Staffordshire’s foster carers are taking centre-stage in the latest campaign to help find families for the county’s vulnerable children.
To meet the urgent need for more foster carers in Staffordshire, a further 60 families need to be found over the next year.
Now, carers from across Staffordshire have come out in force and bravely put themselves in front of the camera for the latest campaign. Their photos will be featured on posters, videos, billboards and social media calling on potential families to ‘Join Us!’
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children & Young People at Staffordshire County Council said:
This is a great campaign that calls on people to consider fostering and to take that first step towards a hugely rewarding career.
“This time round we’ve invited our carers to be the stars of our campaign, and they want the rest of the county to know just how much looking after children has added to their lives.
“We do have an urgent need for more foster carers in Staffordshire and with the start of a new year it’s the perfect time to do something different or take on a new challenge. Even if you are only thinking about it and want to find out more, we would love to hear from you or see you at one of our many information events taking place across the county.”
Staffordshire’s foster carers play a vital role in transforming children’s lives, giving them a loving and stable home and helping them to reach their full potential. People who want to foster need to care about children, have great communication skills and be ready for a challenge.
Sharon Chetwynd, from Tamworth one of the stars of the campaign, said:
Taking part in the photoshoot was really exciting and I’m really glad to be a part of it. Fostering is the best thing I’ve ever done and I really encourage anyone who’s thinking of doing it to come and join us. Come and have a chat at one of our evening presentations and give it a go, because it’s well worth it and really meaningful.”
Dee Karim, a foster carer from Newcastle who specialises in fostering asylum seeking children said:
You’re never alone when you become a foster carer. You always get support when you need it and you get training from the Staffordshire foster care team. I’d definitely encourage people to come forward and become a foster carer for Staffordshire because it’s a great thing to do and at the end of the day you can see the difference you made for that child, and the life that child can have.”
Emily Hardy from Burton said:
Fostering is something that will change your life and if anyone is considering that then I would encourage you to get in touch and take that first step.
“I’m a short term foster carer and I look after a little girl with a disability once a month to give her full time foster carer a break. Short term fostering is great because it gives you the opportunity to try fostering and see if it’s for you really.”
Tanya Budd from Lichfield said:
The most rewarding thing for me is how much the children change while they are with you and how much they appreciate what you’re doing for them. It’s wonderful to see them succeeding in school and in life in general.”
Tom and Anne Wardle, from Yarnfield have specialised in looking after more challenging teenagers. Tom said:
If you’ve ever thought about it, definitely take the first step and go along to one of the information evenings. It’s really worthwhile and you can learn a lot about the training that’s available.
“Our own children, who are now in their thirties, have actually gained from our fostering too because they’ve seen us get involved with disadvantaged young people. And, I think it’s helped them manage their own children too.”
The following Fostering Information Evenings will be taking place where people can find out more about fostering with Staffordshire County Council:
• Wednesday 11 January 2017,7pm, Castle Hotel, Tamworth, B79 7NB
• Thursday 26 January 2017, 7pm, Staffordshire Place 1,Stafford, ST16 2LP
• Thursday 8 February 2017, 7pm, Holiday Inn, Newcastle, ST5 4DL
• Thursday 23 February 2017, 7pm, Staffordshire Place 1,Stafford, ST16 2LP