The ‘Time Is Right’ to become a Foster Carer in Bridgend County Borough
Posted on: Wednesday 25 January 2023
A new vlog campaign, the ‘Time is Right’, has been launched by Foster Wales, the national network of 22 Welsh Local Authority fostering services.
In a series of conversations with journalist and presenter Mai Davies, the campaign features open and honest discussions between foster carers across Wales, and from all walks of life who describe the reasons that led them to becoming foster carers.
It is hoped that the campaign will allow potential foster carers to recognise the valuable life experiences they already possess that would help them to become well-rounded and supportive foster carers in their own communities.
In one episode Cath, a foster carer from Denbighshire discusses her journey through the fostering process. She said: “I think people’s perception of being a foster carer is something that they’re not.
“A lot of people say when you’re out and about, ‘I’d love to be a foster carer but I’m not sure’ and I always say, ring up and ask, nobody will ever knock on your door and ask if you want to be a foster carer.
“Some of these children have had experiences by the age of five that people will never have in their lives, and it’s just having that empathy, understanding and non-judgemental attitude really.”
Jenny a foster carer from Flintshire, began fostering when she was 66 after her husband passed away. After initially thinking she may be too old, she now thinks her age has advantages for fostering.
She commented: “Where I live, the children on the street will play with the children who come to me, and they’ll say, ‘is that your Nan?’ And course, they say yes because it’s easier, they then don’t have to explain and say well no actually it’s a foster carer looking after me because that’s awkward.
“They see me as a kind of grandma-type figure, and I do spoil them quite a bit because that’s what grandmas are for.”
Roger, a foster carer from Ceredigion, says his adverse childhood experiences led him to want to help and care for foster children. “I didn’t have a happy childhood,” he says, “and I actually feel I’d like to help children who aren’t having a happy childhood, there is that empathy for them.”
As a single foster carer, Roger says that whilst it can be difficult at times, it can also have its advantages, “There’s still some prejudice about men fostering on their own. In some ways, it’s easier fostering on your own as everything doesn’t have to be done by a two-person committee, you can just make the decisions and the responsibility obviously comes on to you, but it’s simpler.
“It’s very much part of a team, I think as a single carer, without the team you couldn’t do it.”
Head of Foster Wales, Alastair Cope, said:
"We have foster carers from all walks of life caring for our children within Foster Wales.
“Whether you've thought about fostering recently or for the last ten years we’re asking you to contact your local Foster Wales team. We'll help you consider if the time is right for you and support you every step of the way throughout your fostering journey."
The six-episode series will be released weekly on the Foster Wales website and it’s social media channels. The videos are also available on the Foster Wales YouTube channel.
To find out more about fostering in Bridgend, visit https://bridgend.fosterwales.gov.wales/
Youtube links for full videos:
“I would urge anybody who is considering becoming a foster carer to contact the fostering team in Bridgend. “Being able to place children with foster carers who live within the county borough allows continuity in terms of education, health care, peers and contact, where possible, with birth family. “Whatever your background, there are lots of children who would benefit from your life experiences. “We have a fantastic community of foster carers across the county borough who along with the local authority’s fostering team will help to support you throughout your journey.”Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Councillor Jane Gebbie.