THE commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers is being celebrated during Foster Care Fortnight which kicks off next week.
Reading’s Family Placements Team will be taking part in the annual campaign, which this year has the theme ‘Proud to Foster’. It aims to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.
The team will be out and about over the next few weeks to offer information and advice to anyone who would like to find out more about fostering.
The first event will be outside Marks & Spencer, in Broad Street, on Monday 8th March to mark the start of Foster Care Fortnight, which runs until Sunday 21st May.
The Fostering Network leads the annual event which highlights the need for more foster carers across the country.
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.
People who foster genuinely care about children and young people and want to do something practical which will really make a difference. Providing a home and giving support to a child who needs help is rewarding and satisfying. The carer’s own children also benefit by making new friends and learning about the circumstances of less fortunate families.
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.
Social workers provide regular support and guidance to carers and there are excellent training opportunities. Membership of local and national carers groups also provides support and offers opportunities to connect with other foster carers. Activities are also organised for the birth children of foster carers.
Councillor Jan Gavin, Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Foster care transforms lives and we want to say thank you to our existing carers who are ‘Proud to Foster’ and encourage new foster carers to come forward.
“Our Family Placement Team will be in Reading town centre on Monday and at events across the borough over the coming weeks and they would love to talk to anyone interested in finding out more about fostering.
“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. If you have the time and commitment to support our children, even on a part-time basis, we would love to hear from you.”
Reading Family Placement Team will be at the following events:
May 8th – Foster Care Fortnight event in Broad Street
May 10th – Reading Civic Offices, Bridge Street, 1pm – 3pm
May 12th – Asda, Lower Earley
May 13th – Forbury Fiesta, Forbury Gardens
May 21st – Family Fun Day at Biscuit Tin, opp. Reading Railway Station
June 3rd – RBH League of Friends Summer Fete, Victoria Recreation Ground, Tilehurst
June 10th – WaterFest
June 25th – East Reading Festival, Palmer Park
Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a foster carer can contact The Fostering Recruitment Team on (0118) 937 3740, email firstname.lastname@example.org, text the words FOSTER or ADOPT to 81722 or visit www.reading.gov.uk/fostering.
Notes to Editors
Photo Opportunity: Cllr Jan Gavin will be meeting Reading foster carers at the Foster Care stall outside Marks & Spencer, in Broad Street, at 9.45am on Monday 8th May. Media are invited to send a reporter/photographer.