More foster carers are needed in the Canterbury district so anyone interested in fostering should come along to the next fostering information event on Tuesday 1 December at the Thannington Resource Centre in Canterbury, the presentation will start at 7pm.
Wendy Atkins, a foster carer from Deal will be at the event and sharing her experiences for anyone interested in becoming a foster carer. Wendy has been fostering for five years and is registered to care for children from birth to 18 years old.
Wendy said: “It took us a while to decide on fostering as a career. Through friends of our own families we came across children who had been fostered and the idea of being able to do it gradually grew. It is different to how I imagined it would be, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
“We are currently fostering three children aged between 11 and 17 years old and although the children don’t actually thank you directly for improving their lives, the advances and changes in their behaviours you see is thanks enough. Each child is completely different and comes with their own challenges. You need different strategies to deal with each situation. You do receive training to help provide these, it might be a reward system that works and you begin to see a difference or a change in how you deal with a particular behaviour.
“Fostering means my time is more flexible which suits me. It is the hardest job I have ever done but it’s amazing, I love it.”
Peter Oakford, Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services at Kent County Council said: “We desperately need more foster carers, particularly in the Canterbury area. It is such a rewarding job, seeing a child become more confident over a period of time because you have played a part in their life is a wonderful experience. Anyone thinking about it should come along to one of our information evenings where real foster carers like Wendy are on hand to share their own experiences.”
Foster carers can be single, in a long-term relationship, with or without children and do not need to own their own home. They need a spare room and the determination and understanding to make life better for vulnerable children in Kent.
More families are needed in Kent for children with disabilities and learning difficulties, some of whom have complex needs, to give them the chance of a better future.
Fostering is a paid role and age and experience is not a barrier. Foster carers are fully trained and supported throughout their time fostering with Kent County Council and there are plenty of opportunities to meet with other foster carers.
To find out more about becoming a foster carer and hear first-hand from foster carers, visit Kent County Council’s next fostering event in Tuesday 1 December 2015, the presentation starts at 7pm, Thannington Resource Centre, Thannington Road, Canterbury CT1 3XE.
For those who are unable to attend the event, find out more about fostering, visit www.kentfostering.co.uk or speak with one of our Initial Enquiries Advisors on 03000 420 002.
You’re also welcome to attend one of the following information events to find out more:
- Thursday 14 January 2016, 7pm, Singleton Village Hall, Hoxton Close, Singleton, Ashford, TN23 5LB.
- Thursday 11 February 2016, 7pm, The Olympic, Beechenlea Lane, Swanley, BR8 8DR.
- Thursday 17 March 2016, 7pm, Broadmead Church, Broadmead, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5RF