Ashford needs foster carers

Kent County CouncilAs the New Year kicks off those people thinking about a new career might want to consider becoming a foster carer.

Foster carers need a spare room in their home and the determination and understanding to make life better for vulnerable children in Kent.  They can be single, in a long-term relationship, with or without children and do not need to own their own home.

Anyone interested should come along to the next fostering information evening being held on Thursday 14 January in Singleton Village Hall, Ashford, the presentation will start at 7pm. 21 January 2016, 7pm

Jackie Shaw and her husband from Ashford knew nothing about fostering when they first started looking into it, now four years on they are so pleased they did. Jackie who will be sharing her fostering experiences at the information evening said: “Our girls were grown up and we wanted to offer love and care to other children. I remember the first two siblings we looked after, the youngest was only three. It really made us realise how important it is to provide a stable environment for them.

“Above all else I believe children need a family unit to belong to where they can feel safe and secure. We are currently looking after two siblings aged six and 13 who have been with us for two and half years now and we give them everything we would give our own children. We try to give them the values we take for granted to help them into adulthood to lead happy, achieving lives. The best moments are when you see the difference you make.

“It can be tiring and you find yourself making notes about everything, but the county council do provide lots of support and training too, so there is always someone to turn to. If anyone is considering becoming a foster carer it’s a good idea to come along to these information evenings to meet as many foster carers as possible and hear all their different experiences. Anyone can foster a child, you don’t have to be from a particular background and every child has different needs.”

Peter Oakford, Cabinet Member for Specialist Children’s Services at Kent County Council said: “Fostering can be an amazing career choice for anyone looking for a new start in 2016, this is the perfect time to think about a new direction. We need more foster carers like Jackie to look after the many children in Kent who need a loving, caring home.”

More families are needed in Kent for children with disabilities and learning difficulties, some of whom have complex needs, to give them the chance of a better future.

Fostering is a paid role and age and experience is not a barrier. Foster carers are fully trained and supported throughout their time fostering with Kent County Council and there are plenty of opportunities to meet with other foster carers.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer and hear first-hand from foster carers, visit Kent County Council’s next fostering event on Thursday 14 January in Singleton Village Hall, Hoxton Close, Singleton, Ashford, TN23 5LB, the presentation will start at 7pm.

For those who are unable to attend the event, there will also be an online chat on Thursday 21 January at 7pm or to find out more about fostering, visit or speak with one of our Initial Enquiries Advisors on 03000 420 002.

Kent County Council 05 January 2016

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