Let’s celebrate Walsall’s foster carers

Walsall Council recognises the role of its foster carers all-year round, but over the next fortnight (13-26 May 2024), an extra spotlight will be put upon those who provide safe and loving homes for children and young people.

Monday 13 May 2024 marks the start of Foster Care Fortnight - a national campaign celebrating the crucial role and commitment of foster carers across the UK.

The campaign is delivered by leading fostering charity - The Fostering Network and aims to promote and showcase the passion and dedication of foster carers, as well as highlight the national need for more foster carers. 

Thousands of new foster carers are needed every year to care for children, with the greatest need being for foster carers for older children, sibling groups, disabled children, and separated migrant children.

Walsall Council is proud to be part of the Foster Care Fortnight campaign and is an accredited Fostering Friendly Employer, meaning foster carers and employees who choose to foster with the council can access a variety of support and benefits.

The theme of this year’s Foster Care Fortnight is ‘fostering moments’, which celebrates the moments that define fostering journeys, big and small. 

Rebecca, one of Walsall Council’s foster carers shared one of her special moments, and said, “The most special moments for us are ‘firsts’.

“As small as they are in context, the first time a child initiates a hug because they’re happy, that they belly laugh uncontrollably without worrying if anyone else is, sing in the shower or even the first time they roll their eyes in protest at something you’ve asked of them, is a moment when you know that they are comfortable to do so; that makes us very happy.”

Walsall Council’s fostering service will be running information sessions during Foster Care Fortnight. These are free, relaxed, and informal sessions where fostering information will be shared, and prospective foster carers can ask questions in a safe and supportive space:

 

• Sunday 12 May – 10am – 2pm

Guru Nanak Gurdwara, 162 W Bromwich St, Walsall WS1 4DE

• Tuesday 14 May – 10am-2pm

Walsall Manor Hospital, Moat Rd, Walsall WS2 9PS

• Tuesday 21 May – 6-7pm

Online virtual session, sign up here.

Councillor Stacie Elson, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Walsall Council, said, “At its core, Foster Care Fortnight is not just about recruiting more foster carers. The campaign is an opportunity to recognise and acknowledge the contributions that foster carers have upon society and celebrate the positive impacts they have upon children and young people.

“That being said, we do urgently need more foster carers for our children in Walsall, to help change lives, and for children and their carers to feel those special fostering moments. 

“The council offers a unique support system for its foster carers, called Mockingbird family hub. Mockingbird allows families to benefit from an extended family model, that provides sleepovers and short breaks, peer support, regular planning and training, and social activities. 

“The programme improves the stability of fostering and strengthens the relationships between carers, children and young people, fostering services and birth families.

“Many of our new carers have shared that the Mockingbird model is such a lifeline for them when starting out their foster care journeys.”

During the fortnight, the council will be hosting a celebration event for its foster carers to thank them for the work they do and the differences they make each day.

More information about fostering with Walsall Council can be found on the council’s website: https://go.walsall.gov.uk/fostering

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