Central Bedfordshire is #proudtofoster
8 May 2017
Foster Care Fortnight begins today and this year the overarching theme is ‘foster care transforms lives’ with the hashtag #proudtofoster.
It runs until Sunday, 21 May and is a great way of celebrating the important work which our foster carers do – and encourage others to follow their example.
Give a child a home
If you can foster a child, we'd love to hear from you!
Telephone: 0300 300 8181
What makes a typical foster carer?
There’s no typical foster carer – and in Central Bedfordshire we have all sorts of foster carers from single people fostering teenagers to families who have fostered young asylum seekers from different countries.
Some have only started with us recently while others have been fostering for more than 30 years.
But they are all #proudtofoster and give a second chance in life to children and teenagers who may not otherwise have that opportunity.
We asked them why.
Michelle and Andy, who have been fostering for more than 15 years, said: "We’re #proudtofoster to see a child smile who was once frozen to the world and its surroundings; To see a sparkle in their eyes when once there was fear; To see the love and compassion for others when once there was anger; To see a child eager to embrace all that life can offer with open arms instead of with contempt; To see the transformation of a wonderful person and to know that we were part of the process – that is fostering."
Alexander said: "Things that make me proud include seeing a child who has been with you for three years, playing and making friends on equal terms – learning to play while feeling safe.
"The day he rode his bike for the first time without stabilisers – this was after a year of taking him out every weekend.
"After a period of tough behaviours we had a day out, not knowing how it would go. At the end of the day he thanked us and said he had had a really good day and it had made him feel special. This was a stand-out moment of thinking ‘we make a difference’ as the ability to see the child behind the behaviours is not always easy."
Katrina said: "I’m #proudtofoster because I know that I am making a positive difference to a young person’s life and helping a young person reach their potential."
In Central Bedfordshire there is a particular need for people who can foster older children, children with challenging behaviours, unaccompanied young asylum seekers and sibling groups.
Fostering is open to people of all backgrounds, whether you’re single, married, LGBT, in a long-term relationship or civil partnership.
You do not have to own your own home, and the main requirements are being able to offer youngsters who have entered the care system the time, space and support to develop and enjoy a childhood they may otherwise have not.
Sue Harrison, our Director of Children’s Services, said: "Our foster carers do an incredible job and we are proud of all of them – and it’s great to hear that they are proud of what they do too.
"Our foster carers offer children a loving home and emotional support and security which they may not otherwise have – through no fault of their own. If you would like to join them and do something incredible then we would love to hear from you."