Colin Turner is the Director of The Fostering Network in Wales and himself a foster carer. He has written this blog for FCF20.
Foster Care FortnightTM is always a fantastic time of the year to stand back and take stock of what an incrediblerole fostering plays in our society.
Every May we take a couple of weeks to focus on celebrating and raising awareness of fostering. The achievements of the children and young people living with fostering families; the welcoming attitudes of foster carers’ children who share their homes and their lives with others; the social workers who offer their expertise and support to children and families; and, of course, the foster carers who never stop in their vital role advocating for the children they care for and providing the love and stability children and young people need to thrive. And because this happens mainly in the privacy of foster carers homes – especially at the moment – most of these aspects of fostering often go unnoticed.
This year’s Foster Care Fortnight has, of course, been somewhat different given the coronavirus pandemic and the knock-on effects we have seen across our society. Despite these additional practical and emotional challenges from school closures, a lack of face-to-face contact with birth families, virtual panel hearings and house visits, the fostering community has worked tirelessly to make the necessary adjustments, which is testament not only to the traits of dedication, resilience and adaptability common among those in fostering but also their ability to work collaboratively for the sake of those who they are caring for.
As Terry, one of our foster carer ambassadors said: 'Fostering will always have challenges but the rewards far outweigh these.'
I’m very proud to be a foster carer myself and exceptionally proud of the fostering community in Wales. In whatever capacity you support fostering, thank you. You are making a huge difference in helping to transform lives.