Festive Thank You to the Foster Squad

A GROUP of youngsters from the Foster Squad got into the Christmas spirit at a special festive session.

The council-run group is open to the children of foster carers and it meets every month.

The youngsters decide which activities they would like to do in future sessions. Recent activities have included street dancing, learning sign language, a pizza party and going on trips out.

The group also hears from guest speakers on a variety of topics, they make new friends and have the opportunity to talk about any issues they encounter being in a foster care family.

Their Christmas get-together on Thursday 15th December included decorating cookies and tucking into a selection of festive treats.

The children were also presented with a special Thank You certificates by Councillor Jan Gavin, Reading’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, who visited them at their meeting in The Avenue Centre, Tilehurst.

Cllr Gavin said:

“The children of parents who foster play a vital role in ensuring the happiness of the young people who come into the family home.

“It is essential that Looked After Children feel welcomed and part of the family and the foster parent’s own children are amazing at helping to make that happen.

“I was delighted to be able to meet some of the Foster Squad and to thank them for everything they do. I would also like to wish all our Foster Carers and their families a very merry Christmas.”

Any young person aged between seven and 18-years-old who is interested in going along to the Foster Squad group can find out more through their parent’s supervising social worker.

Some people who are interested in fostering do not make the initial enquiry because they are worried about the impact on their own children. However, fostering can be a very positive experience for carer’s birth children, bringing fun and new relationships into their lives.

Some of the council’s foster carers have their own children and others do not but when children foster we make sure they have the support they need.

Reading Family Placements Team is currently looking to recruit more foster carers who could offer short term or long term care to children and young people of all ages.

The council is also looking to recruit carers to its Short Breaks Scheme, which involves providing a regular overnight stay or day respite care to Reading families where there is a child with a disability.

Carers are paid an allowance based on national guidelines which covers the cost of caring for the child or young person, plus an additional payment which recognises their important role as foster carers.

Cllr Gavin said:

“Fostering can be a challenging but hugely rewarding role and we need local foster carers from all walks of life for a variety of different children.

“Our carers are offered ongoing training opportunities and support from our fostering team and other carers.

“If you have the time and commitment to support our children, even on a part-time basis, we would love to hear from you.”

Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a foster carer can contact The Fostering Recruitment Team on (0118) 937 3740, email f&a.recruitment@reading.gov.uk or visit www.reading.gov.uk/fostering.

David Millward

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