A COUPLE from Ceredigion are encouraging others to consider fostering as the county council plans to hold drop-in sessions in Aberystwyth for those wanting to learn more.
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, which will be held between 15 and 28 May, representatives from Ceredigion County Council and Foster Wales will be available to offer information and advice to residents.
Drop-in sessions will be held at Aberystwyth Tesco on Friday 19 May 2023 and Friday 26 May 2023 between 11:00 and 15:00. Call by to learn more about fostering and discover what help and support is available.
Jeannie and Ian from Ceredigion became foster carers 12 years ago.
Jeannie says: “I worked in a care home before I retired and one of the other carers had been a foster carer for years. This was something I wanted to do. I met and married a lovely man, Ian, and we started our fostering journey together.
“We had been watching TV and an advert for foster carers came on.
“We looked at one another and knew in that moment that we wanted to foster.
“We contacted our local authority, went to their skills to foster training and signed up.
“We were now on our Form F journey. This took a few months and was very interesting, exploring our backgrounds, our support network and looking at the reasons we wanted to foster.
“I have three grown up daughters with children of their own and my husband has two sons, both with children.
“We both wanted to continue caring for children and young people and felt we still had a lot of time and love to give now that we were retired.
“We went to panel and were approved for 5 to 18 year olds and had a child placed with us within the week! We have never looked back and that was 12 years ago!
“We work well as a team both having different skills and strengths and have always been very well supported by our Supervising Social Worker.
“We have enjoyed the ongoing training that is necessary for foster carers. We have, of course, had difficult times and young people who have been very challenging but together, we got through them.
“There have been lots of wonderful rewarding moments, too many to recall, that make it all worthwhile. If you are thinking about fostering but haven’t yet taken the first step, we say ‘Go for it!”
Cllr Alun Williams, Cabinet Member for Through Age Well-being added: “We are grateful to so many foster carers like Jeannie and Ian who make such a positive difference to the lives of foster children. Staying local can often mean the world to foster children. That’s why we would encourage anyone who is interested in becoming a foster carer to get in touch with the fostering team at Ceredigion County Council who could give you help, advice and answer any questions you may have. As a local foster carer you can help a child feel safe, supported and happy.”
To find out more about becoming a foster carer in Wales visit www.fosterwales.gov.wales or contact the Ceredigion Fostering Team on 01545 574000 or email [email protected]