Our role is to try to encourage them to engage with something other than criminal activity and to ensure they keep any court appointments. Often it’s just about chatting to them and trying to get them to see the effects of their actions on the victims.
As a remand foster carer, you end up doing things you never thought you’d do, from going with them to court to meeting with their social worker and the Youth Offending Team. Often the lads will have curfews and there are times when you have to report them to the police if they break that curfew.
On paper some of these lads sound terrible, but when you meet them they’re not at all as you’d expect. Before long, you come to understand why they have behaved the way they have.
Some people might think we’re crazy to open our home to young offenders but the difference between remand fostering and normal fostering is that these young people understand why they’ve been placed with us – it’s because of their own actions.
We’re in touch with other foster carers so we can talk to them if we’re finding things tough. Also, I don’t know where we’d be without our social worker Mel – when she eventually steps down, so will we."