped the feeling of foster children reaching a “cliff-edge” when they turn 18.
“You stop being a looked-after child … although you’ve got a relationship, you are basically just a lodger. So legally they [foster carers] stop having that responsibility for you, we have heard that it changes the dynamic in the relationship,” he says.
Williams agrees: “It’s [a question of] how do we move from a system where foster carers have rights and control, [and] the young person is fully supported with a review structure and system, that when they reach 18 those supports also go. At 18 that young person is no longer in the looked after system, they no longer have reviews. With our own children a move to independence is a transition, it’s not an event, whereas too often I think Staying Put is seen as an event.”
This concern is echoed by Cockett: “Local authorities and former foster carers need to be ensuring that care leavers who are staying put must be well supported to be able to live independently once their Staying Put placement ends.”
In the Staying Put pilots “the key issue that wasn’t addressed was funding”, Williams says, and he believes there needs to be a process for fostered children who decide to leave home when they turn 18 but have an option to return later if this doesn’t work out for them.
Despite these concerns, no-one can, or wants to, discredit the intentions of the policy, and people have welcomed figures on the numbers of young people using it. Williams believes the policy will see long-term benefits for young people, and the state, through a reduction in mental health issues, criminality, drug and alcohol and misuse and other negative outcomes associated with care experienced people.
What’s next is how the policy grows, and how the concerns are addressed.
O’Sullivan says the policy and the process of implementing it has been “a bit clunky”. But she says the bigger question now is whether Staying Put in its current guise is sufficient. “[It’s] only for a relatively limited number of care leavers who will have that opportunity, and it raises the question of fairness and the extent to which that similar opportunity should be available to all children in care.”
A piece of paper
She also makes the case for extending the care leaving age for all children, and how long leaving care support lasts, arguing it could go up to 25 or 26 years old.
“It wouldn’t be the largest scale, most expensive thing that government chose to do this parliament if they chose to do that. I think they could make the difference to the lives of tens of thousands of young people who would have a better chance of becoming full citizens and contributing to society as adults for many years to come,” she says.
For Graham, there is a hope that during this parliament the government will extend the policy to residential care, “I think even they accept it is discriminatory, there are possibly legal and legislative things that need to be changed first,” he says.
As for Staying Put in foster care, Graham says: “The policy is good, but the policy is a piece of paper. It’s the people who, at the end of the day, make it work.”
How Staying Put has impacted the life of foster carers and young people will be voiced in a piece published on Community Care tomorrow, as part of our Care Leavers’ Week coverage.
The third annual Private Fostering in Wales statistics release was published by the Welsh government yesterday (21 October 2015), presenting information regarding private fostering figures in Wales for the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.
Private fostering arrangements occur when a child under the age of 16 (or under 18 if disabled) is cared for by a non-related adult under a private arrangement between parent and carer that lasts for at least 28 days. A private foster carer may be a family friend, a parent of the child’s friend, or someone previously unknown to the family who is prepared to foster a child. Local authorities have a duty to promote and encourage notification of private fostering arrangements, as well as to ensure that the welfare of privately fostered children is satisfactorily safeguarded. Visits to the children are included in these responsibilities.
The report’s key points are as follows:
A paper by Sophie Boswell and Lynne Cudmore, Child Psychotherapists
As child psychotherapists working within a Looked After Children’s team, we became concerned about the ways in which children were being moved from foster care into adoption. In our view this was being done very quickly, and with very little contact between children and their foster carers afterwards.
Finding a complete lack of research into this area, we carried out a piece of qualitative research, interviewing foster carers, adopters and social workers to analyse in detail five children’s moves into adoption. We found that the emotional experience of the child, particularly their experience of losing their foster carer, became less prominent in people’s minds during this transition. In what is a highly anxious time for the adults we found that for very understandable reasons they lost sight of what was happening emotionally for the child.
We hope this research will generate some muchneeded debate and further research into children’s moves into adoption, or indeed any move from one carer to another. We believe what is needed is a better integration of theory and practice so that we become more sensitive to children’s experiences during this transition, keeping the emotional experience of the child central in people’s minds.
We are collating feedback from foster carers and adoptive parents, as well as professionals, such as psychologists, social workers and IROs. We would love to hear from people who would like to share their views or experiences.
To view the full paper, along with Background, Research and Recommendations, visit:
Adopting and fostering can work for families of all ages. This week is National Adoption Week and here, one foster parent tells her story
For some, the presiding image of fostering and adopting might come from Jacqueline Wilson's The Story of Tracy Beaker, the original book that spurned five television series on the BBC.
But for many families, having children in care is far from fiction. Last year, over 69,000 children were in the care of local authorities; of those, 75 per cent were living with foster carers, while five per cent were placed for adoption.
Of course, the two ideas are quite different. Adopting a child is for life, whereas foster carers step in when parents are unable to. First4Adoption, the service dedicated to providing information and guidance about adopting in the UK, asks the following of those considering doing so:
This week is National Adoption Week, and now, thanks to an injection of cash from the Department for Education, over 2,000 families are receiving further help adopting children. £7m of government investment has been pumped into supporting families and giving them access to essential therapy services to help children settle into their new life.
With this, 14 Regional Adoption Agencies have been set up with the aim to help place children quicker than ever in stable, loving homes where they can thrive.
For those involved with adopting and fostering - of all ages - it wasn't always so. This much Avril Head knows well.
With her husband Ron, she has been involved with both fostering and adopting children for over 40 years. In 2014, they were awarded MBEs for services to children and families.
