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 Karen Broadhead, who has been fostering with Foster4 for three years:
“Life as a foster carer certainly isn’t boring, imagine what you go through as a parent but with double the complexity, double the rewards and double the fun – and with lots of support along the way.
“From the moment I applied to Foster4, I was greeted with real warmth and the support you receive is amazing! It’s about finding a balance between loving a child, and welcoming and including them into your family. From the moment my partner and I welcomed our first child, we’ve not looked back. It’s the most rewarding and satisfying job you will ever do.
“We are currently fostering three teenagers all with very different needs. Every day is certainly an adventure and we get so much satisfaction from guiding them into young adulthood – they make us smile and so very proud.
“It really is a job that will fit all types of people. I can’t recommend it enough, you will be welcomed by other foster carers who are always on hand to guide, advise or just listen. Its life changing for yourselves and also the children you are caring for.”
Cllr Matt Smith, Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “By promoting the #thisisfostering campaign, we’re bringing the role of a foster carer to life, giving people real insight into the day-to-day tasks carers undertake with Foster4 and the council.
“Foster carers play such a valuable role in Warrington and we’d love to encourage even more people to consider taking their next steps into fostering. It’s special people, like Karen, who really make the difference to the lives of our children and young people in the borough”.
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