The Fostering Network has estimated that 550 foster families will be needed in Wales to keep up with the widespread demand.
To combat this, today (1 January 2020) Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council has launched, #20 Reasons, a campaign to encourage people within their local area to consider fostering.
Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council is one of nine local authorities who have joined forces to create #20Reasons. The campaign uses real foster carers and their motives for fostering to inform and inspire more families to consider looking after a child or young person.
The 20 reasons to foster range from making a difference to a child’s life by giving them a sense of love, belonging and security; to being part of building a positive future and; helping to keep a child in their local area so they can stay in school and near their friends.
All types of foster carers are needed but particularly those who would consider fostering teenagers, therapeutic carers, respite carers, emergency carers, sibling groups and children with additional needs.
Tammy, 36, is one of the foster carers supporting the campaign. She has been a foster carer for almost seven years. After years of trying to start a family of their own, Tammy and her partner chose to take a different approach through fostering.
Tammy said: “I realised that there are so many children that need a loving home and that I had so much love that I wanted to give to a child so it just made sense that this is how we could build our family.
“I have a really close bond with all of the children that I’ve fostered. One of our foster children is now 17 and doesn’t live with us anymore but still comes over for a Sunday dinner every week. Our current long-term foster children even call us mum and dad, and there’s no better feeling than that really.”
Councillor John Mason, Executive Member for Social Services said: “Not many people know the realities of fostering in Blaenau Gwent. From gaining new skills and qualifications to changing your career and feeling the reward and fulfilment that fostering brings. There are many reasons why people choose to foster and we hope we can inspire more to become the lifeline children and young people need.”
If you’ve been thinking about fostering or would like more information visit: https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/health-wellbeing-social-care/fostering/
Here are #20Reasons to foster in 2020:
1. You can help a child who’s had a difficult past
2. You’ll help build positive futures
3. You can help a child reach their full potential
4. Fostering is amazing and rewarding
5. Meet other caring people - just like you
6. You can make a difference locally
7. Choose which type of fostering is right for you
8. Help keep a child in their school
9. Develop new skills and gain qualifications
10. You’ll make a difference that lasts a lifetime
11. It’s a different way to grow your family
12. Become part of our fostering community
13. You’ll be a positive role model
14. Kindness feels good
15. Local children and young people urgently need a home
16. You’ll help build a child’s confidence
17. You can change career
18. You’ll give a child a chance in life
19. Fostering gives you new perspectives
20. You’ll give a child a sense of belonging