Can't cook, can foster
Date Added: 18/05/2016
You don’t have to be a good cook to foster – that’s according to children and young people already in foster care.
The nation may once again have gone cooking mad as the latest series of Masterchef reached its conclusion this month.
But only 14 per cent of the 261 youngsters surveyed ahead of Foster Care Fortnight, which runs until 29 May, said that being a good cook is an important skill for a foster carer.
Instead, the top qualities are:
• Making them feel safe and secure (67 per cent)
• Supporting and helping them (61 per cent)
• Loving them (54 per cent)
In Central Bedfordshire there is a particular need for foster carers from black and ethnic minority backgrounds and for people who can foster older children, children with challenging behaviours, unaccompanied young asylum seekers and sibling groups.
Fostering is open to people of all backgrounds, whether single, married, LGBT, in a long-term relationship or civil partnership.
You do not have to own your own home, and the main requirements are being able to offer youngsters who have entered the care system the time, space and support to develop and enjoy a childhood they may otherwise have not.
Here’s what some of our foster carers have to say:
Chris and Dawn Addams, from Shefford, said: “Fostering can be really rewarding when you see a child who has come to you happily running around a couple of weeks later. You get plenty of support from the council and anybody who can give a loving home to a child can foster.”
Kathy Parker looks after teenagers. She explained why she became a youth carer: “I have young grandchildren already so having the age gap felt right. If you’re a grandparent you can see the young person’s perspective and they look to you with respect.
“I love everything about fostering, even the hard times. You learn from your experiences together with the young person and start a journey together. I would definitely recommend Youth Care because it’s really fulfilling and rewarding.
Jo O’Donohoe said: “My favourite fostering memory is of a little boy who came to stay with us. He’d never had Coco Pops. When he went to bed on the first night he asked if he’d still be there in the morning because he really, really wanted to try Coco Pops. He’d also never been on a scooter so we took him on the school run and he really whizzed around. Whenever I buy Coco Pops I always think of him!”
Emma Sargeant, who fosters younger kids due to the current age of her birth children, said: “Fostering is the most rewarding job. It has really opened our eyes to a different world. It’s not always easy but the council offers plenty of support and training and there are also support groups to help you along your journey.”
To find out more about fostering in Central Bedfordshire, visit http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/children/adoption-fostering/foster-care-fortnight/fostering.aspx?utm_source=website&utm_medium=pr-link&utm_campaign=fcf, call 0300 300 8181 or keep an eye on our Lets Talk Central Facebook and Twitter pages where we will have regular updates throughout Foster Carer Fortnight as well as video of foster carers describing their experiences.