Urgent appeal for foster carers in Hemel Hempstead
Council bosses have made an urgent appeal to Hemel Hempstead residents to consider becoming foster carers.
There are around 950 children and young people in care in Hertfordshire and a lot of them need the support of a foster family.
Many residents decide to become foster carers when their own children have grown older or left home.
One such couple is Keith and Nicky Gower who became carers a year ago and have found fostering to be “life-changing”.
The pair, from Hemel Hempstead, are currently fostering three young brothers, aged four, five and six.
Keith said: “We decided it was the right time to foster when our own children left home. Only our 17-year-old remained at home, so we felt we’d have more time to devote to foster children.
“Fostering has certainly been life-changing. It has been very demanding and a lot of hard work but it has also been extremely worthwhile and enjoyable.
"We are positive, can-do and flexible people, which I think really helps.”
He added: “Our lives are very busy again. We take the boys to so many activities and events that they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do previously and it’s great to see their appreciation.
"It’s been so rewarding to see them grow and meet challenges that they couldn’t have achieved when they first came to live with us.”
Foster carers in Hertfordshire have to be over 21 years old, and have at least one spare room in their home.
There are many different types of fostering and foster carers can choose what is right for them and their family.
Councillor Teresa Heritage, deputy leader of Hertfordshire County Council and cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “With a new year and decade upon us, many people may feel they wish to make a change to their life.
"Fostering would not only change their lives but also those of a child or young person.
“It is our aim in Hertfordshire to ensure that everyone gets the best possible opportunities in life and we need our residents to help us transform the lives of children.
"We would love to hear from any individuals or families in Hertfordshire who could offer a safe and loving home to a foster child.”
For more information visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/somethingmissing or call HCC's recruitment team on 0800 917 0925.