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Foster Care Fortnight - meet the team behind the scenes

To find out more about fostering with Wiltshire Council you can talk to the friendly team behind the scenes and hear from foster carers by joining a series of online events.

Published 18 May 2021
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People wanting to find out more about fostering with Wiltshire Council can talk to the friendly team behind the scenes and hear from foster carers by joining a series of online events.

The Wiltshire Council Kinship and Fostering Team have been sharing videos about the work they do and how people can get in touch as part of Foster Care Fortnight which runs from 10 to 23 May.

This year the team is particularly asking people to consider fostering teenagers to help meet a real need in Wiltshire.

There will be a Facebook and Twitter Live Q&A Session on Friday 21 May from 10am to 12 noon on the Fostering Facebook page (FosteringinWiltshire (opens new window)) and Twitter (@fosterwilts (opens new window)). Sarah from the Kinship and Fostering Team will be ready to answer any questions posted to FosteringinWiltshire and @fosterwilts during that time.

There will also be two information sessions for people to hear from foster carers and talk to the team. The first will be on Thursday 25 May from 7.30pm (opens new window). People can hear directly from the fostering team, and from a foster carer who explains their journey in fostering. Another information session is planned for Tuesday 29 June at 7.30pm (opens new window).

Jay Williams who manages the Kinship and Fostering Service in Wiltshire can offer his own insight as he has fostered in the past including caring for teenagers.

He said: "In my experience a lot of people are worried about looking after teenagers and tend to head more readily towards primary aged children or younger but actually there are lots of rewards for caring for our teenagers - lots of challenges as well at different times definitely, but our carers say it can be truly rewarding. It can make a real difference and bring a real positive experience to your lives as well so I would encourage you to get in contact if you're interested, as we'd love to hear from you.

Maxine has only just started with the team but is busy taking calls from people wanting to know more about fostering. She said:  "I started with the Kinship and Fostering team back in February when we were in lockdown. Even though I haven't been able to meet any of the team in person yet they have all been very welcoming and I already feel a part of the team. I used to work in the safeguarding department and it has been lovely to join this part of social care, meeting and helping all the wonderful foster carers who make a huge difference to the lives of children and young people in Wiltshire."

Clare Goodspeed is one of the assistant team managers with a lead responsibility for recruitment.  She explained: "We know we provide some of the best support available so you'll be in safe hands with Wiltshire Council. We know you might need to talk to us in the evening so we can arrange to do that. So please get in touch if fostering is something you've ever thought about and what to find out more and to see if it's something that's right for you."

Lucy Townsend, Corporate Director for People at Wiltshire Council said: "We have a hardworking committed team who work closely with all our foster carers. We know there are young people out there who desperately need a place they can call home where they can feel supported and able to work through all the challenges of their own circumstances as well as the highs and lows of being a teenager.

"We hear many of our foster carers explaining how rewarding fostering teenagers can be so I'd ask people to really consider this and join us in our online sessions. There is no expectation, these sessions are just for those who want to know more."

To foster, you need to be aged 21 or over and have a spare bedroom. People can find out more by going to Fostering Wiltshire (opens new window).

Foster Care Fortnight (opens new window) is an annual national campaign to raise awareness of fostering and to celebrate the fostering community. This year's theme is #WhyWeCare.

People who foster with Wiltshire Council are given training and continued support. Payments reflect the commitment carers are making to the role. There are different fostering schemes available ranging from £350 to £650 a week depending on people's skills, experience and the type of support the young person requires. 

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