Romsey, United Kingdom (PressExposure) April 18, 2012 -- Southampton couple, Sue and Dave Cooper are doing their bit to help tackle the shortage of foster carers in the UK. The couple have four children of their own and after looking after the son of a friend for a few years they realised that they had more to give to children and young people in need of care and support. Since becoming foster carers for Romsey-based foster agency Blue Sky Fostering in 2006 Sue and Dave have fostered five local teenagers who have come from difficult backgrounds and they encourage others to do the same.
Sue and Dave enthuse "All of the young people who have been in our care have all changed for the better. The first young man we looked after was 14 when he joined us and had been in care since he was 10. At the time he had been in so much trouble that we were the only foster carers who were prepared to give him a chance. The first few months were very hard but slowly he wanted to change and have a better future. We introduced him to playing darts and he now plays for Hampshire and has won over 300 trophies. He is 19 now and still lives with us and is a very much part of our family."
The best part of being a foster carer is seeing the young people smile again. It really is as simple as including them in your family life - we always take the young people on family holidays and the experience has brought the family closer together. We may have a few grey hairs now but the worst part is saying goodbye. We receive training to prepare us for this and other challenges. Ultimately fostering is challenging, life changing but most of all rewarding and we would encourage anyone to consider doing it."
Blue Sky Fostering is currently looking for more foster carers in Southampton and surrounding areas and are holding a free one day Introduction to Fostering course in Eastleigh on 23rd May where Sue and Dave will be on hand to offer advice.