A FOSTERING agency is desperate to recruit new foster carers.

Nexus Fostering which covers Worcestershire is hoping to find more foster carers particularly to take on teenagers, siblings and parent and child placements.

Recruitment manager Pete Norman said: "We have a lot of children over the age of 10, that is predominantly the age range coming into the system at the moment. We also need people who can take siblings so we can keep them together, which can be quite challenging. Also, sometimes you will get a parent with a baby, often it is the mother but sometimes it's the father and they need support and guidance on how to bring up the child."

Mr Norman said: "It's quite a big commitment, the children in placement are part of the family and are in your house, but we offer quite a lot of help and support. You have your own social worker."

It takes around four to six months to be assessed to be a foster carer and before carers are given children they are given training on the basics of foster caring. If the child has specialist needs, carers will be given training on a range of issues such as gang involvement. Mr Norman said: "They will be given support to match the child's needs but also the carers. needs."

"All the foster carers I have met have loved fostering. It is life changing. Sometimes the child hasn't even had basic routine like getting up at a certain time, or proper food. You are changing a child's life and helping them move on from traumatic experiences."

Mr Norman said it is wise to be open minded when going into fostering.

"Every child is different. Sometimes a a person will come to us and say, 'we want a younger child with not many extra needs' and then they realise that what they need is quite different. The process is very good self reflection. You look into how your parents looked after you, your own childhood, your experience at school, any trauma that you might have gone through, everything.

It really is a learning process for the carer and for the child."

Mr Norman said: "Sometimes the reality of fostering can be quite different. You definitely learn resilience and a lot of empathy because some of the children have been through more than most adults have been through."

"It's about managing your expectations of what the child can achieve. For some children it's just steps in the right direction like being able to brush their teeth or dress themselves."

To find out more contact 0800 3890145.