Wiltshire For Refugees community group and Wiltshire Council’s Foster team are working together to find new carers and supported lodging providers in Wiltshire.
They are urgently needed to accommodate the vulnerable young people arriving in the region.
The majority are boys in their mid to late teens and one of the most important factors for their future wellbeing is a supportive carer.
At a fostering and supported lodgings information evening at Corsham Town Hall, 65 High Street on Wednesday 23 October (7pm-8:30pm), anyone interested can meet a foster family, specialist social workers and other experts who will explain exactly what’s involved. Come along to hear about the experiences of unaccompanied young people in our care, from young people and those who care for them in a relaxed, informal environment.
Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: “Fostering makes a positive difference to a child’s life, and we really want to talk to people who can offer love, warmth and a positive home life.
“Fostering can transform a child’s life and help them achieve their full potential, while at the same time enriching the life of the carer. I would urge anyone interested in either fostering or being a supported lodgings provider to come along to the info evening, it’s a great way to find out more about the system.”
Saeed a refugee studying in Wiltshire said: “Since being in foster care, I have had lots of opportunities. I have a job, I have been to school and now at college I play rugby and I am learning to drive. People like me need a family, opportunities and support during difficult times. I would encourage more people to become foster carers to help other children like me because some children do not have a good life.”
Kerry Beety, Saeed’s foster carer said: “We started fostering Saeed when he first arrived in England at 14 years old. It was only supposed to be for two weeks! But almost three and a half years later, we are a family of four. Having Saeed as part of our family seemed like a natural process. It was a very big learning curve with different cultures and religions, but we’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Fostering any refugee comes with challenges, but as we continue to work through them, we grow stronger together. Maci has an older brother who she thinks the world of, and we are looking forward to supporting Saeed into adulthood and a great future.”
Anyone can apply to become a foster carer or supported lodgings provider as long as they’re aged over 21, with a spare room and permanent leave to remain or British citizenship. Our carers are paid and receive training and support.
“We are calling on people across Wiltshire to find out more about fostering and supported lodgings and take the first step to supporting a young refugee” said Isla of Wiltshire For Refugees.
“These brave young people have a lot to give and a foster placement is vital to them making a success of their new life in the UK.”
For more information, visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/fostering
If people would like to find out more about Wiltshire For Refugees they can be found on Facebook.