Sam’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.

“I wasn’t easy to look after, and I certainly tested her patience,” says Sam. But now he’s on the straight and narrow, Sam realises that Janet was the first person to really give him a chance in life. He needed someone who could gave him the space to do his own thing and allow him to make mistakes, but to also patiently guide him into the right decisions. “Something just changed in me and I started to listen to what Janet was telling me. I realised that life is easier when you make the right decisions so I started to make them.”

Now a plasterer, Sam has settled down with Lorna, who works with vulnerable children and young people as a family support worker. “It can be difficult at times,” she says, “but my job has given me a big insight into what fostered children have gone through and struggle with. I know where they’ve come from and so want to do everything I can to give them a chance in life.”

Like many others, Sam & Lorna had thought about fostering for many years but wanted to wait until they’d had their own child before they started fostering. Now their beautiful daughter, Summer-Mae, is two, they feel that the time is right for them. “Having Summer-Mae has been amazing” Sam says, “we just love being parents and want to give other children the same chances that she has.”

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

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.

Read Alex’s 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.