66% of foster children in Warwickshire are 10-17 years old. Most of these young people have experienced difficult childhoods but many have gone on to achieve great things through the support of their fostering family. One such young person is Jessica…
Jessica had a very troubled childhood whilst living with her mother and underachieved at school. She was taken into care at age 16 in the middle of her GCSE course, when she transferred to a new school. On entry, her attendance was below 80% and her mock examination results were poor, and she had no interests outside her home. She was attracted by a career in music, but with no definite goal.
On moving into care she settled quickly and was motivated to do as well as she could in her exams, hoping to progress to the sixth form. Her new school gave her excellent support, and by April, she had made significant improvement in her predicted grades, and was attending every day. She was focussed, working hard and described as ‘a delightful student’.
To support Jessica’s career ambition, her social worker made an application to the Tiffin Club for singing lessons: she was granted £300 for ten sessions of personal voice coaching and received a Virtual School award for excellence in creative media and music. At the end of the year she achieved grades that gave her access to the sixth form. At college, she achieved Level 3 Foundation Music and Performance, and is about to complete her university degree.
Warwickshire county Council’s fostering service urgently needs more foster carers who live in the Warwickshire area or close to the Warwickshire border to help care for local children like Jessica and give them a stable family home.
The fostering service is hosting eight information events to encourage more people to consider fostering as a career. At each event there will be the opportunity to meet existing foster carers who can provide information on fostering and answer any questions people have about fostering.
The events are as follows:
• 19th September 2017 10:30am- 1pm Bedworth library
• 28th September 2017 10am- 12:30pm Warwick library
• 3rd October 2017 10am- 12:30pm Atherstone library
• 17th October 2017 10:30am- 1pm Leamington library
• 7th November 2017 10am- 12:30pm Polesworth library
• 17th November 2017 11am- 2pm Clock Towers, Rugby
• 28th November 2017 10am- 12:30pm Shipston library
• 5th December 2017 10am- 12:30pm Coleshill library
As a foster carer you will receive:
• support from a dedicated fostering social worker, social care worker and psychologist
• access to monthly support groups
• a bespoke training package
• access to 24 hour support
• earnings of up to £28,000 per year which reflects the real cost of looking after a child.
Foster carers can be single or couples and with or without children. What matters most is that potential carers have time, space, commitment, patience, a caring nature and skills to work with children and their families.
Cllr Jeff Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “Jessica’s story is a great example of how our young people in care can go on to achieve great things through the support of a foster family. I encourage anyone interested in fostering to attend one of the information events to find out how they can make a real difference to a young person’s life.”
Anybody interested in finding out more about Fostering for Warwickshire but cannot attend the information events can text ‘CHILD’ to 62266, visit the Facebook page (Warwickshire-County-Council-Fostering) or register their interest online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fostering.