Wirral foster carers have been celebrated at a special fostering event to thank those who dedicate their lives to supporting young people.
Held at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton, the Fostering Symposium was designed to recognise our valuable existing carers, and encourage potential new carers to sign up to fostering as part of a major new council campaign.
Foster carers at the event were presented with a key to pass on to those they think might make a great foster carer, asking: ‘Do you hold the key to a child’s future?’
Keys were donated by local cobbler Mark, whose grandmother fostered over 189 children and was previously in the Guinness World Records for fostering. Martin said he was “delighted” to donate the keys, as his grandmother’s legacy still lives on and he still has foster aunts and uncles today.
Our foster carers act as ambassadors for fostering and are vital to helping us recruit more carers. They know first-hand the rewards and challenges fostering can bring, and are best placed to advise, encourage and support new potential foster carers.
Cabinet member for Children and Families Cllr Bernie Mooney said: “Our foster carers are making positive, life-changing differences to the lives of young people – both in the immediate-term and in the long-term.
Existing carers are best placed to talk about fostering to potential carers through sharing their own experiences, which is vital in helping us provide positive futures for our children.”
Foster carer Mike Routledge said at the event: “Fostering was scary at first but is the most rewarding and gratifying job.
“One child arrived with us at risk of expulsion from school, but went on to achieve six A’Levels, including three A* grades. You can’t get that satisfaction in any other job.”
Foster carers at the symposium also explored a variety of new initiatives to support existing carers, and make it easier for older children and those with more complex needs to be fostered.
Watch our video of foster carer Kim Fenna, who was in foster care as a child and decided to become a carer at the age of 22.
Anyone interested in fostering can chat informally to our foster care ambassadors to find out more by calling 0151 666 4510. Alternatively, they can drop in for a chat with our foster carers on the second Monday of every month at Seacombe Children’s Centre, 12pm-12.50pm during school term time.