Nottinghamshire couple call for others to make a difference and foster this year
Over the festive period, John Lewis’s Christmas advert brought attention to fostering and foster care. Now two Nottinghamshire foster carers are urging people to keep the issues in mind at the start of the new year.
Maureen and Gary, from Kirkby-In-Ashfield, have been foster carers with Nottinghamshire County Council for over 25 years.
Maureen, 70, and her partner Gary, 61, are sharing their fostering story to highlight the importance of fostering and calling for anyone interested to get in touch with the council and find out more.
Maureen said, “Children need a family environment, they need to know that someone loves them. It is really important for children to have that support. The children we’ve fostered have now gone on to have families of their own and settle down. It is so rewarding to see them grow up and have families of their own and be able to cope with it. Little things you’ve not realised you’ve done have helped them in the long term.”
She added, “I come from a large family and have always looked after younger ones. I have two birth children and Gary has a son – we’re a blended family. I’d always been used to looking after children and it was something we both always enjoyed. I saw an advert about fostering in the local paper and decided to enquire.”
“We’ve fostered all ages, from the tiny ones to teenagers. As our birth children got older, we fostered more teenagers.
The need for foster carers nationally is high, and Nottinghamshire is no exception. Maureen is keen to see more vulnerable children supported by loving families in 2023.
“When a child arrives, they’re frightened and afraid and may have had negative experiences with adults. You’ve got to earn their trust and it is so rewarding to see them grow. It’s a vocation and a passion. If you want to look after children and make a difference, the reward is fantastic.”
Maureen also praised the support that Nottinghamshire County Council offers to carers. She said, “You have a social worker working with you and the child has their own social worker too. You all work together. You are fully supported in every aspect at every stage, there is always someone there for you. It’s a really great support team.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Nottinghamshire County Council, said, “There are not enough words to express the thanks that all of our foster carers deserve. They play an amazing and vital role in caring for some of our county’s most vulnerable children.
“We currently have 229 foster carers who do an amazing job, but we need many, many more for all of the Nottinghamshire children who need a safe home. Over 950 children are currently looked after in Nottinghamshire. A safe, loving home is the best place for a local child to thrive and we’re urging anyone with an interest in fostering to come forward. We want to make sure that as many children as possible have a stable environment where they will be cared for.
“We’re a therapeutic fostering service with a range of specialist training and support designed to help foster carers to support children who have experienced trauma in their lives.
“All of our foster carers benefit from a locally-based social worker to support them, as well as access to specialist services, training opportunities and a network of support from other local carers.
“Come along to an information event – either online or in person – or get in touch with our friendly fostering recruitment team who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. No question is too big or too small.”
Foster carers come from all walks of life – do something amazing this year and consider fostering
Join an online information event with fostering staff and carers to learn more. The next events will be held on Wednesday 11 January at 1pm, Thursday 2 February at 1pm and Thursday 23 February at 5.15pm, with lots more planned throughout the year. There will also be in person drop-in sessions held at Stapleford Library on Thursday 12 January from 10am to 12pm, Harworth And Bircotes Town Hall on 25 January from 11am to 1pm, and at Retford Morrisons on Thursday 9 February, 10.30am to 12.30pm where you can come along and meet the team. Find out about more events and how to join at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/FosteringEvents.
Or contact the fostering recruitment team directly:
0115 804 4440