We are marking Foster Care Fortnight by joining local authorities across the North West to tell local residents ‘you can foster’.
Led by national fostering charity, The Fostering Network, Foster Care Fortnight takes place between 8-21 May and this year’s theme is ‘foster care transforms lives’.
As part of the you can foster campaign, run by a collaboration of 22 local authorities across the North West, we are hosting a special fostering evening for prospective foster carers inspired by the campaign.
The drop-in session takes place at 6.30pm on 16 May at The Vincent Hotel in Southport and free refreshments will be available. It is an ideal opportunity for would-be foster carers to listen to t fostering experts and ask any questions in a friendly, informal setting. There will also be experienced foster carers on-hand to give attendees a real insight on life of a foster carer.
Foster carers, Nicky and Tom Hetherington, who live in Southport will be attending the information evening. They specialise in short-term foster care, looking after children from anywhere between a few weeks to 16 months.
Talking about the event, Nicky, said: “This year’s theme for foster care fortnight is perfect – I’m so proud to say I have transformed children’s lives.
“Fostering has transformed my life too. Had you told me six years ago when I left my business to take care of my daughter, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, that I would have changed career and be sitting here having fostered six children, I would not have believed you.
“Watching a child change, often dramatically, is a wonderful feeling. It can take time for them to trust you and settle, but the warmth you get when they come out the other end is such a lovely feeling.”
Tom added: “As carers we have had strong support from family, friends and the new friends we have made in Sefton’s foster carer community – it has made such a difference.
“Our family and children have become much closer, embracing the challenge fostering brings. It has been so satisfying to see the caring and selfless people that our own children have become through sharing their home with foster children.
“Fostering is a decision to make with your loved ones, but it genuinely does transform lives and you won’t look back.”
Maria Spatuzzi, team manager at Sefton Council’s fostering service said: “It is great to be teaming up with other local authorities to raise the profile of fostering and reach a wider audience. The ‘you can foster’ message will be appearing on TV, radio and social media, so there will be lots of opportunity for people to start thinking about fostering.
“In Sefton, we need 25 new foster carers to give children and young people the stable, loving home they need to flourish. In particular, we need carers for sibling groups, older children and teens, and those with complex needs.
“Fostering children is a big decision and takes a lot of consideration. Our fostering evenings are informative and can provide people with the reassurance they need to take that first step, by talking to our team and carers face-to-face.”
If you would like to make an enquiry or simply find out more about fostering in Sefton, use the form on this site.