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Celebrating Foster Care Fortnight

Published: 25 April 2018

We meet Lewis and find out how being fostered helped him to get a job he loves

To celebrate Foster Care Fortnight (14-27 May) we've come to Woking to meet Children's Right's Apprentice Lewis. He came into care in Surrey when he was 11 years old and explains how fostering helped him to get 12 GCSEs and get a job that he loves.

"I remember two social workers arriving at my home and telling me to quickly pack some clothes and important belongings because I was leaving. It was the week before my 11th birthday and I was leaving my home in London to go into care in Surrey and I would remain there and in foster care until I was 18.

My early childhood consisted of neglect and physical abuse and when I came into foster care I had no idea how to keep myself clean, my teeth were really bad and I was behind at school. Food was always an issue and my brother and I often had to steal from the local shop in order to eat.

My foster carers were lovely and gave me a real sense of self-worth. They provided me with boundaries that I hadn't had before. I'd never had a normal bedtime until I went to my foster carers and believe me, kids actually appreciate routine and rules, it shows someone cares. Everything that my foster carers did for me, provided me with stability and helped me to settle away from my birth family.

Because developmentally I was behind my peers at school, my foster carers arranged for me to receive extra tuition, to help me catch up with school work. I remember at the time thinking that I seemed to spend so much time studying, but I worked hard and looking back I'm so grateful for what they did for me. The support and love they showed me enabled me to do well at school and be a success. I left school with 12 GCSE's

After going to college I came to work for Surrey County Council and currently I'm a Children's Rights Apprentice here. My role is really varied and involves working alongside young people in care creating events for them. I also take forward any concerns that they have to help improve the care system for them, whilst offering a young person's first hand perspective. I also run a group for young children in care and support them. I wouldn't change my job for the world, I love it."

More foster carers are needed to help children like Lewis make the most of opportunities in life such as continuing their education, getting some qualifications and ultimately getting a job.

We welcome enquiries from everyone, whether you are married or single, straight or gay, from another culture and whether or not you have children of your own. You do need a spare room, but it's OK if you rent.

If you're interested in finding out more, why not come along to one of the fostering events that the team are hosting during Foster Care Fortnight. Alternatively you can give them a call on 0800 096 96 26 and arrange for a home visit. Someone from the team can arrange a time to come and see you at your own home Monday – Friday, 9am – 9pm.

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