A Deal Foster Carer is urging people to consider taking up the rewarding role and come along to a fostering information evening to find out more.
Wendy Atkins, who has been fostering for 6 years, will be giving a talk about her experiences at Kent County Council’s information event in Ramsgate on 13 July.
The mum-of-two said she first became interested in fostering when she saw the difference it made to a young boy she knew.
Mrs Atkins said: “My step-son had a friend who was in foster care and we saw the very positive difference in him. Around the same time we came into contact with other foster carers and we became more interested in the work they did and our children were teenagers so we felt we had a lot to give – time, energy, space – all the things we had been able to give our own children.
“The benefits of fostering older children are that you’re at the sharp end of fostering, preparing young people to be ready to go out into society, so they are accepted and comfortable in themselves and so they have the bright, shiny futures that all young people should have.”
Kent County Council needs more people to become foster carers with increasing numbers of children needing loving homes in the past year.
Foster Carers are needed who can offer a stable and loving home to young people including those with a disability, sibling groups to keep brothers and sisters together, 16-18 year olds working towards independence and unaccompanied asylum seeking young people.
Mrs Atkins said: “The rewards are when someone says to you what a change or difference they can see in a young person and then you see it through new eyes. You might go out somewhere, like a restaurant, and they hold open a door or they come home with a merit from school or even make a new friend – it’s those little things that build up and you think, ‘yes, I’m making a difference’. You want those young people to go out into the world and make the best of their lives, like any other young person. They may not become a rocket scientist but they end up being the happiest they can be and that is enough.
“It’s a hard job, your life changes completely and you don’t go home from work at the end of the day but you’re not just clocking in and out, you’re making a difference.”
The fostering information event takes place at 7pm, on 13 July, at Comfort Inn, Victoria Parade, Ramsgate CT11 8DT.
Kent County Council need to recruit 150 new foster carers over the next year, could you be one of the amazing families that come forward to make a difference? Visit kentfostering.co.uk for more information about how to become a foster carer with KCC.