Empty nesters make great foster carers!
05 September 2016
Bridgend County Borough Council is appealing to ‘empty nesters’ to consider becoming foster carers.
At this time of year, when A-Level results are in and children are embarking on their first steps towards independence at university, many mums and dads may be dreading the silence of an eerily quiet house.
For 18 years or more, parents may have lived in busy homes, so it can be a daunting thought to imagine a family home suddenly becoming quiet and empty. This is where Empty Nest Syndrome kicks in, which poses the question - how can parents re-fill the nest?
An ideal opportunity for any mum and dads finding themselves in this position is fostering. Offering a child a home is in many ways a selfless act but it can also bring a great deal of satisfaction and fulfilment to parents once their own children have fled the nest.
Foster carers can turn 'empty nest syndrome' into a positive experience whilst making a huge difference to a young person’s life.
The council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Services and Equalities, Councillor Hailey Townsend, said: ““We are now approaching the season when thousands of children will leave the family home and make the transition to life at university. It seems timely, therefore, to point out that at a time when so many homes will become ‘empty’ there are thousands of children who are in desperate need of a loving home.
“Becoming a foster carer takes resilience, patience and understanding, something that parents of older teenagers have in spades, along with a wealth of life experience.
“Although some parents view their children leaving home as a liberating time, many find it hard to suddenly have no children at home who need their care, and have a difficult time adjusting to an empty home – this is why we’d urge people to consider fostering.
“Ultimately, empty nesters are ideal candidates to foster as they already possess the invaluable parenting skills which are can make a difference to vulnerable children.”
There are approximately 30,000 children who come into the care system every year, and providing daily support to a vulnerable child or young person would go a long way to providing them with the chance of a better outcome in life.
With an estimated 500 new foster carers needed across Wales in 2016, to ensure that children and young people have a home where their needs can be met, Bridgend Foster Care is keen to hear from experienced parents who may be able to offer a loving home to a young person in need.
Councillor Hailey Townsend continued: “As part of our empty nesters campaign, council staff are visiting various venues across Bridgend County Borough in September to offer information on fostering. If you feel that now is the right time and you are interested in finding out more, please visit the fostering website for full details about the mini roadshow.”
Support for foster carers includes: training, a financial allowance, extensive support and access to other foster carers - including support groups.
If you think your empty nest could become a loving home for children, visit www.bridgendfostercare.wales/emptynesters to find out more or contact the fostering team on (01656) 642674.