Foster Care Fortnight comes to Oxfordshire, 15 - 28 May 2023
People across Oxfordshire are being encouraged to consider becoming foster carers in a campaign involving some of the county’s fostering families.
National Foster Care fortnight,15-28 May, offers an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the support foster carers provide to children we care for in Oxfordshire. It is also used by Oxfordshire County Council to attract new foster carers.
Michelle (aged 37) and William Hunter (36) (pictured) are new to fostering. Michelle said: “There are so many reasons to choose Oxfordshire County Council to begin your fostering journey.
“The council gave us lots of help, including having access to a social worker and a host of other support services. We feel part of a fostering community, making a positive difference to local children by helping them reach their full potential.”
The couple have fostered two children since they began fostering at the end of last year.
Michelle continues: “The children who we have had the privilege of fostering have brought so much fun, laughter and purpose into our lives. We have absolutely no regrets.
“Our advice to anyone thinking of fostering is to take your time to research and really think about it. There are lots of foster carers who would love to answer your questions, offering a realistic perspective of what fostering is like.
“Be reassured that there is lots of support out there for foster carers should you choose to take the plunge like we did. We’ve never looked back.”
Councillor Liz Brighouse, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Youth Services, said: “Well done to Michelle, Will and our other 270 Oxfordshire County Council foster carers. Day in and day out, they make an enormous difference to the lives of children, who for various reasons need to be cared for outside their own family. I am full of admiration and thank these local heroes.
“Our service is not for profit, and we are committed to keeping children and young people near to their birth families, friends, and schools. Our aim is for children to have more stability by placing them locally with our own foster carers. We cannot do that unless we can recruit heroes like Michelle and Will."
Oxfordshire County Council’s foster carers receive:
- A welcome payment of £1,500, to help make the transition to foster carer.
- Generous fees, paid in addition to the child’s allowance, based on experience and skills.
- Dedicated social worker support.
- Access to professionals involved with the child/children, linked with support groups and specialised training.
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