Posted on: Wednesday 24 May 2023
Young people who spent time in local authority foster care have said thank you to their foster carers as part of Foster Care Fortnight.
Vicky, 37, from Torfaen, spent around seven years with foster carers when she was a teenager.
She said: “Being fostered has made a massive difference in my life. They made me feel welcome, birthdays, Christmases, days out and holidays.
“It was nice to have a stable home, with a stable environment to flourish and realise my true potential in life, really. I’ve been able to hold down a full-time job, I’ve raised two lovely children. Without that foster placement, I don’t know where I’d be today.”
Darryl, 22, from Blaenau Gwent, said: “I moved into my foster carers home in 2008, and it’s been great ever since. Fostering has made a massive difference in my life and I wouldn’t be the way I am now, I’d be in a really bad place.
“I had such a traumatic time when I was a kid. Moving was such a big change but I was fostered by the local authority, which meant I could remain where I lived.Thanks to my foster carers for making me the man I am today.”
The year’s Foster Care Fortnight celebrates the strength and resilience of local fostering communities.
Local authority foster carers provide a range of care, including short term or weekend placements.
Afghanistan refugee Mesi, who was cared for by a short-term foster carer, said: “I’ve been in the UK for five years, and when I came here, I went to a foster family first. I lived with her for more than two years.
“When I came to the UK, I couldn’t speak any English. I’d just say “Hello”, that’s it. She supported me a lot and I still have contact with her; she called me last week and said to me “How is everything? How’s your family? She has changed my life.”
It is estimated 550 new foster carers and families are needed across Wales every year.
There is no such thing as a typical foster carer – you can become a foster carer if you are single, in a same sex relationship and you do not need to own your own home.
Councillor Richard Clark, Torfaen Council Executive Member for Children, Families and Education, said: “Our local authority is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for children in need.
“It is hoped that this latest campaign encourages more people to consider fostering for their local authority, which is not for profit, as opposed to commercial fostering agencies.
“By becoming foster parents, we can together create brighter futures and make a lasting impact on the lives of these young individuals."
If you think you could make a difference by becoming a foster carer, visit: fosterwales.gov.wales