Foster Care Fortnight launched on Monday 14 May and to help raise awareness about this rewarding role we are stepping up our recruitment drive. So if you’ve got room in your heart and your home to help transform a child’s life, we would love to hear from you.
There are many people in our community who have the right skills and qualities to foster, and we particularly need more foster families who can care for sibling groups, children aged between five and 11, and teenagers.
Our next drop-in session takes place at The Jubilee Centre in Bradley Stoke on Thursday 29 May from 6pm to 9pm. Social workers will be on hand to answer any questions and existing foster carers will be there to share their passion for foster caring.
Cllr Jon Hunt, Cabinet Member responsible for children and young people, said: “Every 20 minutes across the UK, a child becomes looked after and in need of a foster family. In South Gloucestershire, there are over 180 children and young people who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to live with their own family. We urgently need more foster carers to offer young people the stability and support of a family home and to help them reach their full potential.”
The theme of this year’s national Foster Care Fortnight campaign (May 14 to 27) is ‘proud to foster’. The aim is to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster caring can transform lives.
Jacky Jarrett, from St George, is proud to foster and has been a foster carer for South Gloucestershire Council for more than 17 years. During this time she has fostered over 200 children.
She said: “When I first started fostering 17 years ago I was a single parent with a two year old daughter. Over the years I have welcomed over 200 children through our doors, moved house twice and I have had two more children and a step son arrive.
“I still love the anticipation of welcoming a new child into our home and thinking about what we can offer them. I love the buzz of activity and having eight or more of us sat round the table enjoying a meal and talking about our days.
“Every child you foster for how ever short a period of time will learn something from you, be it techniques on how to calm down or even how to wash their socks. I feel very lucky to have seen children become adults and start their own families.
“Being a foster carer is a challenging and demanding role but it is also one of the best jobs in the world. I’d encourage anyone thinking about fostering to just go for it.”
Cllr Jon Hunt added: “As Jacky’s story highlights, fostering not only transforms the lives of young people, it can also transform the lives of foster carers and their families who put themselves forward to care for children in need of a loving home.
“Prospective foster carers need a range of skills and qualities, including patience, the ability to listen, being a team player and having a good sense of humour. Everyone receives training and support and an allowance to cover the cost of looking after the children in their care, as well as additional fees in recognition of their skills. So I would encourage people who are interested in becoming a foster carer to reach out to us during Foster Care Fortnight.”
If you have the space and motivation and think you could offer the love and care that a fostered child needs, please contact our fostering service on 01454 866423.
Anyone who is interested in fostering can find out more at the drop-in session at The Jubilee Centre in Bradley Stoke on Thursday 29 May from 6pm to 9pm.