In Somerset, there are currently more than 500 children in care, and with roughly 200 in-house foster carers, we do not have enough foster carers to meet demand.
Below are the stories of some children looking for foster homes. The names of the children may have been changed to protect their identity and stock images may have been used. Some of the children may have gone on to be adopted or placed with permanent foster carers, but these profiles should give you an idea of the kinds of children that need families.
Ben's Story - aged 8
Ben has had a very traumatic life and suffered all kinds of abuse from his parents. He needs a lot of support to work through what has happened to him.
Ben just wants affection, attention and somewhere to run around outside he loves to spend time outdoors!
He deserves a happy home with nurturing, patient people who will be kind to him.
Taylor's Story - aged 12
Hello I’m Taylor. I’m am a confident, funny 12 year old who is full of energy.
My great loves are singing, dancing and performing gymnastics. I like going to school and get on well with staff and everyone who helps me. My life has not been easy – I’ve experienced neglect, loss, trauma and violence. This has given me a sense of unpredictability and made me feel frightened.
At first, I can find it difficult to trust people and I need reassurance and consistency to help me feel safe. When I get to know someone, however, I relax and enjoy sharing my hobbies and interests, performing dance routines and having fun conversations. I did get enough affection and care when I was little. This sometimes makes me feel threatened by others receiving attention, as it is difficult for me to believe that someone can do that as well as meeting my needs.
A father figure would really help me, so I’d like a family where there is at least one male carer. I need a family who can support me, help me find ways to process what’s happened to me in my life and express my feelings in a healthy way.
Jack's Story - aged 11
Hello I’m Jack. I’m a fun, sociable and mischievous with a great sense of humour – I love jokes and have a real gift for impressions of people and animals. I really enjoy going to school and living in a family environment. Like a lot of children my age, I really enjoy watching YouTube commentaries on Minecraft.
Life began for me in a very frightening, chaotic way and I’ve experienced great loss in my life. No one gave me enough care and attention or soothed me when I felt frightened. It’s difficult for me to understand my feelings sometimes or find a sense of self-worth. I need someone to tell me ‘everything’s going to be okay’, as so often when I was little – it wasn’t.
I need someone really committed to me, who’s in it for the long haul – someone who will really be there for me as I grow up and make me feel like I truly belong.
Rory's Story - aged 2
Rory is a beautiful, smiley little boy who loves to explore and meet new people.
Rory had a chaotic start to life because his mother was in a refuge fleeing domestic violence. Rory needs a safe, stable and loving home to help him recover from that trauma. Rory is very contented and loves adult company. He is not developing as quickly as other two year olds because of his early life experiences.
Rory needs nurturing foster carers, who will take him to all his medical appointments, give him the attention he deserves and lots of time to socialise with other children.
Kelly's Story - aged 15.
Kelly is a 15 year old girl, who has had a really difficult time. She’s experienced parental drug abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse. This is something she finds it very hard to talk about it and she will need patience and kindness.
Despite experiencing aggression her whole life, Kelly has never hurt anyone.
Kelly loves going to school, when she sets herself a goal she will strive hard to achieve it. She has a strong sense of identity, enjoys experimenting with hair and make-up and loves a pamper day.
Kelly needs a foster home with calm, clear boundaries and just wants someone to sit and listen to her; to help her work through her tough experiences as a young child.
Being a teenager is hard but it’s even harder when you don’t have somewhere stable to live or study.
Young teens are incredibly vulnerable and can be overlooked. It’s a great shame as they have so much to offer.
Charlotte in Glastonbury had a tough childhood and has shared how the dedication of her Stepping Stones carer Jo changed her life: “She is such a lovely person. I really like my room and knowing I always have a safety net to go back to has really helped me start studying again and gain work experience.”
Aimee has been a child in foster care and has gone on to do really well.
She now working with the ‘leaving care’ team at Somerset County Council and has a beautiful little girl of her own.
She talks about the first moment she realised she could trust her foster carer…..
Aimee is very grateful for the support she’s received, but there are other teenagers that need your help Aimee explains why:
My name is Robyn. I like writing stories, swimming, drawing random stuff, playing video games and playing the guitar.
When I first came into care I was scared. It was an emergency placement, so I was thrust into a new environment very quickly, but I have met lots of nice people while in the system.
When I met Amanda and Steve it was a breath of fresh air. I had been in a bad place with bad people, but Amanda and Steve were just so nice and relaxed, they loved joking about and were just really chilled. They’ve made me part of the family by always including me in the big stuff. When they go out I go with them and it’s always enjoyable. They’ve supported me through a lot. They’ve helped a ton with my anxiety and always support me to improve my confidence in myself and in how I present myself to others.
With school they always try to make sure I get good grades, like finding me a maths tutor or looking for writing workshops. One of my biggest dreams is to become an author. To have one of my stories on the bookshelf would mean everything to me. With the support I get with my schoolwork or Amanda and Steve helping me with my stories, it might just happen.
