Alex’s Story*

Alex came to live with her foster carers after her relationship with her grandmother broke down. She has no other family members, or at least she doesn’t know where they are, so she ran away from home and ended up being taken to hospital after becoming involved in a violent altercation with a group of teenage girls.

Alex’s foster carers helped her to recover from this. At first, she presented as shy, quiet (though polite) and vulnerable. She was very impressionable, had low self-esteem and was superficially self-harming. She also required some encouragement around personal hygiene and maintaining a healthy diet. Getting her to stay in school for a full day seemed almost impossible – she just didn’t want to go.

Alex had also been used to coming and going as she pleased. For the first few weeks, she would go out and not come back until very late at night. Alex’s Social Worker was very worried about this, as she felt that Alex was at risk of sexual exploitation. Alex refused to say where she had been, or engage anyone in conversation. Alex’s foster carers worked in partnership with the local police to reduce the risk of Alex getting into trouble by going missing. Internet was restricted and she had a curfew with a rewards system in place.

As Alex settled in and was made to feel like part of the family, she stopped going out by herself late at night. Her carers also supported her to attend CAMHS appointments to help her with her emotional health. This really helped, and Alex’s appetite increased too. The carers taught her all about healthy eating and exercise, and they started to go out cycling together.

Alex started at a new school on a reduced timetable, and gradually built up to attending full time. Eventually, she confided in her carers that she’d been bullied at her previous school, and this was why she’d been so reluctant to go.

Now, eighteen months later, Alex is 16, and is very confident and happy. She has lots of friends in the local area. She’s on 100% attendance at school, is sitting on the student council and has even won an award for citizenship. She is learning independence skills and does lots of activities with her foster family. She eats well and looks after herself. Alex still has lots of issues to work through, but the nurturing approach of her foster family has transformed her life.

*Names and Photo’s have been changed to protect our young people’s and carers’ identity.

Charlie, Brandon and Ellie were all very young when they came into foster care due to neglect – 4, 3, and 2 respectively. Developmentally, they were very behind – Charlie, the oldest, had not started nursery and was still in nappies. All of the children were malnourished, had severe dental problems and limited verbal communication.

All of the children were placed together and their foster carers began by seeing to the children’s immediate health needs, liaising with various medical professionals. The carers did an amazing job: in what seemed like no time, Charlie and Brandon were toilet trained, speech and language therapy was under way, and the children were gaining weight and starting to look happier and healthier.

Read their full story here

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Head Office: 2nd Floor Lansdowne House,
85 Buxton Road, Stockport, SK2 6LR

0800 023 4450
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Parallel Parents is an independent fostering agency rated "outstanding" by Ofsted. We have over 20 years of experience and more than 200 foster carers looking after children and young people. We are a family run agency and believe that our child-focussed approach makes us really stand out from other agencies.