This Foster Care Fortnight, could you help transform children’s lives in Worcestershire?

gf Published Monday, 8th May 2017

Worcestershire County Council is issuing a call for more foster families across the County, as Foster Care Fortnight 2017 begins across the UK.

According to The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity which runs Foster Care Fortnight, over 7,000 more people with the right skills and experience are needed to offer loving, stable and secure homes to children and young people across the UK. In Worcestershire there is a particular need for those people who might be able to care for siblings.

Many foster carers who choose to foster these groups of children in Worcestershire say how well the fostering service has supported them to develop and evolve their current skillset in order to give a home to children who could not live with their birth family.

Adele Green, Worcestershire Foster Carer, said: "We have been fostering our sibling sisters for 4 years. Fostering siblings is very different from fostering single children, as they still have someone to share memories with and grow up with. We feel that keeping siblings together can be a good thing as children coming into the care system can find it disorientating and scary, but having someone they know and relate to can help them settle in to new homes easily and less stressfully."

Dr Catherine Driscoll, Director of Children's Services at Worcestershire County Council, said: "Prospective foster carers need a range of skills and qualities, including patience, the ability to listen, being a team player, a sense of humour and much more besides. They will receive training and support from the County Council as well as an allowance to cover the cost of looking after the children in their care. If you have a spare room and think you could offer the love and care that a fostered child needs, please contact our fostering service."

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: "Foster families can transform fostered children’s lives, giving them the chance of having the childhood they deserve, a childhood that they otherwise may not have had. Foster carers are amazing people, performing an invaluable role that really serves the whole community.

"A wider pool of foster carers enables fostering services to be able to match the needs of each child more closely with the skills that each foster carer brings, and to find the right home for each child, first time. That’s why we are urging people in Worcestershire to get in touch with their fostering service today."

Over the past several months, Fostering Worcestershire have also been working in collaboration with the fostering services of twelve neighbouring Local Authorities to produce the film Giants.

The emotive and sensitive short film focuses on the story of Jack and Ellie; a brother and sister who want to stay together when they find themselves in foster care. The story highlights a key issue in fostering: that of working to keep brothers and sisters together and the need for more foster carers who would consider caring for siblings.

An overarching theme of ‘giants’ was devised for the film to blend the concept of ‘giants’, or people who help us in society such as foster carers, and also to highlight the strong bond and relationships that brothers and sisters have as they ‘look up’ and care for each other in life and become ‘giants’ to each other.

Working together in this innovative way has resulted in each authority having an extremely high quality production, at a low cost to each, which can be showcased and used to raise awareness for the need for more Local Authority foster carers across the regions.

Giants was launched on the 3 May at a premiere screening at The Everyman, Birmingham, and there will also be a local premiere of the film at the annual Worcestershire Fostering Conference on 16 May. For more information, and to watch the film, visit www.worcestershirefostering.co.uk/giants

To arrange an interview with Gill or Adele please contact Worcestershire County Council's Press Desk on 01905 766 646 or commsunit@worcestershire.gov.uk