22/09/2015 - Permalink

Shropshire’s foster carers recognised for their life-changing contributions

Related topics: Community

foster carers event - 22-9-15

The life-changing contributions of some of Shopshire’s longest-serving foster carers were celebrated at a special celebration event today (Tuesday 22 September 2015).

The event, held at Shirehall in Shrewsbury, saw awards being presented to the county’s foster carers – with Shropshire Council saying a heartfelt “thank you” for providing loving, caring homes to hundreds of youngsters over the last 20 years and more.

At the same time, Shropshire Council is looking to recruit more foster carers and is appealing for people to come forward if they are interested or would like to find out more.

Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said:

“I am delighted to recognise the commitment and incredibly important role that foster carers play in children’s lives. These are people from all walks of life who quietly get on with what is one of the most important roles any of us can play in life: giving a child a good start in life. The difference is, they are prepared to open up their homes and hearts to someone else’s child.”

Karen Bradshaw, Shropshire Council’s director of children’s services, said:

“While it’s a hugely rewarding role, knowing that you are positively changing the lives of those they care for, it can also present significant challenges. This event was our opportunity to show our thanks for their dedication, and for the massive contribution that our foster carers make to our community.”

Steve Ladd, Shropshire Council’s service manager, said:

“At any one time we typically have some 160 children in foster care placements within Shropshire, and a further number of children are placed with external foster carers. Ideally we need to recruit another 20 new foster carers.

“A placement can be as short as an overnight stay, or sometimes it can last years – it all depends on the circumstances. And while some carers prefer babies or toddlers, others bring skills and life experience to offer older children and teenager’s positive experiences of family life.

Many people think that they don’t fit the ‘profile’ or that they aren’t sure what it involves. But there is no typical profile: we have single carers, married couples, working couples, unemployed couples and single-sex couples. We need people from every walk of life like our children and young people. The one thing all our carers have in common is space in their home and room in their lives.

“So if you’re interested to learn more, get in touch. You’ll be trained, supported and financially rewarded. But above all, you’ll be there for someone who really needs you.”

To discover more about fostering, call 0800 783 8798 or go to shropshire.gov.uk/fostering.