Keeping teenagers, like Jade, rooted in Reading

Jade first came into care when she was nine years old. She was picked up from school by her social worker and taken to the home of a foster couple, David and Elaine. Jade says:

‘I was scared and I didn’t know what was happening. But they explained it to me and we sat down, ate brownies and watched the football which was nice.’

Jade wasn’t able to go back to her mum and dad so she stayed with David and Elaine for a year and a half. After this, she was matched with a long-term foster carer, Angela, who she was set to stay with until she reaches the age of 18.

‘Angela was really friendly and held a ‘Welcome to the family’ party for me with her sons and lots of cake which was really fun. It wasn’t as scary going to Angela’s as I had met her a few times before while I was still with David and Elaine.’

‘I’m really lucky because I live with Angela, my foster carer, in Reading, which means I’m close to my friends and family. Angela is a good foster carer and I still see my family lots.’

Jade is now 17 and is classed as a ‘care leaver’. That means she is currently working towards building her independent living skills, ready to support herself as an adult. She will be ‘staying put’ with Angela, which means she can stay with her until she’s 21.

Jade says:

‘I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. When I was younger and first came into care, I was really shy. My foster carer helped me learn how to voice my opinions and understand what I wanted. I also used to be scared of speaking in public but now I’m not. I feel a lot more confident today. I finished school, which I found really hard, and I’m now studying at college.’

At Brighter Futures for Children, we’re proud of Jade too. We’re proud of all our young people who work hard, alongside us, to turn their lives around in care. But at the moment, we don’t have enough foster carers in Reading to look after teenagers.

Could you give a teenager like Jade a loving home and a brighter future?

Learn more about fostering in Reading:


Call: 0118 469 3020

"I'm a foster sibling and I love making a difference"

Isabelle is 18 and has been a foster sibling to many babies and children in care over the past ten years at their Reading home.

Georgia and Sam, Isabelle’s parents, decided they wanted to take up fostering when she was eight and her brothers were 11 and 13. They spoke about how fostering would work for them as a family and started off looking after children under five years old.

Georgia and Sam then agreed they would always try to have children within five years of Isabelle’s age. ‘She was always a very hands on sibling, even back then!,’ they laughed.

So, what was it actually like growing up as a foster sister? Isabelle was happy to explain. ‘We have always loved looking after the children and we make sure we take them on nice days out and set up different activities. I have liked everything about fostering and we work well as a family to help care for the children.’

Brighter Futures for Children runs a fun group for foster siblings called the ‘Foster Squad’ and Isabelle and her two brothers have joined in with their activities. Her parents are active members of Reading Carers’ Link, a support group for Reading’s foster carers, and so they are family friends with the children of lots of other carers too.

Isabelle’s family does short-term, respite and emergency fostering. What was that like as a sibling? ‘We hope they will always feel like part of our family for the duration of their stay and I think this is important,’ Isabelle explained, ‘and we are still in touch with lots of them!’.

Has being a foster sibling influenced Isabelle in her life? It certainly seems so! She says: ‘Fostering gave me lots of skills and experience with children and made me want to work with them. I am now training to be an early years practitioner at a local nursery. I enjoy fostering and I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new children over the years and making a difference to their lives.’