Foster carers are making a positive difference to the lives of Island children.
Around 100 foster carers are working tirelessly on the Isle of Wight to ensure children in care experience the stability and security of a nurturing, loving home.
Debbie Price, the Isle of Wight Council’s new service manager for Children in Care, is keen to encourage Islanders to consider fostering to enable more youngsters who are unable to live with their birth family to remain on the Island.
She said: “Children’s Services would like all children in care in the future to remain on the Island, unless they need to be on the mainland to best meet their needs.
“We are passionate about supporting children to be able to live within their communities when it isn’t possible for them to live with their own families.”
Some foster carers will care for children in an emergency situation until longer-term arrangements can be made. Others will look after children short-term until the child can return home or move on to a permanent placement.
Many foster carers provide support on a long-term basis, often for the duration of their childhood.
Debbie said: “Foster carers make the biggest difference to children’s lives when they come into care and they are just regular people doing their best, just as they do for their own families.
“The best foster carers are the ones that are enthusiastic, caring and fun. They need to enjoy spending time with children and have the patience to build relationships with children who don’t easily trust adults.
“You don’t need to have fostered before to be a good foster carer, but we would always welcome applications from people with experience.
“Children want time, support and encouragement and to be allowed to get it wrong sometimes. It is amazing to see the change in them and their foster carers when they feel settled.”
All foster carers undertake training on the Island to prepare and support them in their important role.
They receive regular supervision from the fostering team and children also have their own allocated social worker.
Debbie added: “I really enjoy supporting foster carers to develop their skills with vulnerable children. Hearing their stories about how proud they are of the children they care for makes it easier to get through the more difficult days we all have sometimes.
“People usually consider fostering for a long time before they have the courage to put themselves forward.
“If you are interested in fostering then give us a call on 01983 823160 or come along to one of our events to find out more.”
For more information, visit www.iwight.com/fostering or follow @Isle of Wight fostering and adoption on Facebook.
Recruitment events, when people can learn more about fostering, are being held at 30 High Street, Newport, on Monday, 7 October, 12.30pm-2pm and Saturday, 12 October, 10am-1pm.