September can be a time for change as young people start school or university or generally people are ready for a change in career.
Wiltshire Council is asking “empty nesters” and those wanting to try a new job to consider fostering and help provide homes for children and young people coming into care in Wiltshire.
For those wanting to find out more or just ask questions there will be an online information evening on 6 October from 6pm. You can join via this link https://bit.ly/3D3pMxz using Microsoft Teams.
Wiltshire Council fostering allowance payments reflect the commitment carers are making to the role. There are different fostering schemes available with payments ranging from £357 to £663 a week, depending on people’s skills and experience.
The council also offers continual training and regular support.
Ana and Joe have been Wiltshire Council foster carers for one year. They look after siblings aged 12 and 14.
Joe is the main carer while Ana works full time. Joe decided he wanted a change of career and after a while they both agreed to try fostering.
Ana explained: “There is a misconception that it’s basically older people who have had their own kids who foster. People should look at it as option in their twenties or thirties. It doesn’t have to be after everything else. Joe is a massive advocate for fostering and he absolutely loves the training. They give loads of training and the support has been incredible. Our social worker is phenomenal there isn’t any point we haven’t felt supported.”
And Ana has some good advice for people thinking of fostering: “I would say people have different levels of understanding of what it means. I think people appreciate it’s very rewarding because you get to help children. The reality is none of these kids are bad kids, none of them, they just need the opportunity. If you are someone who can give them the opportunity, you should do it.”
You can listen to Ana and Joe’s story here – https://youtu.be/c3Iyc_AYizM
Wiltshire Council has a drive to recruit additional carers to help meet the need in the county. Since the start of the campaign in April 2020, 61 additional fostering households have been recruited, but more are needed.
Fostering with the council rather than an independent fostering agency means all money is used to support the children and young people in care and local training and support is constantly available.
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “We are grateful to the many foster carers who provide a warm home and stable influence in our young people’s lives. Many children and young people have gone through trauma and difficulties and we are very fortunate we can offer them a safe place to stay where they can heal and learn to trust again.
“We are so pleased to have new foster carers join us. We are still seeing children and young people come into care and we continue to need more carers. By fostering with Wiltshire Council people can provide a home that is local for that young person and which meets their needs.
“We know there will be people out there thinking they want to know more and I would encourage them to join our information session or give us a call, so we can explain everything needed to help them decide if fostering is right for them.
Foster carers need to be over 21 years of age, have a spare bedroom, time to care for a child and a willingness to care for young people who have experienced trauma and loss.
People who foster with Wiltshire Council are given training and continued support.