Sefton has hailed Foster Care Fortnight 2022 a great success as the Fostering Team went into the heart of the community to speak to people about how our foster carers are changing the lives of children and young people.
A ‘Pop-Up’ shop was set up at Bootle Strand Shopping Centre for four days, giving people the chance to meet some of Sefton’s amazing foster carers, our exceptional young people who have lived or are currently living in foster care and the Fostering Services’ friendly team.
With a life-size children’s bedroom as a window display, people were prompted to ask themselves whether they had a spare room to offer a child a safe place to stay.
The Strand proved to be the perfect place to reach out to the public as lots of Sefton residents, businesses and community groups attended events including an open discussion and Q&A with an experienced panel, information sessions and drop-ins.
People also took part in angel themed activities which aligned with our #EverydayAngel campaign, celebrating our foster carers and urging local people to think about giving a loving home to a child and become their #EverydayAngel.
People young and old were invited to take a snap in front of the Instagramable neon angel wings and got involved in the ‘Angel Wing Project’, which will see hundreds of decorated paper feathers make up large angel wings to be displayed at various locations across the borough.
Angela has been fostering babies with Sefton for 10 years and spoke to people at the Strand, “It’s been brilliant to be out and about talking to shoppers about my experiences. So many people have stopped and said they’ve thought about fostering or they’d love to do it but never got round to speaking to anyone about it.
“If fostering has ever crossed your mind, please just take that first step to find out more. I can honestly say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Amy Lahiff is a Personal Advisor for Sefton’s Leaving Care Team and was herself in Residential Care from the age of 13. She came along to the Strand to share her experiences.
“It’s so important for me to let people know how vital it is that we have more foster carers. I was in Residential Care and am so grateful to the staff there but I always longed to be in a foster home so I could feel like I was part of a family again and have that one-to-one love and support.
Because of the lack of carers no one came forward to foster me and that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Attending the Q&A panel discussion event, Councillor Mhairi Doyle, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care said;
“I have spent a fantastic morning listening to foster carers and people who have been in care themselves and it’s so inspirational to hear their stories.
“Its such privilege to be a foster carer, you are doing something amazing for young people in care in Sefton please come and find out more.”
Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team by calling the freephone number – 0800 923 2777
Or by visiting the dedicated website at https://seftonfostering.co.uk/