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Charity joins fight to find homes for black children

A LEADING children’s charity has launched a campaign to find foster carers for black and dual heritage children.

Barnardo's Change a Life scheme, which runs between September 1 and 7, seeks people to open their homes for the short-term, ranging between a few weeks and a month, or long-term placements.

The charity hopes to raise awareness about children and young people who often enter the care system through no fault of their own.

Reasons include neglect, abuse, violence, an unsuitable environment or health issues with a parent.

Steff Richards, 51, fosters troubled young men, drawing on her background as a youth worker in special schools and the prison service.

She said: “I wanted to specialise in young black men on remand, so I could try and make an impact to their lives and stop the cycle of trouble. A lot of the time these young people have had little parenting or nurturing."

Entering the care system – particularly group homes – can have a negative impact on young people.

They may have difficulties in school and even those who are high performing, may lose focus. They can also have problems forming relationships and trusting people.

Children and young people react to how adults treat them and the need for a supportive and caring adult is crucial, especially as they can help them discover or fulfil their potential and give them confidence or self-esteem.

Barnardo's hope families and individuals will participate in a rewarding career that will change a child's life for the better.
n For more information, visit www.barnardos.org.uk/fosteringandadoption

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