2020 was a difficult year for many people, however, we are all hoping that 2021 will bring new hope and with it new opportunities. With almost 400 children and young people currently in foster care across Bridgend County Borough, the council is encouraging people in the local area to consider fostering. Kelly and Neil have been fostering with Bridgend Foster Care since April 2020. Both of them have been in professions that have brought them into contact with young people, who often have quite troubled lives. Kelly said: “My sister has been a foster carer for six years, so I knew what fostering involved. We initially considered fostering about six years ago, but the timing wasn’t right for us, with an already busy household.
“However, now that our own children have all grown up and left home, we knew that this was our chance to give something back to our local area. Through our professions, both my husband and I have worked with children for many years. I also ran a local mother and toddler group when our children were younger and, Neil coached our local mini, junior and youth rugby teams.
We knew that we could put our experience to good use and offer some stability and a loving home to other local children who may not have had the best start in life. Since we started our fostering journey, we have enjoyed bonding with the children we’ve fostered. We try to be proactive with them, go for regular walks, help them with their schoolwork and teach them important life skills. We have also had quite a lot of thorough, online training and excellent support from our social worker, who is always at the end of the phone if we need extra support or any advice. Am I glad we opted to foster? Definitely! It’s not always easy, especially if you foster children with more complex needs. However, the rewards are far greater than I imagined – when you see a child develop and grow in confidence and change before your eyes – it is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences you could hope to have.”
The council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Councillor Nicole Burnett, said: “Many people express their admiration for those who foster, and there is no doubt that foster carers do a truly amazing job. Foster carers aren’t super human though, they don’t possess a special gene that makes them able to do this – they’re real, everyday people, like you and me. We focus our efforts on keeping children local, where possible. Near to their families, friends and schools. By choosing to be a foster carer with us, you will help to transform the life of a child or children in your local community. We know it’s not always easy, but we truly appreciate the commitment of our foster carers and we are looking to grow that family in 2021. There is a range of different foster carer options available, including short term placements, so please get in touch with our team at Bridgend Foster Care today, who will be more than happy to help.”
Visit us virtually in 2021
Join us online, meet some of the Bridgend Foster Care team and hear what it’s like to foster with us from one of our foster carers at our virtual information sessions.
· Wednesday 27 January 2021, at 6pm
· Sunday 31 January 2021, at 10am
If these dates are not suitable for you please ring us and we can arrange for you to speak to a social worker, who can talk you thorough the process and answer your questions.
The session will include a short presentation and a chance to ask any questions. You don’t need to make any commitment to progressing further, we just want you hear our story and think about whether you could start your own fostering journey.
If you would like to join us please email [email protected] or call 01656 642674 and we will send you joining instructions.
People who foster with us are offered full training, a financial allowance, extensive support and access to other foster carers, including support groups.