Although most people know fostering transforms the lives of children in care, many don’t realise just how much joy it brings to the lives of foster carers as well.
During the past year Wokingham Borough Council has recruited eight new fostering households, but there are still many children who want to be fostered in the borough closer to their families and friends.
With the annual national Foster Care Fortnight™ (8 to 21 May) about to start, the borough council wants to reach out to would-be foster carers for senior school-age children, younger sibling groups, disabled youngsters, and parent and child placements.
An information day, with two presentations and a drop-in, is due to be held on Thursday 18 May at the Diamond Jubilee Room in Wokingham Town Hall, to showcase the rewarding benefits of being a foster carer and the positive life changes it creates for the children and young people involved.
The first presentation will run from 12.45 to 1.30pm and the second 6.30 to 7.15pm. Alternatively people can drop-in between midday and 7.45pm.
Foster carer, Evelyn Tihngang, says fostering has transformed her life: “Fostering children and young people has given me greater understanding and insight into the plight of children in care and has made me a more empathic and compassionate person.
“I get enormous satisfaction from seeing the children I look after succeed, knowing I’ve played a considerable part in their lives.”
Fellow foster carer, Sean Dennehy, agrees. “I enjoy being part of a team of people providing care to children and young people knowing I can get support both from my colleagues as well as others in similar circumstances, ensuring the children we all look after are kept safe and secure.”
“Sadly too many children and young people in our care miss out because they have to move away from their friends, family and schools because we don’t have enough foster carers in the Wokingham Borough,” said Nicky Hale, interim service manager.
“People often think they won’t be able to do it, or these adverts don’t apply to them. Well they do, and we need you. Please do get in touch for an informal chat or pop along to our information day.”
Foster carers are as different as the children they look after. They come from all backgrounds, regardless of ethnicity, marital status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or culture.
What matters most is that you are the right family for the child. As long as you have a spare bedroom and are over 21 with some life experience, you can apply to be a foster carer.
Contact the council’s placement team to find out more. The process to join us can be a lot quicker than you might think, and you could be helping to create a positive future for a child or young person.
Contact recruitment officers on (0118) 974 6204, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, visit our fostering website or see Facebook Fostering Wokingham.