We are encouraging people to step forward into a rewarding and fulfilling role as a foster carer this Foster Care Fortnight (11 – 24 May).
Every 20 minutes another child comes into care needing a foster family in the UK. In South Gloucestershire alone there are over 220 children and young people in care at any one time.
We currently have a shortage of foster carers and we predict this shortage will only increase during the coronavirus outbreak.
Fostering offers children and young people a home when they are unable to live with their birth family.
Sometimes children only stay with a foster family for a few days, while others will live with their foster family for their entire childhood and beyond. Many of these children have experienced a troubled start to life and fostering is often their first positive experience of family life altogether.
To mark Foster Care Fortnight 2020 we asked our current foster carers to explain what they love about being a foster carer.
Wes is 40 and has been fostering children in South Gloucestershire for eighteen months. He said: “The best thing about being a foster carer is the feeling you get everyday knowing that you are making a positive difference to a child’s life.”
Ali is 52 and has been fostering with South Gloucestershire Council for eight years. She told us about her experiences of fostering: “It’s a rollercoaster of ups and downs but the ups make being a foster carer the best job in the world. One young child thanked me once, saying that if I wasn’t here they would never have learnt to feel safe.”
She went on to say “It’s the little things but for them it’s huge. I helped a 14-year-old to suddenly grasp reading and a 17-year-old to learn his five times table.”
Cllr Jon Hunt, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “I’d like to wholeheartedly thank Wes, Ali and all of our foster carers who are doing such a great job keeping children and young people safe and well looked-after. We have some fantastic carers who provide stability and kindness to children when they really need it. Sadly, we currently have a shortage of foster carers in South Gloucestershire, especially for older children and teenagers. We are looking for people who can join us as foster carers to help keep children in their own communities, and to provide a safe and stable environment for our children and young people.”
“During the COVID-19 pandemic we are continuing to appeal for people who are interested in fostering to come forward. We are actively recruiting new foster carers while maintaining the Government’s social distancing guidelines. All visits are being completed over Skype, we have created online training courses and to prevent any delays we are completing full assessments within 8-10 weeks. So please, I urge you to get in touch if you feel you can open up your home to support our children and young people.”
To find out further information on becoming a foster carer with South Gloucestershire Council, please contact our Fostering Recruitment team by calling 01454 866423, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org