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Wiltshire Council kicks off Foster Care Fortnight with sporty theme as people encouraged to help a child unlock their potential.

Every child has potential. Become a foster carer and make it happen. That's the message from Wiltshire Council as it encourages more people to come forward and provide loving homes for children and young people in the county.

Published 10 May 2024
Fostering Fortnight 2024

The council is kicking off Foster Care Fortnight from 13 May with a call for more foster carers to join and provide a place of stability and safety so children and young people in care can thrive.

The team will be at events throughout Wiltshire as well as holding online drop in chats so people can talk to foster carers and the team and find out more.

And during this summer of sport, as the European championships is around the corner and the Paris Olympics poised for August, Wiltshire Council foster carers have been sharing how sport has played a part in helping young people build confidence, self-esteem and improve their emotional well-being.

Carer Joeanne explained the pride of helping her two young children learn to swim - from being complete non-swimmers to being competent and winning badges and one starting rookie lifeguard training.

She explained the importance of celebrating every tiny success as it really helps with their self-esteem.

Foster carer Alan and his wife have been Wiltshire Council foster carers for eight years.  He explained, Sport seems to have given us a common ground.  A lot of the children who have come to stay with me have never been given any time for sport, in fact pretty much none of them could swim at all. That's the first thing we do really is get them signed up to doing swimming lessons and that then gives them confidence. Now my children do gymnastics and one is mad about football.

Spencer and his wife Lisa have seen the positive impact on the young person they care for. He said: He's passionate about sport. He's become such a part of our community with all the different things he does, his work with the homeless he's become involved with because of his experiences in the past and sport is just one way he feels his identity in Salisbury is stronger, because of sport.  He loves Karate, football, he loves going to the gym, he loves running. It's so important to him for his physical health, but also his mental health, because he gets that opportunity to bond with all the people around him that he's competing sport in or within his team and it's a really important part of who he is and he gets such strength out of it both emotionally and physically.

The council has recently increased its fostering payments and now they range from £400 to £740 per week per child depending on the type of fostering and experience. People fostering with a local council know there is no profit making as all funds go into frontline services.

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: You never know how your nurturing can unlock potential in a child or young person. Our foster carers are the very best examples of how by providing a stable, loving home children can feel safe and move forward in what they want to do in life. Not everyone will be a sports superstar but with the right support and love they will be able to take on challenges and be free to be the person they are meant to be. I hear wonderful stories of how our foster carers are making such a positive difference to a child's life and I would love more people to join our incredible group of carers and be that amazing inspiration to a young person.

Wiltshire Council fostering team will be at:

Monday 13 May - Five Rivers Leisure Centre from 2.30pm to 6pm

Tuesday 14 May - online drop in session with foster carers on this link from 12 noon to 1pm - Join conversation (Microsoft.com) (opens new window)

Wednesday 15 May - Tidworth Leisure Centre 2.30pm to 6pm

Saturday 18 May - The Shires in Trowbridge from 10.30am - 3pm

Monday 20 May - Online drop in session with foster carers on this link from 6pm to 7pm - Join conversation (Microsoft.com) (opens new window)

Tuesday 21 May - Melksham Community Campus from 2.30pm to 6pm

Wednesday 22 May - Springfield Community Campus in Corsham from 2.30pm to 6pm

Thursday 28 May - online drop in session with foster carers on this link from 1pm to 2pm - Join conversation (Microsoft.com) (opens new window)

Foster carers need to be aged 21 and over, have a spare bedroom, time to care for a child and a willingness seek to understand young people who have experienced trauma and loss. Fostering payments are from £380 to £710 per week per child depending on skills and experience. 

For more information on fostering visit email fostering@wiltshire.gov.uk (opens new window), call 0800 169 6321 or text the word Foster to 60002.

Wiltshire Council is part of Fostering South-West, which provides a 'front door' access and support service across all fourteen local authorities in the southwest region. The hub will act as the first point of contact for prospective carers making enquiries about fostering.

Films of foster carers:

Spencer: https://youtu.be/RWEkgCquRFs (opens new window)

Andrew: https://youtu.be/UJim9KGoTh8 (opens new window)

Alan: https://youtu.be/wmNx-vR9mT4 (opens new window)

Joeanne: https://youtu.be/h-yM40A2mxU (opens new window)

Ian: https://youtu.be/J9u_50TkBrI (opens new window)

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