A campaign by ‘Foster Wales’, the new network of 22 local authority fostering services across the country aims to make a substantial national impact on the futures of young people.
With over a third (39 per cent) of Welsh adults saying they have considered becoming a foster carer, a new campaign launches across Wales today, aimed at significantly increasing the number and diversity of local authority foster carers.
Across the country, every child in need of a foster carer is in the care of their local authority. The new bilingual advertising push, representing Bridgend County Borough Council and the other 21 not-for-profit local authority fostering teams that make up ’Foster Wales’, aims 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 and mean the world to a child. Not only does it keep them connected to their friends, their school and their sense of identity, but it also builds confidence and reduces stress.
Cabinet member for Social Services and Early Help, Cllr Nicole Burnett said: “Becoming a foster carer is a decision to help local children who need someone to listen to them. To believe in them. Children who need someone on their side, someone to love them. It’s a decision to work with people who share those aims, people like your local authority fostering team here in Bridgend County Borough.
There is still a need to recruit an estimated 550 new foster carers and families across Wales every year. This is to keep up with the numbers of children who need care and support, while replacing 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.”
While no two children are the same, neither is the foster care they need. 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 on their side.
“We hope to welcome many more people into fostering with Foster Wales over the coming months,” added Councillor Burnett.
“Anyone who fosters with their local authority Foster Wales team 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. 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 Bridgend County Borough, visit https://bridgend.fosterwales.gov.wales