Warrington Borough Council’s youngest new foster carer shares her story to celebrate Foster Care Fortnight 2018.
Foster Care Fortnight, 14 – 27 May, is the UK’s biggest foster carer recruitment campaign, run by charity The Fostering Network.
In 2017-18, Warrington Borough Council successfully recruited 24 new foster families, more than triple the number recruited the previous year. The new carers include three single carers, three couples, and 18 families. Kirsty, 24, is the youngest new recruit.
She said: “In November 2016, I heard an advert on the radio about becoming a foster carer and soon saw another on the TV. It’s something I had thought a bit about before and I was in a position where I had flexibility in my life and space in my home, so I went on to the council’s fostering website to find out more. The next step was to go to an information session at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub – I took my sister with me for some moral support!
“I was initially a bit nervous as I was fairly young, single and didn’t have children of my own so wasn’t sure how I would be viewed. I was welcomed with open arms and I think the workers at the event could see from the outset how close my sister and I were. As I discussed my situation with them, they could see that I would have a fantastic support network, coupled with some valuable experience to bring to the table. Together, my siblings and I had provided palliative care to our mum, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago. I had also previously worked as a nursery nurse and a support worker for adults with learning disabilities, not to mention being a very hands on auntie to my nieces and nephews.
“The next stage was an assessment which was relatively straightforward and I’ve now been fostering for nearly a year. In that time I’ve had five children stay with me and I’ve also supported my fellow foster carers to care for three others, by giving them a hand with things like day care and transport.
“Becoming a foster carer has been a life changing experience and the best decision I have ever made. I encourage anyone who feels they could welcome a child into their life to go along to one the meetings and find out more – you won’t look back!”
Cllr Jean Carter, executive board member for children’s services, said: “Foster Care Fortnight provides a fantastic opportunity to both recruit new carers in Warrington and celebrate the dedication of the ones we currently have. Kirsty is undoubtedly a real asset to our team of foster carers and is a true example that there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ foster carer.
“We welcome enquiries from people from all walks of life. If you would like to join the council’s family of over 100 foster carers, give our recruitment team a call and see if fostering could work for you. We are looking for foster carers for children of all ages, and are particularly keen to hear from those who may be able to care for children aged 10 and over.”
Could you become a foster carer with Warrington Borough Council? Visit: warringtonfostering.co.uk or call 01942 444100 to request an information pack.
Alternatively, come along to an information session at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub on Thursday 17 May at 6pm or Tuesday 12 June at 10am.