Why not make 2013 the year that you resolve to become a foster carer? With over 600 children in various types of care throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf, the Council’s Foster Care Service needs you.
Foster carers can come from many different backgrounds and enjoy a unique vocation which brings with it many rewards - most importantly the knowledge that you are developing a child’s abilities and strengths and ensuring their potential is fulfilled.
You may never have even been a parent yourself - but you could still have all the right skills and qualities needed to become a foster carer.
Providing high-quality family placements for children and young people whose own families are unable to care them is the top priority of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s busy Foster Care service.
Staff are continually looking for people to join its team of professional, dedicated foster carers, who open their homes and lives to children and young people.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s policy is that children and young people should remain with their parents where it is safe, and they proactively support families wherever possible. But when this isn’t possible, the Council aims to provide placements that can give a child stability and a sense of security.
Placements can be on a short-term support care basis where parents are finding it difficult to cope and the children need respite care.
Long-term fostering affects those children who may be unable to return to their families for several years, or perhaps never and need a secure and stable foster home to develop emotionally and physically up to the age of 18 when they are no longer in the care system.
There is also a family link placement which provides a short break specifically for children up to the age of 18 with a learning or physical disability.
Joanna Beese and her husband Michael of Pontypridd became foster carers to an eight-year-old girl in September 2011, and are encouraging others to consider fostering.
Joanna said: "The most rewarding thing about fostering is being able to give a home where there is normality, security and where you can build on children’s skills and give them life experiences they haven’t had before."
Cllr Annette Davies, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Equalities, said: "Foster caring is a demanding but hugely rewarding career, welcoming people from different backgrounds and experiences but who share the same commitment to ensure children’s potential is fulfilled.
"Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is determined to ensure foster carers are treated as professional workers, with the allowances, fees, support and training to match.
"With such a variety of foster care schemes available, we will work closely to find a scheme suitable to both the carer and the young person alike. So why not make 2013 the year that you resolve to welcome a child into your home and become a foster carer?"
All carers receive a good level of financial remuneration, professional support and training including first aid, child protection and fire safety, with the chance to secure formal qualifications in childcare.
Potential carers don’t need to own their own property, but will need a spare bedroom. Many people who become foster carers do not have children of their own. They will also have access to support 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a social worker allocated to both the carer and child alike.
To find out more about how to become a foster carer, please contact the Council’s Fostering Team on 0800 085 26 35