03 June 2015
Fostering and Adoption Jersey are launching a recruitment and awareness campaign this week with the aim of attracting more foster carers.
The campaign coincides with Fostering Fortnight in the UK and will focus on the great work foster carers do, using the strap-line 'Happy endings start with foster carers'.
Fostering and Adoption Jersey, which is part of the Health and Social Services Department, is continually looking for more foster carers. Currently the service has 33 fostering households and is hoping to attract at least another 10 during 2015.
Emmy Lindsey, Manager of Fostering and Adoption Jersey said “We need carers who are able to offer homes to children of all ages, siblings, children with disabilities and teenagers.
“Foster carers are often the unsung heroes of our community. Without them, children who have not had the best start in life might miss out on the warmth and support of a loving environment. Our foster carers tell us how rewarding fostering can be and how their lives have been transformed by opening up their home to vulnerable children.”
Pauline and Phil have been fostering for 25 years. During this time they have cared for more than 100 children, many of whom have stayed in touch.
Pauline said “I have been told that I don’t give up on my foster children and to hear that makes me feel happy and proud. I just want to see the children happy and reaching their potential. The best thing about fostering is seeing the children grow in confidence. Some of my children have been so anxious when they first came to live with us, but with lots of patience, reassurance and kindness, you see them transform. It really makes me feel proud to know that I have made a difference.”
Allowances, support and training
Recognising that fostering can be a challenging as well as a fulfilling experience, the service offers generous allowances, fee payment to reward skills and experience, ongoing supervision and support, plus expert training.
For those who would like to find out more about fostering in Jersey, the Fostering and Adoption team will be using Eagle House, Colomberie (formerly Shoestring) as a drop-in centre where people who are interested in finding out more are invited to come and meet members of the team informally.
The drop-in centre will be open daily from Wednesday 10 June to Saturday 13 June between 9.30am and 4.30pm.
Mrs Lindsey said “We hope this campaign will encourage anyone who has ever considered fostering to pick up the phone or come to the shop to find out more. There’s no pressure or obligation, just the chance to gain an insight into what we do.”