IT is Foster Care Fortnight, (Monday 9 May through to Sunday 22 May), the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign.
Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Thurrock Fostering are looking for new or experienced Foster Carers to provide short, medium or long term care, and you do not have to live in Thurrock to be a Foster Carer with us.
“The theme for Foster Care Fortnight this year is #FosteringCommunities. Here in Thurrock, we have a very successful fostering service striving to achieve the best outcomes for children and young people in the borough. We want to celebrate the strength of our fostering community and all they do to ensure children and young people are cared for and supported to thrive.”
An existing Foster Carer shared their experience of fostering a teenager: “There are no words to describe the joy at seeing a young person change from a scared, angry individual suffering from low self-esteem, into someone that has completed their school education and become confident in themselves and well equipped with their whole life before them.
“The first teenager that I fostered was terrified of everything, but most of all that I would disappear and let them down. This came with its challenges but over time, I gave lots of reassurance and gradually they relaxed and really understood I was going nowhere. The little things we take for granted mean so much to a young person in foster care as we nurture and guide them along a new path, building trust and working through their past trauma.
“Being the parental figure to a teenager who has not been exposed to a stable upbringing gives a wonderful opportunity to make a difference and show them what life can be like. I cannot think of a more rewarding role than being a Foster Carer and helping a young person heal, giving them the opportunities to be able to have a fulfilling life ahead of them. Far too many people label teenagers as problems, they just need time, love and patience and it is so rewarding to be able to offer a stable surrounding to give just this.”
Thurrock Fostering’s virtual and in-person information sessions are an opportunity to find out more about fostering for Thurrock, hear about our competitive fostering allowances and benefits, and have your questions answered by the team and existing Foster Carers. Upcoming information sessions include:
- Thursday 12 May, 9am to 9m – drop-in information stand, outside Primark Level 2 at Lakeside Shopping Centre
- Wednesday 18 May, 6pm to 8pm– in-person information event at the Boardroom, Orsett Hall Hotel, RM16 3HS
- Friday 20 May, 10am to 2pm – drop-in information stand at Asda, Tilbury
- Sunday 22 May, 10am to 11:30am – virtual information event on Microsoft Teams
For more information on the great benefits of becoming a Thurrock Foster Carer, to obtain the link to join our online sessions or to make an enquiry please visit thurrock.gov.uk/fostering or call the team on 0800 652 1256.