Thursday, 3 September 2009

Could you be a perfect foster carer

“You may not be perfect, but you could be the perfect foster carer”, is the message behind Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s latest campaign to find homes for looked-after children.

Wearing white socks with sandals on the beach, dancing badly, putting the red sock in with the white washing and attempts to make hand-made birthday cakes are all part of the fun of being part of a family.

Sadly, for the 457 children in
Rhondda Cynon Taf who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in care, these are the things they can miss out on.

As a result,
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is looking for people to join its army of professional, dedicated foster carers, who earn a living by opening their homes and lives to children and young people.

It is a massive priority for the authority to find local carers within the county to protect vulnerable young people from the added distress of being removed from their own homes and familiar environments and moved as far afield as Bristol or Gloucester because there are no available carers in RCT.

As such, a new advertising campaign has been launched that sees tongue-in-cheek advertisements on billboards, eye-catching adverts on buses, as well as appeals via radio, the media and the Council’s digi-tv channel.

Rhondda Cynon Taf already boasts 153 foster carers from all walks of life, including single mums, retired couples, families and even same sex couples.

The foster carers work in a variety of ways to not only accommodate young people – long or short term – but to give them the support, guidance and foundation they need to break the cycle and lead prosperous, independent lives.

Some are respite carers and look after children a few weeks a year to provide respite for other fosterers or guardians, others are part of the remand foster care team, who provide safe, supportive homes for young people who are going through the court system.

Some only look after babies, some only look after teenagers. There are a huge range of ways in which you can become a foster carer.

All carers receive professional support and training, with the chance to secure formal qualifications in childcare. There are generous fees and allowances, and incentives such as free leisure access for all the family.

Foster carers can earn up to £22,000 a year.

Cllr Annette Davies, Cabinet Member for Children and Equality, said: “We are very proud of this campaign and hope it can continue to support our efforts to find the best-possible homes for children and young people.

“Now, more than ever, people are looking for flexible ways of earning a living and I urge them to consider fostering. We have an extensive, confidential inquiry service where people can find out more about fostering and whether it is the career for them – they can even meet existing carers for an informal chat if they want.

“It only takes a telephone call and you could be on your way to having a new, challenging, rewarding career, working from your own home to give other young people the best start in life.

“There is no set criteria. You could be the perfect foster carer for us and we urge you to make that call.”

For more information on how to become a foster carer and make a difference to the future of a child – while also securing generous benefits, training and professional support – contact 0800 085 2635, email or visit


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