Couple call for more foster carers

John and Stephanie Forbes at the Child Friendly Leeds Awards
John and Stephanie Forbes at the Child Friendly Leeds Awards
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Caring John and Stephanie Forbes have spent the past three decades fostering teenagers in Leeds.

The couple, who were awarded an MBE for their services to fostering in 2009, were inspired to become foster carers after reading an article in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

And the pair, who won an award at the first Child Friendly Leeds Awards, say their greatest reward is meeting with adults who they fostered as teenagers, and seeing them parent and care for their own children.

They are encouraging more foster carers to help give teenagers a fresh start in life.

They said: “Most teenagers go through a difficult time, but a looked after child, in the majority of cases, has come from a very complex situation far different from the experience of our own youngsters.

“Sometimes you can work with the young person’s birthparent to return the child into the care of their families, in some cases after many years of separation. This is something we have done on a number of occasions and feel a great deal of satisfaction from it.”

Leeds City Council bosses are appealing for more people to come forward to look after teenagers.

The evening will give people the chance to find out what it is like to look after a teenager in care and see what support is available.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “Fostering a teenager can be a challenging but extremely rewarding thing to do. This is why we need to find those amazing people who are robust, energetic, empathetic and caring and able to rise to the challenge.”

The event will be at Waitrose, in Meanwood, on February 27 at 7pm.

Dr Tom Dobson, course director at Leeds Beckett University.

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