17 May 2016
Sheffield City Council are asking more families to help change the lives of children and young people throughout the city by becoming foster carers. This comes in Foster Carer fortnight when both locally and nationally more Foster Carers are needed.
In Sheffield there are 271 fostering households who look after more than 278 children.
The call for more carers comes at the start of Foster Care Fortnight, which runs nationally between 16 and 29 May.
Ian and his wife Carol started fostering in October 2012 and have since fostered nearly 30 children. They foster young people awaiting court proceedings. Ian had been volunteering with the youth offending team as a mentor when he heard about remand fostering and decided to give it a go.
Ian said: “Young people get a lot of bad press. They aren’t villains; they are just kids who haven’t had the opportunities that other children may have had. All they want is a stable home and someone who cares about them and helps them to make the right choices.
“If you have a spare bedroom and can provide a young person with a safe space you could really change a young person’s life. One teenager came to us, she was so anxious she couldn’t even get on the bus. Now she is going out all the time.
“It’s the best, most rewarding job you will ever have.”
The council is looking for more foster carers across Sheffield for all types of fostering as well as specialised care such as remand fostering.
Lynne and Philip are council tenants who have been fostering children for the past 16 years.
Lynne said: “It is one of the most rewarding things we have ever done. Just seeing the change in the children you care for. You often can’t see it at the time but when you look back at how far they’ve come, from being withdrawn or not speaking any English, you can really see the difference you are making to these children’s lives.
“It’s often the simple things that make a real difference that we take for granted. I remember taking one little boy to the seaside. His eyes were so wide when he saw the sea. He said ‘look at the big bath water’.
“If it is something you have been thinking about, don’t think I can’t do this. Go along to a meeting or call the council’s fostering team to find out more and give it a go.”
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said “The foster carers in our City do a brilliant job. We need many more people to become foster carers – it’s rewarding can be challenging but you can and will change lives!
“We particularly need people who could care for those older children or those brothers and sisters who need support and to stay together.
“Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more details – we’d be delighted to hear from you.
She added “I’d like to take the opportunity during Foster Care Fortnight to say a big ‘thank you’ to all foster carers for the wonderful job they do.”