Could you share your family with a foster child?
Telford & Wrekin Council’s fostering service are hosting an information event next week (FRI 29 JAN) for anyone who wants to find out more about fostering and how to become a foster carer.
Local residents are being asked to consider whether they could share their family with a foster child.
More than 118 families in the borough already share their home with foster children, including Sam and Andrew.
Sam and Andrew have been fostering for just over a year. They share their home with their 17 year old daughter, two foster children and their year old golden retriever dog, Bailey.
The couple, who live in south Telford and are in their 40s, had wanted to foster for a long time but hadn’t had a spare room until their son moved out into his own property.
Andrew describes their first year as foster carers as “an emotional rollercoaster”.
The two children they currently foster arrived just days before Christmas in 2014 and have been with the family ever since.
Sam says she is “in my element” now that she is a foster carer. The couple say that life is very different – a lot busier and a lot louder. She says, “It has been challenging but we can’t imagine life without them here”.
The process to become a foster carer can take up to six months and is very in depth. It helped the couple to learn a lot about the role as a foster carer in the training provided, which is known as Skills to foster.
Andrew works full time shift patterns which often include night work while Sam stays at home to look after the children.
Foster carers are paid fees and allowances for every child they look after. They are also supported by a social worker. Sam and Andrew say that the support has been excellent and that if they have any questions, there is always someone on the end of the phone.
On becoming a foster carer and their first year, Andrew says:
“It’s been really rewarding to see the progress in just 12 months. When the two children arrived we found it really challenging but now, we are all much more chilled out. It’s not just the impact we’ve had on the kids’ lives but also the impact they’ve had on our lives.”
On what it takes to be a foster carer, Sam says:
“You’ve got to have a good sense of humour to be a foster carer.”
Councillor Paul Watling, cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “Our foster carers do an amazing job and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for the work they do.
“But we always need more and we are inviting everyone to consider whether they could share their family with a foster child in 2016.
“If you have the time, patience and a spare bedroom and could open your home to make a difference to a local child’s life – we want to hear from you.”
The information event will be on Friday 29 January, 6–8pm, at the Whitehouse Hotel in Wellington (TF1 2NJ).
Everyone is invited to come and find out more, by talking to someone who actually fosters or a member of the fostering team.
Drop in for chat or make an appointment by calling 01952 385880.
More information can be found at www.telford.gov.uk/shareyourfamily