Joe, now aged 15, had been living in a children’s home and with his friends was participating in anti-social behaviour. Just before Joe’s 14th birthday, he moved in with his Action for Children Foster Carers and started the 9 month intensive fostering programme (Treatment Foster Care Oregon) with us. Below is Joe’s story in his words.

Request an information pack today

"Living my life in a care home, I moved to foster care three days before my 14th birthday – which was a lot different to my 13th birthday when my friend got arrested for scratching a car.

We’d go out and get drunk, try weed, laughing gas – I was offered cocaine – not something I wanted to try, but we did stuff and, well, things got messed up.

I wanted a better future and was told about Action for Children foster care and a special programme for kids like me. I signed-up. The first time I saw my foster carers was during a visit when I got shown a family book. I thought one of the carers was a chef, he actually just likes to cook. I moved in, unsure that I’d last out as there were a lot of boundaries and I was used to more freedom.

Request your free information pack today if you think you could help kids like Joe.

But I stuck with it, they stuck with me. They showed real understanding when I was excluded from school, a chance for me to explain what had happened. They sorted out a meeting with the school, kept me in there – I’m now on course to get an A* in Science and I’ve asked for extra tuition in English, Maths and Science to make sure the future I want, happens."

I stayed with the programme, my carers stayed with me.

"Thanks to them, I’ve managed to reconnect with my dad, join Army Cadets. I’ll join the army when I’m old enough. And if I can, one day I’d like to work for NASA. The best advice I can give foster carers joining the programme, is don’t be too strict, listen – and have a laugh. Talk to them about what’s going wrong. Praise what’s gone well and encourage this behaviour."

"The best advice I can give to someone like me joining the programme, is look to your future. To get to where you want to go, you have to build up to it – it’s like building a car, if it goes wrong, start again. It’s a new start and some things are worth waiting for."

Find out more and request your free information pack if you think you could help kids like Joe.