Swindon Borough Council has launched a year long campaign to highlight the need for more foster families to ensure the town’s most vulnerable children can stay in their community.
The campaign aims to encourage a diverse range of people to come forward to meet the needs of children and young people in care.
Fostering is about helping children and young people get through a family emergency or a crisis. Foster carers come from all kinds of backgrounds. The only common denominator is that they are people who are interested and committed to helping children and young people by offering to share their homes and their lives for the period of time.
Cheryl Keller, assistant team manager with the borough’s Family Placement Team said, “every young person and child is unique – so we need a wide range of carers to help us to meet their individual needs as fully as possible.
“As you would expect, an extensive interview and assessment is conducted. References are undertaken and there are police checks. Only certain serious criminal convictions will automatically disqualify you from becoming a carer. You will also be expected to attend a pre-service training and attend ongoing training once approved"
Foster carer Sandra described the experience of fostering as one of the most rewarding experiences of her life.
“To see a child come into your home scared, anxious, severely neglected and abused is dreadful. However, to see them leave you, a happy go lucky, confident, well cared for child, with a bright future, is totally fantastic. Every child is different so there is always something new to learn, and after five years of fostering I am still learning and enjoying my role. I would encourage anyone to step forward and give a child a home.”
Foster carers are provided with ongoing training and an allowance. There is someone available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to call and talk to.
For more information call the Family Placement Team on 465700.