Posted on: Tuesday 17 January 2023
Relocating, retiring, re-marrying, or simply wanting to give back to the local community?
In a new series of vlogs, foster carers from across Wales have come together to explore the reasons, life experiences and changes that led to them becoming carers.
The vlogs have been produced as part of a ‘New Purpose’ campaign by Foster Wales, the national network of not-for-profit fostering services, comprising the 22 local authority teams in Wales.
Episodes will be released weekly on the Foster Wales website, social media and YouTube channels, and will capture honest and open conversations between foster carers from all walks of life.
In one particularly moving episode, foster carer Cath discusses her fostering journey. Together with her husband they realised they had a lot more to give in terms of love and care, and so made the decision to apply to become foster carers.
Speaking to journalist and presenter Mai Davies for the six-episode series, Cath said she was aware some people have an idea in their head of what a foster carer looks like.
“I think people’s perception of being a foster carer is something that they’re not,” she said.
“A lot of people say when you’re out and about, ‘I’d love to be a foster carer but I’m not sure’ and I always say, ring up and ask, nobody will ever knock on your door and ask if you want to be a foster carer.
“Some of the children have had experiences by the age of 5 that people will never have in their lives, and it’s just having that empathy, understanding and non-judgemental attitude really.”
Jennifer, from Flintshire, began fostering when she was 66 after her husband passed away. She said she thinks her age has advantages for fostering.
“Where I live, the children on the street will play with the children who come to me, and they’ll say, ‘is that your Nan?’ And of course, they say yes because it’s easier, they then don’t have to explain and say well no, actually it’s a foster carer looking after me, because that’s awkward,” she said.
“They see me as a kind of grandma-type figure, and I do spoil them quite a bit because that’s what grandmas are for.”
Jennifer also spoke warmly about the level of support available from the local authority and also the foster care community:
“People don’t understand the level of support, it’s not just about social workers supporting you, it’s about other foster carers supporting you because you make friends within the community.
Other people with different experiences will be able to advise you how to work with particular children because they’ve met similar children before.”
If you are interested in becoming an approved foster carer with Torfaen Council, call 01495 766669 or visit Fostering in Torfaen | Foster Wales Torfaen