Have you got what it takes to be a Wandsworth foster carer?
Published: Friday 29th May 15
Meet the council’s fostering team at Southside Shopping Centre during Foster Care Fortnight
Foster Care Fortnight starts on Monday (June 1). Chat to the team and some current foster carers every day except June 3 and June 13, but including weekends, between 9.30am and 6.30 pm. Find them near the TKMax/Costa entrance.
There will also be two drop-in open evening sessions on the June 10 and June 17 from 5.30pm to 8pm in the Marble Hall entrance of the Town Hall.
Pearl received an award from the council marking 40 years as a foster carer
Anyone considering fostering can go along for an informal chat to find out if it is right for them. No appointment is necessary.
Carers can be married or single, gay or straight, a homeowner or renting, and from any cultural background. All they need is a spare bedroom and a willingness to provide a home for a child in need.
The council offers a range of support and training to help people meet the challenges involved and provide the stable, caring environment in which young people can thrive. Carers also receive allowances and fees to cover the financial costs involved.
One of the borough’s longest-serving foster carers, Pearl Howard, has looked after more than 44 children in addition to her own five. She said:
“Some children can be very difficult because they all come with baggage, but I know the more challenging they are, the more they need a bit of stability in their lives. If anyone is thinking about fostering I would say ‘go for it’ – there’s support out there to help you.”
Spokesman for education and children, Cllr Kathy Tracey, said: "In Wandsworth we’re determined that all children are given the chance to reach their potential and lead happy, fulfilled lives.
“Good foster carers are crucial in this. They can make a huge difference to a vulnerable young person’s life and give them the care and stability they need. We’re not saying fostering is easy, but it can be hugely rewarding and I would urge anyone considering fostering to go along to Southside, meet the team and find out more.”
The council is constantly in need of new recruits to replace those who are retiring from fostering and to help look after the growing number of children in need of care. Foster carers can be couples or single, but at least one must be aged between 25 and 60 and be in good health.
If you can't make it to Southside or the drop-in sessions, you can find out more at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/fostering or chat to the team on (020) 8871 6666.