A new campaign launched today (Monday) by Foster Wales, the new national network of 22 local authority fostering services in Wales, aims to make a positive impact on the futures of children and young people and attract some of the 39% of adults in Wales who have considered becoming a foster carer.
Any child in Wales in need of a foster carer is in the care of their Local Authority and it is hoped that this new campaign will enable Pembrokeshire and the other 21 not-for-profit Local Authority fostering teams to increase the number of foster parents needed to help keep children in their local area, when that is right for them.
Helping children to stay in their local community can be of great benefit to a child, allowing them to remain connected to their friends, their school, and maintain their sense of identity, building their confidence and reducing anxiety.
Darren Mutter, Head of Children’s Services at Pembrokeshire County Council said: “Becoming a foster carer is a commitment to helping local children to achieve their potential, by believing in them, listening to them and loving them.
“Local children who need to have someone on their side who will advocate for them and give them a voice. It’s also a decision to join with other people who share your aims and your values, people like your local authority fostering team here in Pembrokeshire.”
There is still a need to recruit an estimated 550 new foster carers and families across Wales every year to keep up with the numbers of children in need of care and support, and replace carers who retire or provide a permanent home to children.
Launching Foster Wales in July, Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan MS, said: “I know from listening to foster carers just how rewarding fostering can be. This new initiative will benefit looked after children and allow Local Authority fostering and recruitment teams across Wales to think bigger, creating a national impact without losing their advantage of specific local expertise.
“This government is committed to reducing the number of children in care, giving care experienced children better outcomes and importantly eliminating the profit element of children in care. Foster Wales is part of achieving this promise and will better enable children to stay in their community and meet the evolving needs of foster children and the people who foster them.”
No two children, and therefore the foster care they need, are the same and there is no ‘typical’ foster family. Whether somebody owns their own home or rents, whether they’re married or single. Whatever their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or faith, there are young people who need someone to care for and support them.
“We hope to welcome many more people into fostering over the coming months,” adds Melany Evans, Service Manager for Children in Care.
“Anyone who fosters with Foster Wales Pembrokeshire does so safe in the knowledge that wherever their fostering future takes them, we’ll be beside them every step of the way with all the dedicated expertise, advice and training needed to support their fostering journey.
“All children have a right to thrive and all we need is more people like you to open their doors and welcome them in.”
The new campaign by Foster Wales will span TV, radio, Spotify and digital platforms
To find out more about Local Authority fostering in Pembrokeshire visit https://pembrokeshire.fosterwales.gov.wales/ or phone 01437 774650 or further information.