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 STOKE-ON-TRENT, NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME, STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS, SOUTH CHESHIRE

Foster families share their experiences to encourage others to come forward



A Staffordshire foster family have shared their experiences of fostering to try and encourage others to come forward.

 

Ann and Bill Jevons have been fostering for Staffordshire for 14 years.  Specialising in fostering children with additional needs and disabilities, they provide long-term regular short-break care to four children.

 

The couple, from Tamworth, decided to foster as they had brought up their own two children and they wanted to offer other children the same opportunities that their children had.

 

Talking about her experiences, Ann said: “Seeing a child grow and flourish into a young adult has got to be one of the most rewarding sides of what we do.

 

“When we meet people, they often say that they couldn’t foster but we always say, yes you can, just give it a go!  The training and support available for new foster carers is great.  There are so many people you can rely on to support you.  And there’s no such thing as a silly question.  The staff and other foster carers are always more than happy to help and guide you through the processes.

 

“Becoming foster carers was the best decision we have made.  It is so rewarding, and the families of disabled children benefit so much from the short breaks.  We even take them camping in the summer for new experiences.  Fostering is just a way of life for us now”.

 

“If you have the time, then we would really recommend you get in touch with the team at the county council.  You never know what you can achieve until you try.

 

Staffordshire County Council are looking to recruit 30 new foster families this year.

 

Neelam Bhardwaja, Director for Children and Families at the authority, said: “Foster Carers like Ann and Bill provide invaluable support to local foster families, offering them an opportunity to have a break from their full-time caring commitments.

 

“These long-lasting relationships make a real difference to families, and I’d encourage anyone thinking about fostering to contact the team to find out more.

 

Neelam added: “But this isn’t the only type of fostering.  There’s short-term and long-term fostering, resilience foster care for children moving out of residential homes and also, supported lodgings.  Our friendly fostering team will be able to talk you through the different options available and what might suit you and your family.”

 

Ann’s passion for caring for children has also spread amongst her family, as her daughter Sarah has also started fostering.

 

Sarah said: “We always tell people how rewarding fostering is and also how there are so many myths about fostering, which aren’t true.  Anytime someone suggests they would like to foster, I am the first to say do it, it’s worth it and it’s so rewarding.”

 

More information about becoming a foster carer is available on the Foster for Staffordshire website or by calling 0800 169 2061

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