Posted on: Monday 9 May 2022
Residents are being asked to plant sunflower seeds in their gardens this spring to celebrate local foster carers, as part of the annual Foster Care Fortnight campaign.
The theme this year is #FosteringCommunities - celebrating the strength and resilience of fostering communities and all they do to ensure children are safely cared for and supported to thrive.
From foster carers who have shown dedication over many years, to those just starting their fostering journey, by planting a sunflower, it pays tribute to the work they do to nurture, nourish and help give children a better future.
One Torfaen foster carer who decided to open up her heart and her home to care for children and young people is Caroline Treadgold.
Caroline, who has been fostering with Foster Wales Torfaen for more than six years, said:
“I am a single foster carer but I never feel alone as I have massive support system around me. The fostering community encourage my development as a carer and provide me with personal support and provide any advice when I need it.”
‘I have been fostering for a number of years now and during this time I have received so much support from my own social worker who has been there for me, as well as my children’s social worker who is always at the end of the phone or will pop out to see me if I need advice.’
Residents who wish to get involved in planting flowers are able to collect sunflower seeds at the following locations:
- Tesco, Pontypool foyer - Thursday 12 May, between 10am – 4pm.
- Cwmbran Shopping - Wednesday 18 May, between 10am – 4pm.
- Asda, Cwmbran – Friday 20 May, between 10am – 4pm.
As part of the campaign, all foster carers in Torfaen will receive flowers delivered to their home, as a thank you for the work they do all year round.
Pupils from primary schools across the borough are also being challenged to get creative and design a sunflower themed foster care drawing, poster or letter.
Foster Torfaen Team Manager Kirsty Cooke, said: “We hope our campaign inspires more local people to become foster carers with their local authority so that children can remain local, close to their friends and family and remain in their school wherever possible. This not only can help children and young people retain their sense of identity during a time of transition.
“There is a wealth of knowledge within our fostering teams, including dedicated social workers who all work together with local families and local schools to build better futures for our children.”
Foster Care Fortnight© runs from 9 to 22 May and is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, delivered by leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network.
Tanya Evans, Lead Head of Children’s Services for Foster Wales in Gwent said: “The last two years have certainly been challenging but we’ve seen such compassion and selflessness from our foster carers across Gwent, who have opened their doors to children and given them a safe place during the Covid-19 pandemic when the rest of the country were struggling to even see their own families.
Fostering has had to adapt to the unusual circumstances we all found ourselves in and our foster carers really stepped up to provide outstanding care and support for children and families who needed them. We want to say a big thank you and convey our appreciation for everything they've done.”
Foster Wales Torfaen is part the national Foster Wales network of 22 not-for-profit local authorities responsible for the children in care.
To find out how you can foster visit the Foster Wales Torfaen website or call 01495 766669.