We know fostering can change young people’s lives forever but it’s always good to see the evidence stacking up to prove it.
A joint study by the University of Oxford and the University of Bristol in 2015 found that children who live with foster parents did better than those who remained with their own families with social worker support.
The study looked at just over 13,500 GCSE students that were living with their birth families but receiving support from social workers and compared their exams results with 4,800 children who had been living in care for at least a year.
Those living with foster families gained GCSEs that were at least six grades higher on average – and the longer kids were living with their foster parents the better they did.
Richard Norwood, business development director at GLF, said: ‘We work with young people day in and day out who we see benefiting from the stability that foster care can offer them. Unfortunately we are always in need of people who are willing to foster teenagers.
‘People worry that older children would have developed bad habits or a chaotic lifestyle that they won’t be able to manage or help them move on from. But we know from talking to our carers that the difference you can make to a young person’s life can be overwhelming rewarding and worth the challenge.’
And don’t just take our word for it.
Adam, now 17 from London, spent most of his teens with his foster parents: ‘Yes, they gave me my own room to study in and a structured daily life where I could have the time, space and quiet to study properly. But more importantly they gave me the confidence to know that it was worth trying hard with my school work – which made all the difference to me. Thanks to them I’m now at college and loving my studies!’