Oxfordshire foster carer highlights crucial role black women play in supporting children and young people
People across Oxfordshire, from a range of different backgrounds, are being encouraged to consider becoming foster carers by Oxfordshire County Council during Black History Month.
The theme of this year’s Black History Month is ‘saluting our sisters’, highlighting the crucial role that black women play in inspiring change and building communities.
Oxfordshire resident Eileen Momanyi, 48, talks with pride about the difference she has made to the lives of 13 children she has fostered over the last four years.
Eileen explains: “It is personally rewarding to see a child ‘come out of their shell’ as they begin to feel safe. Watching their confidence grow living under my roof.
“The 13 children I’ve fostered have stayed with me for between a couple of days and six months. They are often placed with me because of tensions or worries they’re experiencing in their family home, or because a previous placement has sadly broken down.
“They come to me at difficult moments in their lives. I understand that. I do everything possible to make them feel comfortable and secure. Even if I know they will be moving to a more permanent home in a few days, I want their short time with me to be memorable, a springboard to give them a boost as they prepare for their next step, whatever that will be.
“I combine my love of walking and the great outdoors with the fostering experience, taking the children on walks. Some rarely visit the countryside. They find it uplifting and exhilarating and find freedom to escape their worries. Trees, open fields, wildlife give us perspective, which hopefully the children will take into the next chapter of their young lives.
“Alongside being a foster carer, I’m employed by Oxfordshire County Council as a social worker for adults.
“I am a real people person. I love both opening my door to foster children and supporting adults in my professional capacity with the council. I am making a difference. The feel good makes it so worthwhile.
“Inspiring change and building communities are two of the themes for this year’s Black History Month. Volunteering can be a hugely rewarding experience for both foster carers and the young people staying with them. I would encourage any existing carers to get involved. And I would encourage anyone thinking of being a foster carer to find out more.”
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.
For further information about becoming a foster carer, visit:
Phone 0800 783572.
There are currently 10 black foster carers working for Oxfordshire County Council out of 167 fostering families, and 37 black children living in foster care.
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