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Time to foster

Published: 09/05/2016

During this year’s Foster Care Fortnight (16-29 May), Flintshire Fostering Service wants to raise awareness of the need for people who can care for children over 10 years old. In the last 12 months, 69 more children have needed foster care in Flintshire. This is on top of the over 100 children already living with Flintshire carers and their beds are full. Flintshire Fostering Service will be holding an information session on Thursday, 26 May at 7pm at the Springfield Hotel near Holywell including a presentation about becoming a foster carer. Contact Flintshire Fostering team on 01352 702190 or email if you would like to attend. Flintshire County Councils Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said: “The majority of children needing foster care in the last year have been over 10 years old. We need people whose own children have grown up and left home, who can use their experience to give the same chances in life to another child. “Young people need someone to listen, spend time with them, help them to catch up on their education, inspire them to work hard and prepare them for life on their own. “Foster carers speak of the little achievements that mean a lot when caring for a young person; getting on a bus by themselves, teaching them to drive, showing them how to apply make-up nicely, the joy of watching them do well in sports and sitting round the table for dinner.” Foster carers are needed to help children from North Wales. Local training and events are on offer as well as the support of an experienced local team, with local knowledge. Over 100 families trust Flintshire Fostering Service to support them, match them with the right children and continue to foster with their local council year after year. Every 20 minutes across the UK a child comes into care in need of a foster family. This year’s Foster Care Fortnight campaign “Time to Foster, Time to Care”, run by the Fostering Network, aims to encourage people who may have been thinking about fostering for a number of years to come forward. Now is the time to foster…now is the time to care. Here is Megan’s story. She is 16 and living in foster care in Flintshire. Megan wanted to share her story to show the difference fostering has made to her life and how it could help others: “I was going down the wrong path, running away all the time, getting into trouble and always angry with people. Then they put me in foster care and it’s actually done me good to be in foster care. It was a bit awkward at first because I didn’t know them, but they were really nice. They said they wanted me to be like part of the family. Children need a family, someone to love them, care for them and listen. Someone my age needs someone to be there for them, look out for them and tell them what’s right and what’s wrong. “We go for a meal or a day out. We go to the pictures or in the summer we go to the beach. We go shopping together, we do different things as a family. Some weekends we have games nights and a takeaway. “They’ve taught me how to love people, because I thought I could never love a family, and never be loved. They’ve taught me how to wash my clothes, how to iron and that I’m capable of doing things. “Everyone thought I’d never make it, but I don’t see that anymore, I see me having my own little family, settling down, getting a nice job and my own little flat, and just being a better person than anyone thought I’d be. “This is my family now. I have a family here if I ever need them so I know I’ll have a good future.” Flintshire County Council’s Chief Officer for Social Services, Neil Ayling, said: “It takes 12 months to become a foster carer. We spend time assessing your skills and strengths, getting to know you and preparing you for your role as a foster carer and the possible challenges ahead. You can get in touch in so many ways, send us an email, text foster to 61211, Facebook (search Flintshire Fostering), visit our website at or pick up the phone 01352 702190. We will have live chat on our website throughout foster care fortnight if you just want to ask a question and we hold information sessions almost every month. All details are on our website.