Louise fosters teenagers

Louise lives in Stockport, Greater Manchester. She has been a foster carer for seven years. After a career in nightclub management and time spent as a sale manager she decided that she needed to do something with her life that was more aligned with her personal values.

This led to becoming a foster carer; more specifically a foster carer for teenagers.

“I really enjoy mentoring people,” she explains. “In every job I’ve ever had. I love watching people develop. And with that in mind I thought I’d give fostering a go.”

Seven years later Louise has a wealth of experience and stories and has developed a remarkable ability to relate to the young people in her care.

“The teenage years are complex at the best of times,” she says. “They need stability. I remember when we started to foster young people we got an emergency call to look after a teenager for a couple of days. She stayed with us for thirteen months. In that time I learned so much and discovered that teenagers really were my niche. It might be because I feel I can relate to them so much.”

When pressed about the secret of being a successful carer Louise is certain of a few things.

“It’s all about listening,” she says. “I learnt pretty quickly that you don’t build a strong relationship by talking at children. You need to listen. If you do that eventually they’ll start opening up and you can build a real relationship that will pay dividends when you start to see their true identity develop and they really start to believe in themselves.”

And does she have any advice for anyone interested in becoming a foster carer?
“Oh yes,” she laughs. “Expect the unexpected, be able to laugh at yourself and don’t take things too seriously. With that in mind you can genuinely make a difference in the life of a young person.”