11 -24 May is national Foster Care Fortnight, organised by leading charity, the Fostering Network. This year’s campaign, #thisisfostering, aims to increase awareness of the need for more foster carers across the UK, including here in Cheshire.
Throughout the next two weeks, Foster4, the council’s regional foster carer recruitment service, will be using social media to highlight the real-life tasks foster carers undertake to support children and young people to have positive childhoods.
As part of the campaign, we spoke to Pam from Halton who has recently started fostering with Foster4.
“I’d describe myself as a mature lady with three grown up children. I love children! I believe with a passion they really are our future and we must give them a secure home, skills and love so they can be a productive member of society.
“I am a single lady and live with my two dogs. I’ve had a very varied full career, then decided I wanted to give something back to my local community. After seeing adverts on the internet and hearing them on the radio about how many local children needed a foster home, I decided to get the ball rolling and contact the council. A social worker and a single foster carer (like me) visited my home and answered all my questions. They were honest about the challenges as well as some of the positives that come with being a foster carer. I was hooked. I’ve met some amazing people along the way, social workers and other foster carers, who have all helped with my training and the basic skills I need. It took time. It’s touching how supportive my own children have been, they are entirely happy to be part of my support network.
“At the moment, I have a 10 year old young lady with me, she’s had a challenging few years. What joy she brings to my life. I love to cook, and we keep busy making cake and homemade quiche. We watch films together and walk our dogs, other times we just sit and read. Helping her to develop new handy craft skills and teaching her how to knit has made me so proud. Now and then it can be tough, nevertheless, we find ways to overcome problems together. We laugh a lot and there have been a few tears. But what a journey! For me it has been the best decision I’ve made and if you are thinking of becoming a foster carer please take that step.”
Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board member for Children, Education and Social Care, Cllr Tom McInerney, said “We want our support of the #thisisfostering campaign to shed light on what fostering is like day to day, and hopefully inspire people to ask themselves, could they do it too? Foster carers, like Pam are ordinary people, doing extraordinary things for children in care in Halton.”
If you’re great with children and young people, have a spare bedroom and would like to know more about fostering, visit: foster4.co.uk/enquire