Children come in to care for a range of reasons. They come from diverse backgrounds – some with more complex needs than others. Foster carers can make a genuine difference to their lives. Could you be one?
Foster Care Fortnight starts next week and runs from Monday, 8 May to Sunday, 21 May. It is a national campaign organised by The Fostering Network. There is a national shortage of foster carers, but those people who are doing it locally are the biggest advocates of its power to change lives for the better. They are making themselves available to explain why it could be the right thing for you to do, too.
An information stand will be doing a tour of the borough, with Ealing Council officers and foster carers on-hand to answer your questions and provide advice. There will be information you can take away with you if you are interested in finding out more.
Here is where, and when, to find the stand:
- Special information session at Ealing Town Hall on Monday, 8 May, 11am-1pm
- Asda Park Royal on Thursday, 11 May, 11am-3pm
- Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre on Saturday, 13 May, 9am-5pm
- Southall Town Hall on Wednesday, 17 May, 11am-3pm
- Acton Market on Friday, 19 May, 9am-1pm
‘We are one big family’
Local people who have become foster carers have previously told us why it could be the right thing for you – and your family – to do, too.
Nina Samuel, who lives in Acton, said: “As a single parent with two young daughters, I felt I had the capacity to work with young people. A friend suggested I give fostering a go, so after some thought I decided to apply.
“Like many, before I started fostering I had my misconceptions about children in care – too many issues, sleepless nights and police knocking on the door. Since becoming a foster carer, I realise society often sticks labels on foster children as being problematic.
“My views have since changed. Foster children – like my own children – require love, stability and a chance to prove themselves.”
Mehrat Wosseneleh lives in Greenford with her daughter and two young girls she is fostering on a long-term basis. The girls are sisters and have been with Mehrat now several years.
Finding foster carers who can care for siblings can provide many benefits to the children. It gives them comfort and security and can make it easier to settle into a new home. However, it can also help the foster carers, too.
“It’s very important they’ve been kept together,” said Mehrat. “And being together also helps them settle in to their new home.
“My daughter has also played a big role – they play together nicely, do everything together and have lots of common interests. They follow her and copy what she’s doing. We are one big family.”
Could you be a foster carer? Interested in finding out more about fostering in general? Come along to one of the events above; or you can call freephone 0800 731 6550, email email@example.com or visit the fostering page on the council’s website.