Foster care recruitment making a difference

Stalybridge foster carer Maxine Wilson has spoken of the “magical moments” of fostering as part of a regional recruitment campaign.

The #youcanfoster campaign, backed by Tameside Council and twenty-two other local authorities, has been launched to highlight the need for more than seven hundred new Local Authority fostering households across the North West.

Maxine, 52, from Stalybridge, became a foster carer in 2012 and has since fostered five children.

She said: “I had been thinking about fostering for years and when my children left home I felt I still had so much to give so I decided to apply.

“It has been amazing. You share such magical moments – from taking the children to the seaside for the first time, to them enjoying their first ever Sunday roast dinner around the family table.

“Providing nurturing and watching children grow in confidence and self-esteem is like watching a flower open.

Maxine fosters two children: an eight-year-old girl who is in her long term care, so could potentially stay with her until after university and beyond, and a ten-year-old boy.

“You start seeing positive changes in the children right away and the more you get to know them and their background, the more you get to understand their behaviour and are able to help them.”

She said: “It’s so rewarding to know you are making a positive difference by giving them the love, support, skills and independence to make a good start in life.

“I would recommend anyone thinking about it to go for it. The support and training you get from the council is excellent and there are other benefits such as allowances for the children’s birthdays, Christmas and holidays. I would highly recommend it.”

Tameside Council Executive Member for Children and Families Cllr Peter Robinson, himself a former foster carer, said: “In Tameside we have hundreds of children who need foster care and we constantly need more carers to provide the support and stable homes that these young people need.

“From personal experience, I can recommend fostering as a wonderful career opportunity to support children and young people through the milestones of growing up and helping them to achieve their best.”

For more information on fostering visit http://youcanfoster.org/

Tameside Council’s fostering team is holding a drop in event at The Denton Centre, Acre Street, Denton, on Thursday, October 27, from 5.30-7.30pm for anyone wishing to speak to social workers and foster carers.

By Alex Byrom