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Notts mum praises network of support to urge more people to become foster carers

12 May 2022

Foster carers Amy and Mark

A caring Nottinghamshire woman has spoken about the ‘amazing’ life-changing experience of giving children a settled and loving home as a foster carer.

Amy, who has been a foster carer with Nottinghamshire County Council for five years, says the fulfilling role ‘has filled us with the most amazing love, empathy and adoration’.

She has shone a light on life as a foster carer as part of Foster Care Fortnight, a national campaign which runs until 22 May and raises awareness of foster care and the need for new carers.

This year’s campaign focuses on #FosteringCommunities and aims to highlight the many ways people across the fostering community support each other, as well as celebrating the various communities involved in fostering.  

Amy said: “Fostering, in a nutshell, is giving a child the chance to live in a family and be loved and adored unconditionally.

“Fostering has changed our whole life. It’s tested our strengths and given us moments of deep sadness, but it has filled us with the most amazing love, empathy, and adoration.

“And it’s those feelings that overpower everything and give us an uncontrollable passion to do it all again – and again, and again.

“Seeing a child arrive at your door in desperation and then leave with the biggest contented smile is addictive.

“Fostering for Nottinghamshire County Council feels like a circle of support all around you.

“There is always someone to turn to whatever and whenever you need help, along with a vast array of focused training available.

“On top of that is the added bonus of days out for birth children, talent shows, foster carers hubs, picnics, discounts and vouchers.”

There are more than 232 children living with foster families in Nottinghamshire and the number needing foster care keeps rising.

Youngsters can enter foster care for a variety of reasons and could be due to a parent’s illness or a specific problem which means they cannot be cared for by their own family.

Some children may have witnessed domestic violence or drug abuse, and others may have been abused or neglected.

Several foster families look after children on a short-term basis but, for many, fostering offers them a secure, permanent home.

Foster carers provide support and care in a family setting and enable children to stay in their local community to minimise further disruption to their lives by helping them stay in their school, close to their friends, and maintaining connections with other family members.

Throughout Foster Care Fortnight, there will be a focus on this year’s theme . . .  fostering communities.

Nottinghamshire’s foster carers benefit from support hubs, which meet on a regular basis and talk about different issues as well as offer advice and help.

There is also the Fostering Liaison Advisory Group (FLAG) committee run by the foster carers, which provides an opportunity for carers to meet regularly and hear updates from the fostering service, professionals, and other organisations about the children they look after.

The county council also hosts a range of events for foster carers and their families, such as the annual Fostering’s Got Talent night, and Sons and Daughters’ Day which is dedicated to the birth children of foster families.

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Chairman of the council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, said: “Our foster carers do an amazing job taking care of vulnerable babies, children and teenagers, but we need more carers to ensure that every child in need can have a safe, loving, and stable home environment.

“If you think you have the space in your home and your heart, and the skills needed to help children thrive, please get in touch with our friendly fostering team.

“You can become a foster carer no matter your age, gender, relationship status or sexual orientation.

“We’re really hoping that more people will consider becoming part of our wonderful fostering community.”

An informal online information event takes place at 11am on Thursday, 26 May, for residents who want to find out more about fostering. Join the event online, find the link at Fostering events | Nottinghamshire County Council.

There is also a drop-in event to meet the recruitment team at Newark Library on Thursday, 12 May, from 1-3pm.

Anyone interested in fostering, or with any questions, regardless of whether you are ready to begin your fostering journey, can get in touch with the Fostering Recruitment Team at Fostering in Nottinghamshire | Nottinghamshire County Council or by calling 0115 804 4440 or emailing fostering@nottscc.gov.uk

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