Parents whose own children have flown the nest are being asked to consider fostering vulnerable young people. 

In Cambridgeshire, there are currently more than 400 young people aged between 12 and 18 who, for reasons beyond their control, are unable to live with their birth families.  

The Cambridgeshire Fostering Service says this age group would hugely benefit from parents who are experienced in raising and supporting teenagers.  

Retired GP Guy, and his other half Clare, a lecturer, offer short-term emergency care for young people in a crisis and are in their fourth year of fostering.  

Clare said: “We considered fostering for a long time before even applying. 

“The idea first came up in conversation with our own children as they grew up.  

“Changes in our circumstances, with Guy retiring early and the children leaving home, led us to apply.”  

Although Guy and Clare’s youngest was still living with them when they embarked on their fostering journey, it was important to them that he felt part of their fostering family.  

“Our own grown-up children were very encouraging, and remain very supportive,” said Guy.   

“The application process was thorough, and although it took a while, we learned a lot about ourselves, our relationship, and our previous parenting experiences.”  

Both say they feel well supported by their social worker and the wider fostering team.  

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of the county council's Children and Young People’s Committee, said: “If you’re in a similar situation, with children that have flown the nest, please consider fostering – you have the potential to change someone’s life.”

The Cambridgeshire Fostering Service says it offers: generous allowances and carer perks, training tailored to the foster parents’ needs, round-the-clock support and a dedicated supervising social worker. 

Contact the service if you are over 21 years of age, have a spare bedroom and believe you have the qualities to be a foster carer.  

Visit the Cambridgeshire Fostering website or Facebook page or call 0800 052 0078.