Dedication of foster families recognised during Covid-19
This Foster Care Fortnight (11 – 24 May) the county council is celebrating the vital contribution of foster families.
Every day 240 foster families across Gloucestershire are giving 400 fostered children and young people a loving, secure and stable home, and this commitment from foster families is ongoing during the coronavirus outbreak.
The UK’s leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network, is using this year’s Foster Care FortnightTM to raise awareness of the extraordinary dedication and work of foster carers at this time, while calling for more people to come forward to foster.
The charity’s campaign to raise the profile of foster carers and the vital role they play in society is the largest of its kind in the UK. This year’s theme is #ThisIsFostering. The county council is sharing stories and videos from foster carers and the staff who support them on social media, to encourage people to find out more about fostering and how they could change a child’s future by providing a stable home.
Foster carers accomplish incredible things every day, even in the face of a global crisis that has affected every one of us and impacted all aspects of our society. Despite the practical and emotional challenges that the pandemic is bringing, foster carers continue to provide day-to-day support, love and stability to children and young people who can’t live with their birth families. They support children and young people’s education, health, and social wellbeing, and also help to maintain the children’s relationship with the people who are important to them, but who they cannot currently see in person.
Philippa McIntyre, a foster carer for the county council said: “In some ways, foster carers are better prepared for these unusual times than most. We are used to creating security in routines, whilst reassuring and loving the child through uncertainty. We often don’t know what the future will bring for these children and we are committed to loving them in the now.”
Gloucestershire urgently needs more foster carers to make sure fostered children can live with the right foster carer for them. Despite the coronavirus outbreak, this year is no different, so if you’ve ever considered fostering please get in touch.
Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for children’s safeguarding and early years at Gloucestershire County Council said: “Our foster carers are amazing and I’m delighted to support this campaign and say thank you for the constant support they provide to children and families.
“Recruiting foster carers is more important than ever and it doesn’t stop whilst we are in the middle of a pandemic.
“There are many different types of fostering available, from long-term fostering to emergency fostering and respite care. I would encourage anyone who thinks they could provide a stable and loving home for a child to take the first step and get in touch with us today.”
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.