IMPROVING the future of children and young people in foster care is at the heart of a new regional partnership.
Fostering services from the four local authorities of Carmarthenshire, Powys, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire have come together to form Foster Mid and West Wales.
The aim is to work together with local children to create a strong partnership and ultimately to improve the outcomes for young people in foster care. The key message is Local Carers, Local Children, Local Services.
A new regional fostering website has been launched together with a Foster Carers’ Charter which sets out a vision for future service delivery.
Launched at the National Botanic Gardens at Llanarthne it was a celebration of the amazing work and dedication of the local authority staff, foster carers and their families across all four regions.
The event included a demonstration of the new website to help with the recruitment of foster carers throughout the region; and foster carers had the opportunity to share their personal foster care journeys.
Carmarthenshire’s Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “A regional approach brings together the joint experience and success of our individual fostering services to allow us to learn from each other and enhance recruitment and training opportunities for fostering across the region.
“Foster Mid and West Wales is passionate and committed to providing stable and nurturing homes to children and young people; providing specialist training and round-the-clock support to the exceptional team of foster carers and their families.
“It takes compassion, a sense of humour, flexibility and an open mind to foster and Foster Mid and West Wales is very lucky to have so many wonderful foster carers to help our children and young people become independent, confident and happy individuals, with great life choices ahead of them.”
Cllr Rachel Powell, Cabinet Member for Powys County Council Children’s Services, said: “It was a great pleasure to be present at this event, with so many humbling accounts from the four regions, which emphasised the value of our foster carers and the unique, professional role that they provide for our young people who we need to care for.
“There are so many valid reasons to be a foster carer and as part of the Mid and West Wales Fostering launch, there is a firm welcome to further discussions from anyone wishing to find out more. The assumption that to be a foster carer you need to be part of a two parent family is simply not true. Fostering involves unique individuals who are passionate and genuinely want to support children and young people in their lifelong journey, which can be hugely satisfying.”
Cllr Catherine Hughes, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services for Ceredigion, said: “Ceredigion County Council is proud to be part of the regional partnership, we’re committed in making sure that young people in foster care and foster carers are fully supported.
“The new website will be a great resource for existing foster carers and also anyone who may be considering giving fostering a go – it’s worthwhile to take a look.”
Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services Cllr Tessa Hodgson said: “Foster carers provide a vital service to children and young people across the region, a loving stable foster placement can turn a life around #changeafuture.
“This new strong partnership and regional working will help to provide those critical placements and support for foster families.”
To find out more about becoming a foster carer in your local area visit the website for further information, as well as case studies and news visit foster.midandwest.wales