Barnardo's foster carers are sharing their inspiring stories during the charity's Fostering Week
Since Barnardo’s first fostering campaign ten years ago, the charity has found loving foster families to care for vulnerable children more than 8,200 times.
Tony Foulkes and his wife Cathie, have welcomed five children into their homes over the last nine years. For Cathie and Tony fostering proved to be life changing both for the children they have fostered and for themselves. They currently care for two children.
Tony said: “We love it. Tony said: “They are a lovely and they keep us on our toes. We have so much fun with them. I would definitely recommend fostering to others. There is support there for you and you know you are doing something good.”
Cathie, who works part-time for a local hospice, said: “All children are challenging but as long as you set up routines and stick to them the children respond. We constantly reassure them that they can talk to us about anything, we are there for them. When they leave us but still take the time to visit or phone us to tell us they love us, that’s the reward – and they keep us young!”
Since Barnardo’s first fostering campaign ten years ago, the charity has found loving foster families to care for vulnerable children more than 8,200 times. Over the decade, the number of children in care in England has risen by 27 per cent.
Without more foster carers Barnardo’s could struggle to find the right carers to look after children.
This is why the charity is appealing to people to find out about how they can become foster carers and help change a child’s live.
Foster carers need to live in the right location and be available when a vulnerable child needs a loving family and have the right training and skills.
This could be particularly difficult for those children who are disabled, have siblings, are older, or from a religious or minority ethnic background. It is important for their needs to be met and for any child to be given the opportunity to continue their religious or cultural beliefs with foster carers who are able to support this.
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “Every child deserves a safe and happy childhood. We urgently need more foster carers to ensure that children in care have just this.
“We know that being a foster carer can be challenging, but we also know how incredibly rewarding it is and have seen first-hand the positive difference it can make to a child’s life.
“Barnardo’s is with carers every step of the way providing training and support throughout the whole fostering journey, from the first enquiry, through the approval process, to when carers meet their first foster child and beyond.”
To find out more about becoming a foster carer or the support Barnardo’s can offer visit: https://www.barnardos.org.uk/what-we-do/fostering-and-adoption or call 0800 0277 280.