Northamptonshire Children’s Trust joins in national campaign for Foster Care Fortnight

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Foster Care Fortnight (FCF) is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, delivered by leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network. FCF over the years, has showcased the commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers whilst also highlighting the need for more people to step up and be a foster carer, with the greatest need being foster carers for teenagers and sibling groups.

The theme this year is #FosteringMoments.

Fostering provides vital care to children and young people in our communities, enabling them to stay local to everything they are familiar with. This Foster Care Fortnight, we want to celebrate the moments that define fostering journeys, big and small. The moments that built confidence, made young people feel safe and created memories.

Julian Wooster, Chair of Northamptonshire Children’s Trust said: “Foster Care Fortnight is a fantastic way to raise awareness of fostering and the constant need for more foster carers in the UK.

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“Our carers do an incredible job of supporting and guiding our children, ensuring that they have the best care and support as well as the same opportunities as everyone else. Together, we can make a real difference to a child or young person’s life.”

Foster carers Vivienne and Hayley will be on N Live Radio and BBC Radio Northampton during the fortnight to speak about their experiences of fostering. Hayley has fostered with Northamptonshire Children’s Trust for 18 years and has cared for 81 children during this time. These children have been a mixture of emergency, respite and short term, with four children progressing to Special Guardianship Orders after fostering them.

Hayley said: “There is so much to love about fostering, many positives including the empathetic, caring and sharing individuals it has helped our birth children to become. The biggest high though has to be the small changes in the children that you care for. Sometimes it’s just a smile when there was none before. Knowing that you have had that ability to make a childhood better is what makes us keep doing it again and again.

The team that surrounds us as foster carers have always been supportive through the ups and downs and gives us the confidence to do what we do to the best of our ability. Fostering is without a doubt the thing that our family is most proud about.”

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Foster carers come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a wide range of life and work experiences with them. Our foster carers are part of our team of professionals and receive ongoing training to develop the skills and knowledge required to best meet the needs of children in their care. Alongside this professionalism, they offer children and young people with stability, support and care.

Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “Foster Care Fortnight is such an important time to highlight our brilliant foster carers and all they do to make a difference to the lives of our children and young people. The work they do is invaluable, and it is really important that we recognise this, say thank you for all they do and also encourage new foster carers to come forward and join us.

“Being a foster carer is extremely rewarding and plays a vital role in transforming the lives of children and young people. I would encourage anyone interested in becoming a foster carer to contact our fostering team for more information, we would really love to hear from you.”

Cllr Scott Edwards, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills, said: “Fostering a child can be challenging, but carers tell us it is also one of the most rewarding things they have ever done.

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“If anyone thinks they have what it takes to make a difference to the life of a child or young person, then please do get in touch.”

There are many different types of fostering, each comes with its challenges and rewards, and the more people learn about fostering the more they realise which type of fostering would be most suited to them. These include emergency, short-term, long-term, short-breaks and specialist fostering schemes which can include parent and baby placements and therapeutic foster care. Our friendly fostering team will work with you to explore the different types of fostering to understand what will be best for you.

A monthly fostering drop-in information evening is held in Northamptonshire for anyone who is considering becoming a foster carer and would like to find out some more information. This allows them to ask social workers any questions that they may have and listen to the experiences of our current foster carers. Details about the evenings can be found on our website below.

If you are interested in fostering, please get in touch today by visiting https://nctrust.co.uk/fostering/