Young people, foster carers and fostering staff share their "proud" moments as Wiltshire Council encourage people to consider fostering in 2023
Cameron has been sharing his experiences as part of a new January campaign where Wiltshire Council is putting the spotlight on the "proud moments" for fostering.
"One of my proudest moments was when I passed my driving test. I'd done a lot of practice with my foster carers and then suddenly passing the test was great. The first time I was able to take them out as a passenger after I'd got my full licence was a great achievement for me during my time in care."
Cameron has shared one of the examples of how foster care changed his life. From passing his driving test, being awarded the house shield at school to graduating from university - having the support of foster carers has helped him move forward with his life and ambition.
He has been sharing his experiences as part of a new January campaign where Wiltshire Council is putting the spotlight on the "proud moments" for fostering. The council is recruiting additional foster carers and as part of that drive is highlighting how foster carers can help turn a young person's life around for the better.
There will be an online information evening on 31 January from 6pm to 7pm when people can find out more. The information evening will be on Microsoft Teams.
Foster carer Paul explained one of his proud moments was having a young person realise they were now in a warm, stable home: "Being a long term match for a young person and seeing the joy in her face, knowing she's not going anywhere and she's got that safety and security."
Foster carer Hannah said: "I knew that a child we cared for felt loved when he told us 'as soon as I'm old enough to have a phone you are the first person I will call.'"
And being confident enough to try new things is also a proud fostering moment for Joeanne: "I am proud of my eldest foster child as her confidence has grown so much. In August she performed in a show and sang her first solo, where previously she would not sing in front of anyone. Well done, you were amazing!"
Foster carers in Wiltshire have ongoing training and support. Members of the Kinship and Fostering team have also shared their proud moments.
Gemma said: "When I take enquiries and visit people during initial home visits I feel proud of how much people care about wanting to make a difference to the lives of children in care in Wiltshire. Compassion, care and kindness shine through."
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: "Foster carers do make a real difference to a young person's life. Having a warm, stable home gives them the safe space to look to the future and to believe in themselves. You simply cannot underestimate the positive influence having a foster carer can have. We are so fortunate in Wiltshire and proud to have so many carers that make this amazing difference to young people's lives every day. We always need more, and for those who are thinking of fostering in 2023 we'd say talk to us and find out more. This time next year you could be looking back on how you have helped make a real difference for another young person in Wiltshire."
Fostering with your local council means all money is spent on frontline services and the child is more likely to be able to stay close to their school, friends and family networks. The council has increased its fostering rates which range from £366 to £680 a week depending on people's skills and experience.
Foster carers need to be over 21 years of age, have a spare bedroom, time to care for a child and a willingness to care and seek to understand young people who have experienced trauma and loss.