Foster carers needed in South Gloucestershire
This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.
Children and young people in South Gloucestershire need foster families and it is vital that we recruit more carers. Foster carers receive training and support from the council and need to have time, patience, flexibility and an encouraging and supportive nature. The biggest need is for people who can foster children in the 0-5 and 11+ age ranges. It is also very helpful if people can take siblings and children with disabilities and can offer a permanent commitment to a child through fostering.
Hannah Volker is a foster carer who lives in Yate with her husband Paul and their two boys aged seven and eight. So far, Hannah has fostered seven children and they have all been under the age of five. Currently, Hannah and Paul are foster parents for a 12-month and an 18-month old baby. Hannah said: “I have fostered lots of children over the last few years and the best thing about being a foster carer is when the children move on. Obviously it’s the hardest time for us but it is nice for them because when they do move it is to a permanent home. I do like the challenge when they first arrive though. It’s a really busy time and there are lots of appointments but I enjoy it.”
Asked why Hannah decided to become a foster carer, she said: “It’s always been something I was interested in. I worked in nurseries and I’ve been a nanny. Then I went to an open day at the council and talked to a foster carer. With having young boys we thought it might be something we would do when they were older but we soon realised that there are quite a lot of carers with young children so we thought we could do it too. It’s a really rewarding job. It fits in and around my family and benefits my family too.”
Cllr Sheila Cook, executive member for children and young people, added: “We do need more foster carers like Hannah and local foster families are the preferred option since they provide a family environment that is usually closer to the children’s friends and family. Fostering can be short-term or long-term and the benefits for children include having a stable and secure home environment, often following some sort of trauma in their lives.”
The benefits for foster families include the knowledge that they are making a genuine difference to the life of a young person in need. Foster children can also make a very positive contribution to family life, bringing new perspectives and challenges.
Foster parents form part of a team working with social workers and other staff and there is a wide range of support and help available. Information about the application process, support and requirements for foster parents is available at http://www.southglos.gov.uk/fostering
We also have a foster care charter which explains what you can expect from the fostering service www.southglos.gov.uk/fostercarerscharter. South Gloucestershire’s foster service was rated ‘outstanding’ at its most recent Ofsted inspection in December 2010
If you would like to talk to someone about the next steps, please call Tony Bray in the family placement team on 01454 866423.
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