Bridgend County Borough Council is appealing to ‘empty nesters’ to consider becoming foster carers.
At this time of year, when older children are embarking on a new life of independence at university, many parents may be going through what’s known as ‘empty nesters syndrome’ where they can experience feelings of loneliness.
Research has shown that for some people, these feelings can result in depression and a loss of purpose. Instead of focusing on these negative feelings, we want parents to reflect on their longer term aspirations and make them aware of how valuable they could be to a foster child.
As they enter this new stage in their life, where their children are leaving home, they’ll be in the perfect position to welcome a new child. Not only have they cared for their own child, they have built up plenty of experience and care, making them invaluable to a child in need.
Offering a child a home is in many ways a selfless act but it can also bring a great deal of satisfaction and fulfilment to parents once their own children have flown the nest.
Fostering is a paid role that welcomes people from all walks of life, but those who have brought up their own children will already have the necessary experience and life skills.
The Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Cllr Phillip White, said:
“Although some parents view their children leaving home as a liberating time, many however, find it difficult adjusting to a home with no children. This is why we are urging people who already possess these invaluable parenting skills to consider fostering. You can make a real difference to vulnerable children.”
Michelle and Wayne have been together for 11 years and have recently become foster carers with Bridgend Foster Care.
“I really didn’t have much time or space when the children were young to take up fostering. However, when my children left home, I noticed that our house suddenly went from a really busy family home to being very quiet.
“We had all this space and no one to share it with. I knew this was the right time to look at offering a loving home to a foster child.”
You can read Michelle and Wayne’s full story here: www.bridgendfostercare.wales
People who foster with the Council 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 www.bridgendfostercare.wales to find out more or contact the fostering team on (01656) 642674.