Now 63 and 66 respectively, with three birth children, two adopted children and two fostered children, their vital work looking after disabled children who urgently need someone to love them and bring them up properly continues.
“I often get told I should write a book,” Avril laughs. Her journey began in the late 70s. "We had had two children of our own and thought we would like to involve ourselves in a scheme that our local authority started up with gave families a break."
Her journey as a foster parent began here, and the local authority linked the Heads up with a family. "By the time we had our third child, we were taking in children from other families, as we’d got involved with social services to help with child care for those with disabled children.”
From there, the couple went into mainstream fostering. “Over that time, we fostered about 140 children,” Avril says.
During this period, the couple were still caring for the two children to whom they had been initially linked. “The house was brimming with children all the time. It was a lovely time. But of course, it has its drawbacks. We never knew what was going to happen one day or the next,” she says.
At the time when her peer group are enjoying the excesses of having grandchildren to spoil, the Heads' house is still full of children. And it's "exhausting", Avril says. "We're working harder than we've ever worked in our lives," she admits. "We should be slowing down and having days off and weekends in our caravan."
"It's very strange. It's almost like we've turned a complete circle. We began by helping out, trying to give people a break from their disabled children. Now, we're trying to do the same find people to give us a break!"
It is a life commitment, adopting and fostering. “A lot of people wonder why on earth we do it or how we did it, or why would you do it,” Avril says.
“We’ve gone from one thing to another because the situation has meant that that’s what we needed to do. We seem to be in a bit of a time warp. We’re doing the same thing now that we were doing 40 years ago – we’ve got nappies and a school route. Nothing has changed in 40 years.”
Life might not have changed much for the Heads, but Avril isn’t feeling the pressure. “We love the children, they’re a very important part of our lives. This is what our lives have lead to, we’ve chosen to do it, but I don’t know how we’d stop the wheel and get off.”
She is keen too to bust a couple of myths about both fostering and adopting. “One of them is the age,” she says. “People think that because you’re older you wouldn’t be able to do it, or you wouldn’t be accepted. What you have to do is turn your life around and ask yourself what would you be willing to accept. Ask, what can I do.”
The second myth is about disability: “children with a disability are probably far less complicated than mainstream children. We enjoy doing it because we find it so rewarding. If our children come home from school and they smile, it’s such an achievement. Something so small can give such an immense amount of pleasure.”
While life might not have moved on for the Heads, it has for their friends. And that’s okay, Avril says.
“A lot of our friends we had as teenagers have been lost on the way up. As we grew older our friends tended to have weekends away with no children but we always had nappies to carry around. It's okay though - we’ve ended up with masses of really good friends who are younger than we are.”
Avril remains happy. “People say fostering is a vocation, but we’ve just done it. We have a wonderful life really. Just every now and then there’s a tiny bit of us that we would like a break. But really, we don’t know how we’d get it.”
Dear Care Givers
This letter is designed to give a perspective of what an older foster youth feels when transitioning into a new home. Its purpose is to shed light on how that affects youth, and how caregivers can approach having a new young adult in their family. The Teen Success Agreement accompanied by this letter should assist both roles involved with fostering a person between the age of twelve and twenty-one.
I’m getting tired of moving, changing schools and having to find a way to make new friends. I don’t understand what it means to trust, because everyone I have chosen to has left or has been pushed away by me. It’s hard to accept the life I was born into. The unfit parents I have weren’t chosen by me. The expectation of where my life would be at this point is completely different than where I am at. I miss my mother and father. I hate them too. My siblings aren’t with me, so how can I trust in the bonds a family is supposed to have? This might be new to me, or maybe I have been in the system for years, but either way it’s difficult to make this transition. It’s hard to open my heart, my mind and accept those trying to care for me. I want this to work, but I am also afraid that it will.
There will be times, where it seems like everything is perfect and going just right. Then there will be times where my wall is up and just need my space. I might even run away a few times. Building up trust with me will be difficult and a bit stressful. We will have situations that will probably make you question why you should continue helping me or why you even chose to in the first place. I can be dishonest, manipulative, make you stay up at night worrying about what to do to make things better, but I want you to think about something. What teenager these days doesn’t do that to their parents?
It is actually quite a normal occurrence. I urge you to go on the web and look up the article Teen and Parents in Conflict. This can give insight on the struggles that parents face, who have raised from birth a teenager, who now gives them more conflict than ever expected. Then I ask that you take into account that those, who are raised in foster care, are typically troubled but have the desire to live just as normal of a life as any other person not in their situation. We want to be accepted. We like to test and push buttons, to see just how committed you are to us. We are young and just looking for a family with unconditional love that accepts us for who we are, that does this because they want to help and to make a difference in a person’s life.
Give us this, along with some patience, and you will see the walls that are built up start to crumble. You will see the strength we have and the loyalty. You will experience our enormous capacity to love and our ability to become part of a family, with everything we have. You will feel the joy of watching us transition through life, instead of to another home. Foster parents, in my eyes, are the ones who make impacts, in so many troubled kid's lives worldwide, and they don’t get enough acknowledgements, for that. In my eyes, you are the heroes who helped mold my life and keep me off the streets or away from parents, who weren’t able to be parent’s yet. I hope for those going through similar circumstance to have a hero, or heroes, just as I was able to. I’ll end this with a quote I heard, in response to the question, “Why do you foster? Well, I guess my heart is just bigger than my brain.”
A Former Foster Youth - Brian Morgantini (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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