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Meet Staffordshire’s foster families helping give a child a childhood

People interested in becoming a foster carer are being urged to get in touch in a new campaign being run by Staffordshire County Council.

‘Give a child a childhood’, is the latest campaign that hopes to attract the next generation of foster families.

Every year, tens of thousands of children across the UK need someone to provide foster care and in Staffordshire alone, 60 more foster families need to be found this year.

Now with children back at school, and older teenagers off to university or college, those families with a spare room are being urged to consider fostering.

Kuldip and Suresh Jhamat are foster carers from Stafford and have been fostering for Staffordshire for five years. Kuldip said: “We became foster carers because our own children had grown up and left home and our nest was empty.

“We’d just renovated a house and it felt empty and quiet. We have now been fostering since 2018 and we love it. We do fostering as a family and it’s changed our lives. It’s lovely to see a child developing and when they hit a milestone is amazing.”

From Cannock, Julie Perryman fosters alongside her husband Nigel and have been doing so for seven years.

Julie, who now wants others to try it said: “I’ve always wanted to be a foster carer, when I first met my husband I told him this too.

“We had our own children first and once they had grown up and didn’t need our support so much we decided to look into fostering. I’d always worked in schools and I’d seen foster carers bring children to school and also worked with some children and I just wanted to be part of that, so we became foster carers.”

Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council said: “I remember when my daughter moved out for the first time. Our house was definitely quieter without her so I understand why some people turn to fostering to fill that void.

“Fostering can be a great way of putting your time and energy into helping a young person. Most people can foster, but you do need to have a spare bedroom. You don’t have to foster full-time either we also need foster carers for short breaks too.

“September is one of those times of the year when people think about fostering, so if this sounds like you, then please get in touch with the team. They’ll explain more about what’s involved and help you get started on your journey.”

Carolyn Gittings and Kevin Wilcox from Burntwood have also been fostering for Staffordshire for three years.

Carolyn said: “We first thought about fostering when my daughter went off to Uni. We initially fostered for a private agency but after two years we didn’t feel supported and we didn’t feel our agency had the children’s best interests at heart so we enquired to Staffordshire and we love it. Now we go ice-skating, day trips to theme parks, things you wouldn’t do if you didn’t have children. It’s really made a difference to our lives and the children we look after. It’s also given us a new sense of purpose too and we’d recommend it to others.”

Staffordshire’s foster service will be calling in at the following towns during September:

  • Monday 18 September, 9.30-12.30, Lichfield Library

  • Wednesday 20 September, 10am - 2pm, Dove Fields Car Park, Uttoxeter

  • Wednesday 20 September 8.30am-4pm, Leek Indoor Market

There is also an open evening taking place on Thursday 28 September from 5pm-8pm, Staffordshire Place 1, Stafford where you can meet the team and local foster carers and find out more.

Anyone interested in finding out more about fostering with Staffordshire County Council can visit the Foster for Staffordshire website or call 0800 169 2061.


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