We had our foster carers celebration event on the 26 October 2023.  I am pleased to share that the day was a huge success.  It was great to see so many of our carers.  The Rt Hon Jacqui Smith (Chair of the Trust Board) and Emma Taylor, Chief Executive introduced the day.  Directors, Steven Gauntley and Tara Malik were there to show their appreciation and support for the central role our foster carers have in our children’s lives.  The service provided an update on the recent improvements and the plans for the future development of the service.

Foster Talk gave a great presentation on the offer available to foster carers. We shared the ‘Any Of Us’ video.  One of our foster carers Tanya, shared her emotional story about connecting up with a young person that she had cared for many years ago and how fostering is a family affair.  There were many watery eyes in the room!

The highlight of the day was Scott King of Section 31 Training.  Scott is a care experienced motivational speak and my goodness can he motivate, he brought laughter and tears into the room.  Scott kindly shared his early life experience, talked about his feelings and the impact his experience had on him.  Scott provided an emotional insight into what care experience meant for him and the impact of trauma on our children.

Scott’s message to foster carers was that they may not always see the positive impact that they are making, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening.  It was acknowledged that fostering can bring joy and enhance family life but that there may be times when fostering can be hard hard.   Scott provided an assurance that some of the little day to day things that foster carers do can make a big difference to a child’s life long term.  A foster carer fed back that they felt rejuvenated and motivated just listening to Scott.  We will be looking at how we can involve Scott into our ongoing foster carer training, he was just so, so good!

The afternoon was a market stall event. There were lots of the services on hand to speak to carers and highlight the excellent wrap around support that is available to them here in Sandwell.

The day reminded me that success is never down to an individual it is one part of a whole and that is the Sandwell fostering family.  Most importantly – and what the day was really about – a thank you to our carers for all that they do, every day.   I hope they enjoyed the flowers, chocolates and vouchers and I look forward to meeting with them again soon.

If you are thinking of fostering, don’t wait any longer, we would like welcome you into Sandwell’s fostering family.

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