Fantastic foster carers celebrating 40 years looking after county’s children
Foster carers Neil and Sally Barnaby are celebrating forty years of fostering vulnerable children for the county council this year.
The couple from Gloucester, have cared for more than 100 children over the years and they are currently providing a loving home to three children.
One child has learning difficulties and she has thrived in their care, exceeding everyone’s expectations of her. She now has a permanent home with them.
Another young person who has been fostered by Neil and Sally since she was 10, will continue to stay with the couple on a ‘Staying Put’ fostering arrangement after she turns 18 soon.
Most recently, they took on the huge and daunting challenge of caring for a baby with a genetic disorder, who requires very specialist care. She is now four and they are applying to care for her permanently.
After forty years, the couple have never looked back and wouldn’t change a thing saying:
"Well, what can we say? It’s been a journey, mainly a long, exciting journey with just a few bumps in the road. We would do it all again in a heartbeat. What fantastic memories we have to treasure”.All foster carers receive ongoing support from a fostering social worker, Neil and Sally’s is Ros Longwill who said,
"There are many amazing foster carers out there all doing a fantastic job, but Neil and Sally deserve special recognition.
"Over the years they have provided a variety of short term, emergency and long term placements to some of our most vulnerable children in Gloucestershire. Of course it hasn’t all been plain sailing for them, as they have faced the ups and downs of fostering and all that entails. However, through their genuine care for the children, determination and supportive family, the rewards have been many both for them and the children.
"On behalf of the Fostering Service I would like to congratulate them on 40 years of fostering. Thank you Sally and Neil for your continued dedication, commitment and hard work."
Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for children’s safeguarding and early years said:
“What an amazing achievement! Neil and Sally are a great example of just how rewarding foster care can be. I’d like to thank them for their extraordinary dedication and commitment.
“They have changed many young lives for the better and will clearly continue to do so. I’d encourage anyone who has ever considered fostering to find out more.”
Gloucestershire County Council accepts applications to foster from all sectors of the community. There is no upper age limit to foster and people can be single, married, co-habiting, in a heterosexual or same sex relationship, own or rent their home. Applicants need to be over 21 and have a spare room (or spare rooms for siblings) in their home.
Contact the team for more information on 01242 532654 or go to www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/fostering.