Posted: Friday 1st September 2017
More specialist foster carers and carers are needed to support young people and children with complex needs. So we are calling on inspirational people to become a foster carer today. The need to provide safe, secure and loving homes for children across Hertfordshire is growing every year. To find out how you can help visit our website and take the first step.
David*, 54 from Stevenage has been a foster carer for over three years now and before that he was in the police for 30 years.
David said: “My wife had always wanted to be a foster carer but I felt the time was never right but when I retired I started thinking about it more and more. Then I saw some adverts on Facebook that prompted me to fill in an application, what I didn’t know was that my wife has just done the same!”
“I don’t think I realised how busy I would be but it is worth it. We are seeing changes in the children like improvements in their school work. It is slow change but worth it. These children just want love, affection and stability and we can give them this.
If we can keep more children local then they can attend the same school, see their friends and get the support and guidance they deserve. We have a diverse range of children and young people in our care including siblings who are desperate to stay together, teenagers and children with disabilities.
Helen, 37, from Stevenage has been working with teenagers fostering for five years now: “I have worked in some sort of safeguarding role since I was 18 in a variety of roles from nursing and teaching, to education support for looked after children and social work. I have always had a heart for foster caring. When my children got a bit older I thought it would be good to be able to stay at home with them, as my youngest has autism, but also continue working with children. I went to a course to find out more with my husband, who was unsure about it at first but has gained a real passion for it.”
The best bit of the job for Helen is “Seeing children change and find their own identity. One girl left us worlds apart from the insecure and scared person she arrived to us as. It's amazing to see the children thrive in front of you and know you can make a difference in a child's life.”
To anyone thinking of becoming a foster carer Helen says: “I think I say it to everyone but it really is a job like no other. It is challenging and 24/7 but it is so rewarding. It is priceless the feeling you get making a difference in these children’s lives – you are giving them a home and a family. These children are the future. Some of come from such abusive situations and are so sad and lost, and nothing gives me more joy than seeing them laughing and smiling, and being able to be children. ”
All you need is a spare bedroom, the ability to take the good with the bad and a sense of humour! We are encouraging people from all walks of life to consider it - and we want to hear from anyone who has a spare bedroom in their home.
We offer generous allowances, a start-up package and 24 hour access to advice and training.
To find out more visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/fostering
*David is not his real name