Care leavers

Group of young people

Finding safe, secure and happy homes for young people in care is vital in order to help them achieve their full potential. Here you can find out more about what it means to be a young person in care and how foster carers can play such an important role in a young person's life.


Twenty six year old James* knows what a difference a happy home and a good foster carer can make.

Taken into care as a young boy he moved between children's homes, hostels and different foster carers until he found one that made all the difference.

Now settled in his own flat in Heanor, James reflects on how one woman turned his life around.

After going into care aged 11 James struggled to come to terms with why he couldn't be with his own family.

He says:

"It was really hard to deal with as I didn't understand why it was happening. I would do bad stuff to get moved out of places because I didn't want to be there."

James moved around between different foster carers to children's homes until he meet Alison*, a foster carer who he says changed his life.

"I went to stay with Alison when I was 13 and stayed until I was 16. She helped sort me out. I was getting into lots of trouble at school and she helped me to be better.

"She showed me all the basics like how to cook, clean and gave me any other help that she could. She even helped arrange it so that I could go away on a school trip."

James is now in college, studying to fulfil his dreams of working in the music industry and he credits Alison with that.

He says:

"Alison helped me to cope − she turned me around. She was really decent and gave so much good advice."

James knows the difference that having a stable, caring home can make to a child in care. Even though he is no longer in contact with Alison it's clear she has left a lasting impression.

He says:

"Having a foster carer like Alison meant I could form a bond, build a relationship and have someone who was just like a mum to me."

*names have been changed