Praise for area’s foster carers

Celebrating the commitment, passion and dedication of the region’s foster carers

By Julie McNicholls Vale   |   Deputy news editor   |
Sunday 29th May 2022 3:30 pm
@JulieCambrian
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Meleri Fflur
Meleri Fflur Williams became a foster carer in 2021 (N/a )

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FIRST PERSON: ACCORDING to Foster Wales, over 350 families in Wales started fostering during the pandemic.

One woman who opened her heart and her home to fostering during that time is Meleri Fflur Williams, 29, from Bala.

“I was approved as a foster carer during lockdown, which meant I could provide respite care for other local foster carers,” she said.

“The Foster Wales Gwynedd team have been there whenever I have had any questions or, needed support or to debrief after a child has left.

“I’d encourage people to foster with their local authority. The support you get is brilliant, and it also means children can remain in their local communities, which is what we need for every child.”

Sian Edwards, also from Bala, is an experienced foster carer of 19 years.

Sian Edwards
Sian Edwards is an experienced foster carer of 19 years (N/a ) (N/a)

“Here in Bala, we’re really blessed to have such an amazing group of foster carers in the area,” she said.

“All different ages, some doing respite, and others doing it full time. It’s all about having a group of different people with different skill sets. I really feel we’ve got that here in Bala and if you’re enthusiastic, you can enthuse other people as well. During the pandemic, having that community of other foster carers around you became even more important. We really stepped up as a group of friends.

“One of the things I love about being a foster carer is that the children are grounded and feel part of the community, and they’ve got people looking out for them. That helps them feel more secure and helps with their development. It also helps them to grow up as responsible members of a community. We all need to feel that we belong, and that we belong to something.”

Foster Care Fortnight (9-22 May) offers the chance to celebrate the difference foster carers make to children’s lives, and Gwynedd and Ceredigion councils are two of the 22 local authority teams in Wales working together as Foster Wales, a national network of not-for-profit fostering services.

Morwena Edwards, corporate director and statutory director of social services at Gwynedd Council said: “The last two years have been challenging but we’ve seen compassion and selflessness from our foster carers. They have opened their doors to children and given them a safe place during the Covid-19 pandemic when the rest of the country were struggling to even see their own families.”

Donna Pritchard, corporate lead officer for Porth Ceredigion said: “Fostering has had to adapt to the strange circumstances we all found ourselves in and our foster carers really stepped up to provide outstanding care and support for children and families who needed them, and we want to say a big thank you and convey our appreciation for everything they’ve done.”

Foster Wales wants to encourage more people to become foster carers. Alastair Cope, head of Foster Wales, said: “By fostering locally, you are helping children to stay in their community, with the surroundings, accent, school, language, friends and activities they know. It keeps them connected, builds stability and confidence. We’d encourage people not just to foster, but to foster with their local authority, which is part of Foster Wales, a not-for-profit organisation responsible for the children in our care.”

To find out how you can foster in Ceredigion, email [email protected] or call 01545 574000 and in Gwynedd, visit fosterwales.gwynedd.llyw.cymru.

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