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A new campaign to encourage more Wiltshire residents to foster has launched today.
Wiltshire Council is hoping to recruit 100 foster carers over three years to ensure Wiltshire children can find a loving home in the county.
The campaign, which is accompanied by an improved pay structure for foster carers, captures the everyday moments that make fostering special. Images and foster carer stories will be shared online including “Forget the 9 to 5 and try a new kind of routine, fill your home with laughter and laundry, trade your morning meetings for magical moments.”
The campaign with the hashtag #FosterForWiltshire will encourage people to opt to foster with the local authority – all you need is a spare room, to be over 21 and to have space in your heart to foster. Wiltshire Council is also investigating how to use changes brought in by the government so fostering assessments can be completed more quickly.
Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: “We have so many great foster carers making a real difference to the lives of our foster children, but we need more foster carers to look after young people of all ages across Wiltshire.
“We know people consider fostering because they want to make a difference, but we also want them to know they will be properly paid for the work they are doing as we value the incredible difference they can make to a child’s life. This is a paid career and people can foster because they are properly supported.
“We are investigating how we can use changes brought in by the government so fostering assessments can be completed more quickly. In common with other local authorities we are looking at ways to have a proportionate assessment and approval process for Covid-19 temporary foster carers.
“We are interested in people who think they could be a temporary foster carer for us. People can be retired, have time on their hands, out of work or be looking for ways to help and, if they have a spare room and can show us they have the qualities needed to be a foster carer, we would like to hear from them. We will talk to them about what the assessment will be like, what being a foster carer will mean to them and their family and what support we can provide. We welcome approaches from single or married people of all religions, genders, ethnicities and sexual orientations. Whether they are able bodied or live with a disability, older or younger (over 21), all that matters is they are ready for the challenge and rewards of fostering.”
Foster carers Lucy and Rob who have children of their own, explain what it’s like to foster in their busy household.
Rob explained: “It’s such a real privilege to be part of those formative years for that child and to be able to be a part of it is a wonderful experience. It can be a challenge but it’s a real privilege for us.”
You can watch their video in full here: https://youtu.be/STOq5Mk_rz0
Foster carers Steve and Julie have been fostering for 18 months.
Steve said: “Fostering is lifechanging and you will need to be dedicated but it so worthwhile. Anyone who is interested in fostering would not be disappointed. It is such a rewarding career. You feel you are helping and making a difference in the lives of young people.”
Wiltshire Council recently approved a new pay structure for fostering. Payments are on three levels ranging from £350 to £650 a week depending on the type of support the child needs.
People can find out more information by:
Wiltshire Council is holding digital Information sessions on 12 May at 1pm and 21 May at 7:30pm. People can log in and ask questions of the foster care team and have an insight from a foster carer on what it is like to foster. More details will be shared on social media on access to the information sessions.