London Borough of Barnet

Film aims to encourage more people to foster teenagers

Published Tuesday 9 October 2012

Deciding that a child or young person shouldn’t live with their family is never easy or clear cut. Neither is the decision to become a foster carer.

To help encourage more foster carers to come forward and offer to look after young people and teenagers; a partnership of five local authority fostering services collaborating as the North London Fostering Consortium has made a short film featuring real life foster carers explaining what looking after young people is like; and the affect fostering has had on theirs and the teenagers lives.

The North London Fostering Consortium is made up of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.
You can watch the film and to find out more about fostering.

There is an ever growing need for more people to come forward and help look after young people and teenagers. Approximately 480 teenagers are currently in foster care to Barnet, Haringey, Camden, Enfield and Islington councils. 

There are many negative perceptions of teenagers, even more so of the teenagers who come into the care of local authorities. Many young people are viewed unfairly as challenging and difficult to care for. As a result, the majority of people coming forward to say they are interested in fostering only say they will look after young children or babies.

The new 10 minute film challenges the negative perception and features foster carers and care leavers talking honestly about their experiences of fostering and the skills required to be a foster carer for teenagers.

Featured in the film is Barnet Care Leaver, Crystal, who says “My foster carer made me who I am today. She changed me for the better.  She got me through school.  She’s even still on my case now, about what I want to do.  She always sits down with me to talk through my ideas.  She’ll always be in my life.” 

The film premiered on Wednesday 3 October at Cineworld, Wood Green with the support of leading fostering charities the Fostering Network and the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).

Peter Stevens, Manager of North London Adoption and Fostering Consortium said:

“We hope the film will challenge the negative perception of fostering teenagers and encourage strong role models who are able to support and champion our looked after teenagers at this crucial life stage to come forward as foster carers. 

“The film will directly support each borough in our collective aim to recruit more foster carers specifically for teenagers and by working collaboratively as the North London Fostering Consortium, we’ve been able to produce a high quality recruitment film that would have been unachievable as individual boroughs.”

Councillor Andrew Harper, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families, said: “Finding their feet in a complex world can be difficult for any teenager, but when they have the added complication of a difficult home life – usually for reasons beyond their control – it can be even more challenging. Teenagers are often viewed by adults as being petulant, sullen or moody, but underneath it all they still need to feel safe, wanted and cared for. This stability is what foster caring can bring to a young person’s life. Please, watch the film and think seriously about whether you could offer a teenager a temporary home. Fostering changes lives.”

If you live in Barnet and are thinking about whether you could be a foster carer why not attend our information evening on Tuesday 16 October – 6.30pm – 8.30pm, The Eversfield Centre, 11 Eversfield Gardens, Mill Hill, NW7 2AE. You will be able to chat about fostering in an informal setting with some of our current foster carers and members of the fostering recruitment team.

You can also directly contact Barnet Council’s Fostering Team by:

·  Register your interest using our online form

Email or
Phone 020 8359 6274  

Press Contact: Sue Cocker

Press Office