Without my foster carers I don’t know where I would be, but I know I wouldn’t have such amazing support or the opportunities I have.
Lily's Story - aged 11
Lily is 11, enjoys swimming, is interested in drama and enjoys going to plays. She also loves horses. We’re seeking special, understanding foster carers to help her make positive progress.
She has had a very difficult few years in Care. Initially she was placed with foster carers but she struggled to manage in a home environment.
For the last year or so she has been in a residential placement where she has made a lot of progress. Lily will need resilient carers, who can understand the reasons behind certain behaviour, and respond appropriately.
Lily has maintained her place at school through the period of difficulties she has had, and is looking forward to transferring to the local secondary school with her friends. Lily is requesting another foster family near to her school, and says she wants to have a normal family life.
Could you be Lily’s forever family?
Jamie & Joseph's Story - aged 5
Jamie and Joseph are beautiful five year old twins.
They currently live with with loving and dedicated foster carers. However these foster carers have been doing an amazing job looking after children for many years and need to retire soon. Could you be the person or couple who could offer them a forever family?
What their foster cares say about Jamie and Joseph:
“They are both such lovable children, everyone falls in love with them, they have great personalities with their own characters, so you see beyond their disabilities.”
Jamie has a lovely smile, is laid back and loves cuddles, music and Fireman Sam.
He is a great sleeper and really enjoys swimming, he loves school and is getting on really well.
When Jamie is happy he smiles and giggles and waves his arms around.
Joseph is also a great sleeper and loves school. His favourite thing is going horse riding and he really enjoys being in the car.
He likes to explore, play with toys and hum nursery rhymes.
Jamie and Joseph need some very special people to look after them. As the children have significant needs, we’re looking a really great foster care to take care of them.
Could you offer Jamie and Joseph a long term foster home?
Alex's Story - aged 8
Alex likes cars, playgrounds and playing with water. He’s a great eater and a good sleeper.
Alex is a sweet little boy who is happy, contented and a joy to be around.
Alex has particular physical and severe learning difficulties so his family need a little extra help occasionally.
In a few months time, 8 year old Alex’s respite carer has to retire. Could you take over as his short break carer?
Katie's Story - aged 9
Katie is an articulate, beautiful young lady looking for a long term foster home. She loves dancing, especially ballet, drawing, reading and Lego. Katie is a girly girl who enjoys dressing up and special one-to-one time.
Katie loves days out, including trips to the park, café and to local attractions. She recently visited a local farm and loved feeding the animals.
Alex & Steven - aged 6 and 9
Alex and Steven are two brothers aged 6 and 9 who are very close, and are looking for a foster family to live with long-term.
Steven is as a sensitive young man with an enquiring mind. He enjoys drawing, football, singing and music, swimming, reading and maths.
Alex is a lively little boy who is eager to chat with adults. Alex is very sociable and can be cheeky at times. Alex is thriving at school, and enjoys all aspects. He loves to read every evening and learn his spellings with his foster carer.
The children enjoy having regular contact with their parents and older siblings. They need a permanent family who can help them make sense of their past and help them grow in confidence and self-esteem.
Could you be that foster family?
Short Break Carer needed for Anna - aged 16
There’s more to me than cerebral palsy. Hello I’m Anna! I am 16 years old with a love for music, television and being pampered. I have cerebral palsy and as a result I rely on my parents and carers to meet all of my health and care needs.
I currently spend three nights a week living at home with Mum, Dad and my brother. However, my Mum and Dad have difficulty managing my needs so I also spend three overnights in a children’s home and one overnight stay with a short break carer. I have known them since I was a little girl. My Mum and Dad are finding it increasingly difficult to look after me, due to their own needs. As I get a bit older, it is likely I will be moving out of my family home, so I am looking for someone else who I can live with. My Mum and Dad are important to me and I am important to them, so I would like to maintain a relationship with them.
I know my own mind. Whilst I know my own mind, and my likes and dislikes, I also have complex health needs which I am not able to meet myself. I require support with my personal care needs including bathing, dressing and continence care. I receive my food, fluid and medication via a gastrostomy and am not able to consume anything orally, because I cannot swallow. I do have a suction machine but am often able to clear my airway myself. I can become ill with chest infections during the winter months.
I am a wheelchair user and, as such, require support with moving and handling, including being hoisted. I require other specialist equipment including a shower trolley and a home chair. My limbs can become stiff but my physiotherapy at school helps with this. I communicate through non-verbal signs – if I am uncomfortable, I will push my hips forward and groan/shout out.
Help me get through college. If I am saying ‘yes’ to something I will give you a long hard blink. I also have a tablet at school which I have recently started to use to help aid my communication. I can ‘point’ with my eyes but require patience to give me time to do this. My eyesight and hearing are good! I am due to start college in September.