Posted on Monday 12th October 2020
With children back at school, and some teenagers flying the nest or off to university, many parents can feel ready to take on a new challenge.
Staffordshire County Council’s fostering service is now asking people could being a foster carer be that next challenge?
The service needs to recruit around 60 new families this year and has an urgent need to find families for teenagers and sibling groups.
A series of virtual information events is planned for the next three months.
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council said:
“Our foster families accomplish incredible things every day, even in the face of a global crisis like Coronavirus.
“This can be the time of year when people think about doing something different with their lives or taking on a new adventure or challenge, especially with children back at school or off to university.
“There’s no doubt that fostering could be the challenge people are looking for, but with the right attributes like good communication skills, patience it can also be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
“While we currently need carers for children of all ages, we have a particular need for carers for teenagers and sibling groups. If fostering sounds like it could be your next challenge, then joining one of our virtual information events will help you take that first step.”
Cliff and Elaine Whiteley are Staffordshire foster carers. Cliff said:
“We’ve been fostering for 20 years now and it’s a really rewarding thing to do. I don’t think I’ve ever done a job that’s as satisfying as it is. The training and support is excellent and you’re never on your own. You’ve got teams of professionals with you the whole way to help you do what’s best for the child. When you see how much the children you look after have changed years later or see them happier and leading a better life it lets you know you’ve made a real difference. I’d definitely urge people to try it.”
Sharon Chetwynd, from Tamworth said:
“Fostering means being able to provide a safe and secure base for a young person. You are never alone as a foster carer there is lots of training and support and I’d encourage anyone interested to find out more.”
Beryl Bull is a foster carer from Lichfield and said:
“For me fostering has been a real mixture of excitement and challenges, however, I feel we have made a real difference to a young person’s life and I’d encourage anyone interested to get in touch.”
There are many different types of fostering including, long-term, weekend, short-term and resilience fostering.
The next virtual fostering information event will be on Thursday 22 October at 6.30pm. The session will be run over Microsoft Teams and people can sign up at www.fosterforstaffordshire.co.uk More information on fostering is also available on the website or by calling 0800 169 2061.