Fostercare Fortnight: Hampshire County Council appeals for new foster carers

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A Hampshire foster carer is backing Hampshire County Council’s appeal for more people to become foster carers, during Fostercare Fortnight (13 to 26 May 2019).

At any time around 1,600 children need to be fostered in Hampshire so suitable carers are in constant demand across the whole county.

Debbie* (51) lives on a farm with her husband and grown up children. She became a foster carer last year, looking after a young baby as well as caring for a number of other children for a short time or for respite care.

Debbie said: “This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done, and I genuinely feel privileged to have met the most amazing and resilient little people. To anyone who is thinking about fostering, I say – get in touch.”

Steve Crocker, Hampshire’s Director of Children’s Services, said: “Although a whole community of foster carers support the County Council to look after vulnerable children, there is a particular shortage of carers for older children, those in sibling groups or who are disabled, and unaccompanied asylum-seekers.

Hampshire County Council foster carer Debbie

“Foster carers come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions, but what unites them all is a desire and ability to give a caring and stable home to support children and young people who, for a variety of reasons, cannot live with their birth family. This can be on a short-term basis or for extended periods of time. Forget the myths around fostering – you don’t need a whole range of qualifications to become a foster carer – all we ask is that you have a determination to give vulnerable children a safe, happy and stable home environment, a spare bedroom for a child or children to sleep in and that you have some experience of childcare.”

Debbie added that potential foster carers should be flexible and that in her case, she was grateful to have a supportive family, adding: “Honesty and being willing to learn is also important. It can be tough at times emotionally, but help is there for you, both from the Local Authority, as well as from the many other foster carers who are happy to share their stories and support each other.”

Hampshire County Council is holding the following events during Fostercare Fortnight where people can drop in and find out more about fostering:

18 May, 10am to 2pm: Fleet Library;
21 May, 4pm to 7pm: Aldershot Library.

For other events and to find out more about fostering in Hampshire, visit  www.hants.gov.uk/fostering.

 

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