Cheshire East Council is looking for people to take on a highly-rewarding career and register their interest in becoming a foster carer.
The appeal for more carers comes during ‘Foster Care Fortnight’ – a national campaign that the local authority is fully supporting.
Fostering is a deeply fulfilling way of life, which anyone who has a passion for giving children the best possible start should consider.
While the council is very fortunate that it can call upon many foster carers, who have already made this fantastically rewarding life choice, there is the need to recruit more.
Foster Care Fortnight takes place from 13- 27 May and is the UK’s biggest foster carer recruitment drive, led by the charity The Fostering Network. This year’s campaign theme is #changeafuture, which aims to highlight the positive differences foster carers can make to the futures of young people in care.
Foster4, the new shared foster carer recruitment service for Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Halton Borough Council and Warrington Borough Council, asked two young people, who were in foster care to tell their stories.
Sajana, from Nantwich, who is 19, said: “I lived with my foster carers, Sandra and Ian, from being 16. They welcomed me into their home and really got to know me and my needs, we always watched I’m a Celebrity together – just really typical stuff.
“They encouraged me to resit my GCSEs and spurred me on to do an apprenticeship in childcare, driving me to my placement in a nursery every day.
“They really did make sure I had the best possible chance of a happy and successful future.”
Naomi, from Sandbach, is 19. She said: “I was 17 when I spent six months in foster care. As soon as I met my foster carer Laura, I felt we got on really well – we have similar interests so I felt we were a good match. My first impressions were really positive; Laura was approachable, kind and caring.
“Laura was a single carer, so it was just us two and her cat. I enjoyed spending time with her –she brought me out of myself and made me feel more confident. I was given the freedom to spend time with my family if I wished.
“Laura was very supportive and helped me to find a job by helping with my CV and encouraging me to apply for roles. She also helped with practical things such as cooking and learning how to budget and pay bills, something which I’m grateful for now I’m living independently.
“More importantly, Laura helped me to be a better person. I still see her now and she remains a real source of support in my life.”
Mark Palethorpe, acting executive director of people at Cheshire East Council, said: “Choosing to become a foster carer is a fantastic, rewarding life choice and Cheshire East Council will continue to prioritise our search to recruit more local carers from all backgrounds and experiences across the borough.
“It’s heart-warming to hear such positive experiences from young care leavers like Sajana and Naomi, knowing that we have a team of brilliant foster carers and that through their compassion and commitment, they are changing the future of children and young people.
“I urge anyone who is considering becoming a foster carer to make that call to Foster4 and start making a difference to children and young people in Cheshire East.”
As part of the Foster Care Fortnight campaign, Foster4 is looking for people have a spare bedroom and can welcome a local young person to be part of their family on either a short or long term basis.
You could foster around your existing job, if you have one, as long as you can be flexible or you can make fostering your primary role.
You can read more stories from care leavers and request an information pack at: www.foster4.co.uk or call 01925 444100 to find out more. Find Foster4 on Facebook: @foster4cheshire. Follow #changeafuture on social media.