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Local foster carers encourage others to fill their ‘empty nest’

Bridgend County Borough Council is appealing for ‘empty nesters’ to consider fostering a child or young person who needs a loving home.

There comes a time in every parent’s life when children make the decision to ‘fly the nest’, whether it is to go to university or moving into their own place, many parents can experience feelings of loneliness, otherwise known as ‘empty nesters syndrome’.

Many parents feel like they have lost their purpose, however, we want parents to know how valuable they could be to a foster child and regain their sense of purpose by becoming a foster carer.

Parent’s who may feel this way could be in the perfect position to welcome a new child. Not only have they cared for their own child, but they have also built up plenty of experience and care, making them invaluable to a child in need.

People from all walks of life can become a foster carer, but those who have brought up their own children may already have valuable life skills and experience to offer.

The  Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Cllr Nicole Burnett said: “Many parents find it difficult to adjust to a home with no children, but they could use their parenting experience to make a difference to a vulnerable child or young person who could benefit from some of much needed support.”

Ian and Lynda have been long-term foster carers with Foster Wales Bridgend for almost 10 years. After raising five children between them, who have now grown up and left home, they decided they wanted to keep caring for children to help them get the best possible start in life.

Lynda said: “I wasn’t ready to stop being a mother. I have this need to help people that are in a position where they can’t help themselves.

“That’s why we opted for long-term fostering. There are so many pitfalls these days that children have to navigate through, and if we can help one child make that journey successfully, it’s a job well done.”

The couple recently sat down with local DJ, Lee Jukes to give a better insight into how fostering works, their own experience as foster carers and why they think local people should consider fostering. You can listen to the podcast on the council’s YouTube channel.

People who foster with us are offered full 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 the Foster Wales Bridgend website to find out more or contact the fostering team on 01443 425007.