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“My foster family accept me as one of their own”

Jordan lives with his foster carer as part of Staying Put, where young people living in foster care have the right to stay with their foster families when they reach 18. Fostering has had a hugely positive impact on Jordan and staying with his carer past 18 has maintained stability and support in his life.

“When I first came to my foster carer I was not in the right shape of mind, my head was everywhere. And I was the boy known for naughtiness, having no manners and not caring about anyone. When I first arrived at my new home I never knew how to clean, cook or wash clothes. I literally just sat on my bed and cried my eyes out, I just couldn’t believe I was away from home.

But when I first met my foster family they made me feel welcomed and always gave me positive thoughts and encouraged me to always smile and achieve. My carer was always approachable and I could talk to her about anything at any time.

As time passed I started going back to school in Year 11, but I was getting sent home, excluded or having school meetings at least once a week. It got closer to my GCSEs and I was getting close to not being allowed to take my exams – and that’s when I just put my head down and revised.

The date finally came where my exams would start and I wasn’t confident at all, but when they finally finished it was like I had won the lottery. I got a call in the summer to say come and get your results and although I didn’t do as well as I wanted to I still came out with two C’s and a couple of D’s.

Then I went to college to carry on studying. When I finished I got an award for the Best Student Progression of the year and I got a job at Premier Inn – from then I have just totally changed as a person. To be good at something you have to not be good at something first.

My foster family accepted me as one of their own. Our foster family motto is ‘the only time you look down on anyone is when you’re helping them up’ and my foster family did that for me. I remember coming here for the first day when I was 14 and thought I was only going to stay for a day, then it went to two weeks – and now I’m 18 and Staying Put.

St Christopher’s has always been a great support to me and my carer and always will be.”

Staying Put offers young people the opportunity to stay with their carers and maintain the positive relationships they have built. They have more time to prepare for independence without the pressure and challenges that adulthood brings, which means they will be more likely to be successful when they move out.

Latest government figures show that only half of young people in foster care have a Staying Put arrangement, and this drops to only 31% by the time they turn 19. That’s why we are supporting The Fostering Network’s campaign for a minimum payment amount for carers looking after young people on Staying Put placements.

Could you change the life of a child like Jordan? Find out about becoming a foster carer below.

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