Peterborough foster carers back new campaign to encourage more people to sign up
A Peterborough couple who are fostering four children have backed a campaign to encourage others to become foster cares.
Throughout July, foster carers Sue and Colin Stepney from Werrington will feature in a YouTube mini-series, created by Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, to showcase their day-to-day role. Including all the highs, lows and laughter they have experienced in fostering.
Both councils offer new foster carers support, guidance, and training in those early stages of the process.
Sue (63), who currently fosters four children with her husband Colin, said: “Fostering is about being a cog in the wheel of a child’s life. For us, it is the joy we feel watching a child or young person develop, knowing that we have played a part in shaping who they are and making memories with them.
“Often children in care have had a difficult start in life, so we treat them as family, and this teaches them valuable lessons about relationships. We also try to show how as a family unit you can resolve conflict in a calm way.”
Colin (64) added, “We treat them as if they were our own children, they are family. Just like with your birth children, all parents make mistakes, but children don’t want people who are perfect, they just want to be put first.”
Sue and Colin have fostered many teenagers during their time as foster carers and have been fostering for 10 years.
Sue added: “Caring for a teenager is all about respecting their identity. We are quick to forget how we were as a teenager and if they wish to stay in their room playing games then we give them their space and don’t force them out, instead go in learn about their interests, no matter how daft you sound.”
Councillor Lynne Ayres, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for children’s services added: “Sue is a great example of how our foster carers go above and beyond to make sure we offer love, stability and a nurturing home. Our children need people who can help them thrive through the difficult situations.”
Age, ethnicity, gender identification or sexual orientation are not barriers to fostering. The only requirements are that prospective foster carers are over 21 and have a spare bedroom in their home and genuinely want to care for and help children and young people.