Being a lawyer and a business consultant are amongst the dreams being realised by two former children in care thanks to their foster families.
The duo are now urging more Staffordshire families to come forward to help children in care achieve their potential.
Jess Rees and Marvin Campbell have joined Staffordshire County Council’s latest campaign to highlight the positive difference that foster families are having on children’s lives.
19-year-old Jess who is currently studying law at university said:
“My foster carers were great and supported me throughout my teenage years. They encouraged me to work hard at school and in life in general and to take part in as many activities as I could. I’m now at uni studying law, which I love. I want to be a Solicitor one day but I probably wouldn’t have got this far if it wasn’t for them.”
Marvin, from Lichfield is now a management consultant and added:
“Lots of children in care will have had a tough start to their lives, so making sure they are loved and encouraged is vital if they are to flourish and realise their dreams and do well in life. I wasn’t the easiest child and I spent many years myself in care with lots of different Foster families but all children in care want is a normal family life.
I would definitely encourage people to consider being a foster carer and it’s something I’m already thinking about doing myself in the future. The difference you could make is amazing.”
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council explained that the authority needs to recruit around 60 foster families over the next year.
“We are always looking for foster families to come forward and when you hear about the amazing difference that fostering can make to a young person’s life, you’ll see why it’s such a wonderful thing to do.
“All sorts of people from all walks of life can and do foster and our latest ‘Foster a Spark’ campaign aims to encourage more people to come forward. People who want to foster simply need to care about children, have a spare room, good communication skills and be up for a challenge. If this sounds like you and you’re looking to make a difference in 2018 then please get in touch.”
Foster carer Kelly Hyden started fostering when she was 23 years old and has looked after over 60 children. Kelly said:
“Fostering is the best thing we have ever done. Seeing the small differences we make in the children we care for every day is amazing.
“There is often a stigma attached to looked after children and people think the children are hard to care for and misbehave. We have cared for 66 children, mainly teenagers and while they have their challenges, they are the most polite, caring, loving individuals we have ever met. I’d definitely urge people to consider fostering and take that first step.”
Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer can find out more at http://www.care4child.org or by calling 0800 169 2061. People can also attend one of the following information meetings with a chance to meet real foster carers:
- Thursday 18 January,7pm, Burton Town Hall, Burton
- Wednesday 31 January, 7pm, Staffordshire Place 1, Tippling Street Stafford
- Tuesday 6 February, 7pm, Holiday Inn, Junction 15, Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme.