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Foster Care Fortnight 2014

Published: 13/05/2014

With Social Services departments busier than ever and on average one child being taken into care every 20 minutes in Britain, fostering services around the country are joining together for Foster Care Fortnight™ 2014 from Monday 12 to Sunday 25 May, to encourage more local families to offer a loving, caring home to a child. Flintshire Fostering Service is holding an information evening on Wednesday 14 May at the Days ‘Gateway to Wales’ Hotel, Deeside at 7pm for anyone considering becoming a foster carer. Flintshire foster carers, Andrew and Amanda from Holywell have been fostering for a year and have looked after 10 children in that time. One of their first foster children was only supposed to stay for a night but things changed and now he’s like part of their family. Amanda said: “We are just a normal, happy and out-going family. We wanted to give something back and do something different. It’s exciting when the phone rings. Children can be quite nervous when they first arrive, meeting new people. They stay up in their bedroom and it takes time for them to come out of their shell, for them to trust you and talk to you, it doesn’t happen overnight.” “We’ve jumped in with both feet and never looked back but there is lots of support. We’ve met some lovely foster carers who have been doing this for years, and you can ask them anything.” “The rewards are simple; a smile or a laugh, and when the children feel comfortable and safe here. For a lot of the children, we’ve just had a phone call that they are coming and you have to think quickly on your feet. You have to say ‘no’ sometimes too, if you don’t click with the child or you feel it’s something you can’t manage.” Matthew, 16 has been fostered by the couple for 11 months and is studying construction at college. He now shows the new foster children the ropes when they first arrive and tells them the house rules. Matthew said: “It was strange when I first came here, I didn’t know where I was going. But it’s like home to me now. I can’t put into words what they’ve done for me. I’m lucky to have found them. They’ve done a lot and given me a lot of support.” He has some advice to anyone considering fostering: “Just be yourself and listen to the children when they are ready to talk. You need lots of patience. Don’t judge the kids by the past, make your own first impression.” For more information about fostering and the information evening call 01352 702190 or visit Photo caption: Foster carers Andrew and Amanda.