Deep down Louise had always wanted to be a foster carer and after she moved house things fell into place.

She has been an approved carer on the Island for 18 months and provides respite care for a seven and 13-year-old.

Louise, who is a single carer, said: “Everything fell into place at the same time – I had moved house, got a new job and I heard an advert on the radio. Years ago I was a child minder and I have always been involved with youth work – I think deep down it was always something I had wanted to do.

“Respite care is really important because it gives the young person and their carer a break which can often prevent things from breaking down. Carers get some time to themselves and it allows the young person to get used to different things and people.

“The care is planned and we work out our diaries three months in advance which means the young person knows what is happening and has structure to their life. When I am providing care my time is just for them. We do all the things people do with their own children – we go for a walk on the beach, go rollerblading, swimming, horse riding and have movie  and popcorn nights.

“I have come into contact with a lot of young people and it would be very rare if you had a teenager who wasn’t challenging at times. But when you see them learning something new or you are in the park, playing and having fun it makes the experience rewarding. When they really start talking you know you are starting to build up a trusting relationship.”