Foster Care Fortnight 2018
Foster Care Fortnightâ„¢ is The Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives. It is also the UK's biggest foster carer recruitment campaign.
Foster Care Fortnight 2018 will take place from 14 to 27 May.
Foster Care FortnightTM is the UK's biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, delivered by leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network. The campaign showcases the commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers.
Over 7,000 new foster families are needed in the next 12 months alone to care for a range of children, with the greatest need being for foster carers for older children, sibling groups and disabled children.
Flintshire County Council's fostering service is joining this year's campaign to highlight the need for foster carers to care for local brothers and sisters. Across North Wales in 2016/17, 86 sibling groups needed foster care. The majority of these were groups of 2 brothers or sisters, but with 4 large groups of 5 children, more foster carers are needed with 2 spare bedrooms.
Flintshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said:
"Eight groups of brothers and sisters needed foster care in Flintshire last year (2017/18). These were mostly groups of two who were able to stay together. Siblings can share bedrooms depending on their age, but we are really looking for people who have an empty nest who can offer space, time and love to these children. Older children have often spent their lives looking after their younger brothers and sisters; being in foster care can let them be a child again."
Kim has been a foster carer for 18 years, her first fostering experience was with a brother and sister. Since then she recalls fostering at least 3 more sibling groups:
"Two young brothers arrived on my doorstep. When they arrived, the eldest had his arm around his little brother's shoulder telling him it was all going to be ok. Fostering is like doing a jigsaw, without the picture. Having a brother and sister helps to put the pieces together and fill the gaps. You need patience and time. The older sibling would often remember things that the younger one didn't. Sometimes the children are part of a much bigger family, and we would meet up in the park. There were 5 children in one family and really close in age. I love what I do. Even after 18 years I still get a buzz from it, I love the challenge."
Donna has been fostering for 2 years.
"When we first thought about fostering, we were considering fostering one child aged 0-5. Then we went on a 3 day course and decided if we could help any child, their age didn't matter. We were asked if we could take a brother and sister. Thinking of our own children, there was no way we'd separate a brother and sister. All it took was for someone to take an interest, listen, show them different paths, choices and give them opportunities to shine. Now they are involved in sports, music and their confidence is oozing. I'm so proud of what they are achieving. I'm not sure they'd be achieving or progressing like this if they'd been separated."
A young person in foster care in Flintshire said:
"The best thing about being in foster care is knowing that my sister is safe, loved and looked after"
Flintshire Fostering Service is holding an information evening on Thursday 24 May, 7pm at Deeside Leisure Centre for anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a foster carer with the local Council. Call 01352 701965 or visit www.flintshirefostering.org.uk