Foster carers reveal rewards of the job amid national recruitment campaign

TWO women from the Vale of Glamorgan have revealed how rewarding they find foster caring as a national recruitment campaign continues.

 

  • Monday, 18 October 2021

    Vale of Glamorgan



There is a drive to increase the number and diversity of foster carers across Wales, with the aim of making a substantial impact on the futures of young people.


Organised by national body Foster Wales, the campaign brings together the 22 Local Authorities to form a new network.


There are hundreds of children looking for foster families and a place to call home in Wales, with the Vale of Glamorgan helping more than 20 per week.


The campaign aims to increase the number of foster parents needed for children to remain in their local areas, when that is right for them.   

 

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Keeping children within their communities can be of huge benefit, maintaining friendship groups and school arrangements, which helps to build confidence and reduce stress.


Sharon Thomas has been fostering in the Vale for nearly 30 years and was recently awarded an MBE for her work in the area.

“I’ve been fostering for 27 years and its part of my life. I don’t do it for recognition,” she said. “It’s so lovely when you see the children come on. You don’t expect things in return but it’s great as you do get things back from them. 


“I started fostering before the birth of my youngest child and he has grown up with me as a foster carer, along with my other children. 


“Fostering was completely different back then but with the changes in society the role has changed with it. 


“Before the pandemic I had always fostered teenagers and never saw myself as fostering younger ones, but when the pandemic hit I was asked to take on some younger siblings. 


“Although I do miss the teenagers as I love the positive relationships I have with them, I love the younger ones and can’t imagine my life without them now. 


“You have to be a certain type of person to foster. But if you considering it, go for it because you can make a huge difference in children’s lives and see how they develop. 


“I’ve no regrets over working for the Vale Council. I’ve had some really happy times and some really tough times, but I’ve come through it with the support of the Vale behind me.”  

Nicky Howard-Kemp is another foster carer from the Vale, who recently attended a promotional event in Cardiff. 

Several life-size front doors were unveiled outside the Senedd as Foster Wales invited people to consider opening their homes to help accommodate children who need care and support.

 

At the close of March 2020, Welsh Government statistics revealed that 84 per cent of children living with foster families were still able to live in their own area, maintaining familiarity with the community they already knew. 

 

Foster Wales aims is to encourage those who are thinking of fostering to do so in their local authority so that important relationships, which can help children thrive, continue. 


Fosterwalespic2Nicky said: “I am staunchly proud to be a foster carer working with our Local Authority and this new initiative bringing together all 22 Welsh councils can only bring immense benefit to both foster carers and more importantly the children and young people we are supporting. 


“I see our role as foster carers as being there to guide, mentor and nurture our young people and the Local Authority, who have direct responsibility for young people in need, are definitely the best people to provide the necessary practical and emotional support. 


“Being a foster carer is such a rewarding role and I would encourage anyone considering fostering to just pick up the phone and have a chat. 


“if you can change the life of just one young person for the better you will make a positive difference and there really is no greater feeling than that.”

While no two children are the same, neither is the foster care they need. There is no typical foster family. Whether somebody owns their own home or rents, whether they’re married or single. Whatever their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or faith, there are young people who need someone on their side.   

 

To find out more about fostering in the Vale of Glamorgan the Council website.