Social workers from Plymouth City Council’s Fostering Service and foster carers are encouraging everyone who cares about the lives of children in care to step up and tell the world #WhyWeCare as part of this year’s Foster Care Fortnight campaign.
Foster Care Fortnight (10 to 23 May) is The Fostering Network’s annual campaign to raise awareness of the transformational power of fostering and to celebrate the fostering community.
Foster carers can be single or couples; with or without children, retired, unemployed or working. What matters most is that potential carers have time, space, commitment, patience, a caring nature and skills to work with children and their families.
Deb has been fostering since 2010, she said: “I love fostering, I find it very rewarding to see the children in my care flourish, I believe I am very nurturing, there are tricky times, that’s too be expected considering what the children have already been through. All the children that get placed with me are treated like family because as long as they are with is, that is what they are. I am so grateful to have the privilege to make a difference to these children’s lives and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Fostering isn’t a job for me it’s a way of life.”
Fostering can be for as little as a few weeks or a few months until a child is able to return home to their family or longer term until a child grows up and is able to move on to independence.
There is a particular need for carers who will look after teenagers, siblings and carers who will consider taking on longer term placements for children and young people of all different ages.
Due to the ongoing social distancing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Council is holding virtual information evenings where prospective cares will get the chance to meet assessing social workers, supervising social workers, foster carers and team managers. Anyone interested in taking part needs to email firstname.lastname@example.org and a link can be sent for you to join.
The sessions are taking place on the following dates:
- Monday 17 May to Friday 21 7pm to 8.30pm
- Tuesday 18 May 12.30pm to 1.30pm
- Thursday 20 May 12.30pm to 1.30pm
- Tuesday 25 May 7pm to 8.30pm
- Wednesday 26 May 12.30pm to 1.30pm
- Thursday 27 May 7pm to 8.30pm
Full training and support is given to foster carers, who are matched to one or more of the different foster care schemes, depending on what suits their lifestyles and commitments. Carers are paid an allowance which reflects the real cost of looking after a child.
Pam Dale, one of the Council’s long-term foster said carers are offered a wide range of training to help them support the children and young people they will be looking after. She said: “The training and support is fantastic. I really believe we wouldn’t be the foster carers that we are without the training that we’ve done.”
As part of Foster care fortnight the Foster for Plymouth team will be sharing exactly #WhyWeCare and value each and every one of our foster carers because of the dedication they show to the looked-after children and young people across Plymouth across our social media channels.
Jean Kelly, Service Director for Children, Young People and families said: “We want to use Foster Care Fortnight to highlight the positive difference that fostering can make to the lives of children and young people in Plymouth and encourage more people to come forward to foster. We really need more people to come forward and offer a child a loving and secure family home.”
Anybody interested in finding out more about Fostering for Plymouth can contact the Fostering Team on 01752 304067 or visit www.fosterforplymouth.co.uk