Rochdale Borough Council is celebrating Foster Care
Fortnight by inviting residents to chat with foster carers about their role in looking
after some of the area’s most vulnerable children.
Rochdale’s Fostering Team will be at the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre on Saturday 17 and 24 May between 9am-5pm along with several foster parents, who will be on hand to answer any questions about fostering as a career.
There are around 500 children in the borough being looked after by foster families, with the council needing all types of foster parents to meet the different needs of children.
Gail Hopper, Director of Children’s Services at Rochdale Council, said: “As a council we are especially keen to recruit foster carers who can look after older children, teenagers and children with disabilities. We find that Foster Care Fortnight is a really useful way of highlighting the difference fostering can make to a child’s life - it is one of the most rewarding jobs anyone can do.”
“Rochdale’s Fostering Service offers a huge range of local training and support for their foster families. Our carers have access to professional health and educational support, and we also provide them with the equipment and allowances they need to look after their child.”
Jill, who along with her husband Glyn has fostered with Rochdale Council for five years, said: “Being a foster carer is incredibly fulfilling. We have recently been approved to be the long-term carers of the boy we look after, who has some disabilities, and we feel very proud to be making a difference in his life.
“He recently took part in a school play where he had a small speaking part. I cannot put into words how proud we were that he not only acted his part, but also put so much feeling into his voice and actions. What a difference to when he originally came to live with us, when we couldn’t even establish whether he’d had a good day at school!”
Residents are welcome to drop into the Exchange Shopping Centre for a chat at any time during the two Saturdays, where the team will also be handing out goodies.
Notes to Editor
Foster Care Fortnight 2014 will take place from Monday 12 to
Sunday 25 May. It is the Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise the
profile of fostering. It is the UK's biggest foster carer recruitment campaign.
Jill and Glyn's story
Glyn has experience of being in care himself, and was four when he was abandoned by his birth mother. It’s no coincidence that his foster child was the same age when he went into care.
“I never forgot the feeling of being abandoned by my mother, and I’d always wanted to foster as a result, admits Glyn. He adds: “I felt such a connection with this little boy when we met him, there was just something about him. We were originally respite foster carers, meaning that we only took on children for short periods, but we knew immediately that we wanted to be our boy’s long term carers.”
Their foster child was six when he first became available for long-term fostering. Glyn had recently left his job for medical reasons and Jill had just been made redundant after more than 30 years.
Jill says: “It just seemed meant to be. We both wanted to provide a long-term, stable and loving environment for him and now we had the perfect opportunity. I never thought I’d be able to do any other job, but this is so much more rewarding that anything I’ve done before.
“Another one of the great things about fostering is we now have so much more time to spend with our granddaughter. We have a grown-up daughter who has her own little girl, and we regularly go out on trips or days away with them and our little boy; it’s something we’d never have been able to do in our previous careers.”
Now ten years old, their foster child has come on leaps and bounds since he first arrived with Jill and Glyn. And in the four years since taking on their little boy, both say they have never looked back.
Glyn explains: “When he first came to us he struggled to do the things a lot of children his age took for granted. He will always have additional needs, but he is a completely different boy to when he first arrived; he even has a job as ‘Play Coordinator’ at his local trampolining club. We are just so proud of him.”
Rochdale Borough Council - We are a council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.