13 May 2019
A two-week campaign to recruit more foster carers and encourage more islanders to consider fostering to help “change a future” begins today.
The Children, Young People, Education and Skills Department is launching a recruitment and awareness campaign, from Monday 13 May to Sunday 26 May, to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives.
Islanders interested in fostering and adopting are invited to find out more about the process during the two-week Fostering Fortnight campaign.
Team members from Fostering and Adoption Jersey will be based at a pop-up event in the Central Market, St Helier, to meet prospective foster carers and adopters, and to tell them more about how they could change a child’s life.
The campaign coincides with the annual National Fostering Fortnight in the UK and aims to highlight the need for islanders to consider fostering.
Jersey urgently needs more short and long-term foster carers, and the team would like to hear from anybody who thinks that they could make a difference. Anybody who can offer a child a stable home life is encouraged to consider putting themselves forward, regardless of their marital status, gender, sexuality, or age.
On Saturday, the Children’s Minister, Senator Sam Mézec, opened the Jersey Foster Carer Awards 2019.
Senator Mézec said: “Foster carers do something amazing on behalf of our society. Foster families open their hearts and homes to children, often offering them their first experience of a stable, secure and caring home.
“The unconditional love and care shown to children by their foster carers is extraordinary.
“On Saturday, we heard some very powerful nominations and inspirational stories at the Foster Carer Awards. We had nominations from young people who have been fostered through emergency placements and have praised their foster parents for treating them with respect and supporting them through tough times. We heard how foster carers are providing children with exceptional nurturing care and who work tirelessly with foster children’s birth families to maintain positive relationships.
“This all proves that if you can look beyond the immediate challenges and focus on the young person’s greatest needs such as acceptance without conditions, the rewards are second to none and it is likely to be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
“We need more carers so we can provide family placements for children and young people on island.”
The guest speaker at Saturday’s awards ceremony was Ashley John-Baptiste – a BBC journalist and Cambridge University graduate who was in foster care as a child.
“I was moved from place to place from a care home to four foster homes,” he said. “Moving around in the care system can be destructive for any young person. For me, move after move and that sense of preparation for rejection made it harder for me to trust the families I lived with. It was hard to feel loved. I had a hard front because I didn’t want to get rejected.
“There were families who did a lot to give me aspirations and a sense of optimism for the future. The role that foster carers provide can save lives.”
Anyone interested in adopting or becoming a foster carer is encouraged to speak to the Fostering and Adoption team during these dates and times in the Central Market, St Helier:
Thursday, 16 May 10am to 2pm
Friday, 17 May 10am to 4pm
Saturday, 18 May 10am to 4pm
Thursday, 23 May 10am to 2pm
Friday, 24 May 10am to 4pm
Saturday, 25 May 10am to 4pm
Foster Carer Awards 2019
New Foster Carer Award: Sally and John Camara
New Foster Carer Award: Natalie and Scott Ward
Respite/Short Break Foster Carer Award: Nicola and Grahame Looby
Permanency Carer Award: Lisa Bowman
Outstanding Commitment to Fostering Children with Disabilities Award: Jeannine and Gary Godefroy
Short Term Foster Carer Award: Nicola and Grahame Looby
Connected Carer Award: Helen and Charles Dubois
Young Person’s Choice Award: Jeannine and Gary Godefroy
Outstanding Contribution to Fostering Award: Debbie and Dee Sallows-Byrne
20-Year Long Service Award: Janette and Glyn Young
25-Year Long Service Award: Pauline and Phil Graham
40-Year Long Service Award: Gill and Bob Touzel
For more information visit: www.gov.je/caring/children/fosteringadoption/Pages/index.aspx
Some images of the Foster Carer Awards Ceremony can be viewed below.