Hemel foster carers ask the public to consider fostering during awareness fortnight

Hertfordshire County Council is appealing for foster carers to come forward and celebrating the work of its current carers

Monday, 4th May 2020, 12:50 pm
Updated Monday, 4th May 2020, 12:52 pm

A couple from Hemel Hempstead, who have been foster carers for seven years, are encouraging other people to take the first step.

Ed Gibson and Jools Newman have fostered 14 children and are currently serving as Mockingbird hub foster carers, providing support to eight foster families.

They have joined other foster carers in Hertfordshire to highlight the need for fostering, and have published a vlog to speak about what fostering means to them and encourage others to take the first step.

Jools and Ed have been fostering for seven years

To mark this year’s Foster Care Fortnight (May 11 to 24), Hertfordshire County Council is not only appealing for foster carers to come forward but also celebrating the work of its current carers.

Since the pandemic started, many foster carers for Hertfordshire County Council have been highlighting on social media the difference fostering has made to their lives and showing how they have kept their foster children occupied during isolation.

Some have been building dens, creating artwork on sheets, baking, setting up an outdoor cinema, and making a patchwork blanket, among other activities.

Ed Gibson said: “This is a very tough time for all of us at the moment but the need for foster carers is greater than ever. If you have a spare room, have love in your heart, feel like something is missing in your life, then maybe fostering is for you.”

During these challenging times, children in Hertfordshire still need the love and support of a foster carer, and in the county, there are over 950 children and young people in care.

The theme for this year's Foster Care Fortnight campaign, run annually by The Fostering Network, is ‘This Is Fostering’, and Hertfordshire County Council has also been highlighting the many options available if you decide to be a foster carer.

From full time fostering to offering short sleepover breaks, there are many different types of fostering because children in care have varying situations and needs.

Councillor Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “Our foster carers are all ordinary people, but they do an extraordinary thing.

"I’d like to say a big thank you to our foster carers for everything they’re doing for their foster children in these challenging times.

“Now more than ever, we need people to adopt or foster a child. The Coronavirus pandemic may have changed life as we know it for the time being, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the need for foster carers.”

Any residents wanting to transform a child’s life and become a foster carer in Hertfordshire, must be over 21 years old, and have at least one spare room at home.

There are many different types of fostering and foster carers can choose what is right for them and their family.

Anyone who fosters with Hertfordshire County Council will receive unrivalled 24/7 support, local training, and generous pay and allowances.

To find out more call 0800 917 0925, email [email protected] or visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/fostering.

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