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Foster Care Fortnight in Wiltshire

Foster Care Fortnight in Wiltshire

Wiltshire foster carers have been sharing their thoughts about the rewards and challenges of providing a home for children and young people as part of national Foster Care Fortnight which starts today.   Wiltshire currently has 189 foster carers and has a target to recruit 30 more by April 2018 to ensure children and young people can continue to stay in their local area. In Wiltshire currently there are 443 children in foster care.   Alan and Wendy Case fostered before having their own four children and then took up fostering again once their children were a little older.   Wendy said: “There’s a lot of children out there that need support, love and guidance and somewhere safe to stay. Our children are very good with all our foster children. A foster child becomes very close to you and you become close to that child. We do it because there’s a need and we love these children. It is a very positive experience.”   Paula and her husband Sam provide respite care for children and young people who need additional support. Due to both working full time they wondered how they could help and were introduced to Family Link where the foster carers provide respite care over weekends.   Paula said: “It was quite nice because it was going to be a treat for that child and they were going to join our family and have a nice weekend with us while for them it meant their family had time and space to share with their siblings and have a break.”   Meanwhile Jane Harwood and Mark Witney shared their thoughts and reflections about applying to foster and completing the assessment process; they are about to start fostering and are looking forward to welcoming the first child into their home.   Mark said: “I wanted to be able to help somebody who wasn’t as fortunate as I am. We have a great home and we’ve raised some great kids and it would be really nice to have someone else in that environment and give them some good experiences.”   Carolyn Godfrey, corporate director at Wiltshire Council said: “Our foster carers are the unsung heroes who provide a stable home for children and young people at some of the most difficult times of their lives.   “We are grateful to all our foster carers and to those who have shared their experiences in these videos which I hope will encourage more people to come forward and provide that valuable support for some of our most vulnerable children and young people.”   People can listen to the interviews with our foster carers at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/fostering-real-life-stories   People considering fostering in Wiltshire can call 0800 169 6321 or email fostering@wiltshire.gov.uk for more advice or visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/fostering There are also drop in information sessions to find out more about fostering. The next meeting is at County Hall, Trowbridge on 23 May from 7pm but they are held throughout the year. More details at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/fostering-events   Foster Care Fortnight from 8 to 21 May, is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign by leading fostering charity The Fostering Network.  Established for almost 20 years, the campaign showcases the commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers. It also supports fostering services to highlight the need for more foster carers. Thousands of new foster families are needed every year to care for children, with the greatest need being for foster carers for older children, teenagers, sibling groups, disabled children and teenagers and parent and child.  For more detail visit https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/get-involved/foster-care-fortnight


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