Warwickshire’s fostering service is celebrating the achievements of one of its placement support workers who raised £5000 over the last year to support young people in care.
Norma Wilson, a placement support worker for the Rugby fostering team organises a summer barbecue and Christmas party for both young people in care and foster carers’ own children each year.
As Norma says “It’s not just the younger children that enjoy these events- even the teenagers at the Christmas party are keen to line up and receive gifts from Santa. One teenager even brought his girlfriend to the event which shows that these events really do mean something to the young people in care.”
Norma has also spent the last 17 years putting together Christmas hampers to give to care leavers who don’t have any family to support them over the Christmas period. Some will not receive any Christmas gifts, or very few, and the hampers make a real difference to them.
The hampers include gifts such as Christmas socks, gloves, mince pies, biscuits, soups, toothbrushes, sheets and anything else that might be of use. If the foster leaver has a baby or is pregnant, Norma will put together a separate hamper for the child.
Last year Norma broke her record by putting together 170 hampers for young people and asylum seekers who have recently come out of foster care and now live alone, and 30 hampers for the young mums with babies. Tesco and the Coop kindly donate items for the hampers each year.
In recognition for all of her hard work, the Council’s Corporate Parenting Panel recently presented Norma with a bunch of flowers. Norma was delighted by the response and said:
“I get such pleasure knowing the summer picnic and Christmas party are enjoyed by our young people and carers’ children. When the young people move from foster care into independent living they have new challenges living on their own so giving them a hamper lets them know we still think about them.”
Councillor Jeff Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said, “We are overwhelmed by the kindness shown by Norma to support the young people in care each year. She works tirelessly to give these young people and foster carers’ own children memorable events each year where they can socialise with other children in care and feel valued. To have raised £5000 is an incredible achievement and one of which all of us at Warwickshire County Council are proud.”
Anybody interested in finding out about Fostering for Warwickshire can text ‘CHILD’ to 62266, visit the Facebook page (Warwickshire-County-Council-Fostering) or register their interest online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fostering.