The Wokingham Paper

New foster families urgently required amid coronavirus pandemic

PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTON www.stphotos.co.uk

Wokingham Borough Council are encouraging people to make the life-changing decision to become foster families- with new families urgently needed for children in the borough.

Foster carers Matt and Natasha Lee have grown as people since starting in the role last year as one of 64 foster families in the borough but more than 10 are urgently needed.

Matt and Natasha balance fostering alongside their commitment to their three sons. It has had its challenging times but the pair describe it as a joyous experience: “Fostering is something that we had talked about for many years,”

“We knew the time would have to be right to make it work for everyone, so started our fostering journey in January 2019 and haven’t looked back since. 

“Within a few days of being approved as foster carers, we had a young boy placed with us for a few weeks of respite care and shortly after this, had siblings of seven and two years of age placed in our care.

“After six months with us now, it would be a lie to say that it’s all been plain sailing or easy, but we never expected it to be. 

“Fostering throws up challenges the same as anything in life and at times can be emotionally tiring, but how the whole extended family have dealt with those challenges and overcome them gives the most positive feeling imaginable.”

The experience has seen growth not only for the young people in their care, but also Matt and Natasha’s own children. 

“The development we’ve seen with the children, including our own, in all respects is the greatest achievement of all and is something we’re all proud to be part of,” they added.

 “We had imagined fostering to be many things and, over a year down the line, are so glad we took that step to make a difference to someone’s life.”

With the annual national Foster Care Fortnight (11 to 24 May) still going ahead during the Coronavirus pandemic the borough council wants to reach out to would-be foster carers for children including teenagers, siblings, and asylum seekers and children with disabilities who desperately need foster carers in the borough.

Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services, said: “Becoming a foster carer is open to a broad range of people and what’s most important is being able to provide a safe and loving home for the young people in our care,“

“Get in touch with our team to find out about the possibilities of starting the journey to become a brilliant foster family while getting paid as well as access to a host of other benefits and training.”

To find out more, contact Jackie Ross, recruitment and marketing officer by calling 0118 974 6204,

emailing fostering@wokingham.gov.uk or visit fostering.wokingham.gov.uk/

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