Nottinghamshire County Council is this fortnight running a campaign to raise awareness of support care fostering which enable people to foster children for regular weekends or short breaks at a time to fit around their lifestyle. There are currently only 32 support foster carers in the county and the campaign seeks to increase this number.
Scott said: “It is about giving foster carers a break and we work with different families to understand and keep to their routine and give the children a fun time, trying new things that they might not have done before and making them feel very welcome.
“We are really excited about our latest placement who seems really keen to stay with us and was particularly taken with our pet rabbit as she has not seen one close up before.”
Alison adds: “Every child is different so it is about treating them as individuals. We put different posters up in their room to suit their tastes, let them choose their bedding and encourage them to put photographs and other favourite things on noticeboards to really make them feel at ease. We will also find out what sort of food they like so we can stock up with things which they will enjoy.”
Scott works at a bakery as a delivery driver leaving early in the morning while Alison gets the children up, then Scott is back for the afternoon to take over if Alison is at her work at a school. It means that the support carer role works for them as it balances with their full-time roles and they can negotiate what hours they devote to it.
Scott said: “We do all sorts of activities – things such as ten-pin bowling and long walks and picnics. Things that keep them active and us active, so that they are getting to try out some fun things that will give them lots of great memories.
“It is enjoyable to have a different face in the house and if a child leaves us happy then we know we have done good jobs as we know we have made them feel part of the household.”
The couple say there are so many highlights over the last three years – things such as having little handmade thankyou cards given to them, helping one boy learn to safely climb a tree, helping another to learn to ride his bike in the space of a weekend and even just taking children out to a coffee shop.
The couple will be approved as mainstream full-time foster carers later this month, but still hope to offer support care to matched children as well.
Scott said: “We are happy to support this campaign to recruit more support foster carers as there are not enough of them. If you have the time and the patience then please do look into it as it is so enjoyable building up a relationship with the young person and their main foster carers.”
Alison added: “It is rewarding to be able to provide that fun time for the children, and if they have not had much of a childhood, it is great to see them just be children.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It is great news to hear how much Alison and Scott enjoy their roles as support foster carers. Welcoming a child or young person into your home makes a long term difference and we are looking for people that can foster part-time, especially at weekends or during school holidays.”
People interested in fostering support care can visit Nottinghamshire County Council’s website or call 0300 5008080.
There is an informal drop-in session arranged with members of the fostering recruitment team on hand to discuss all aspects of foster care. The event is: