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.

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"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.

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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.
Joe
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"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.