To celebrate Foster Care Fortnight, Oldham Council’s fostering community have come together to share #WhyWeCare
The two-minute video features the council’s foster carers, fostering staff and a care experienced young person saying why fostering is so important to them and urging people to come forward as foster carers for Oldham’s children and young people.
Elaine Devaney, Director of Children's Social Care, said: “I would like to say a special thank you to all our foster carers for their hard work and dedication over this last year. The last twelve months have been particularly challenging, and they have gone above and beyond for our children and young people.”
“Now, more than ever we need foster families, so we hope our video will inspire people to think about fostering and contact us, their local authority. It is really important that we have local foster families so that our children and young people can continue to live in Oldham, close to their friends and school.”
Aaron has been a fostering for Oldham since September 2020. He cares for two teenagers. Here’s what Aaron has to say: “I came into fostering as I have always wanted to support others. I worked in supported housing for over five years before fostering and found that the younger someone gets the support, the more effective it seems to be. When I found that I could transfer my skills into a career helping teenagers, I jumped at the chance.”
“I have now fostered for three and a half years. Initially I fostered for an independent fostering agency where I cared for one young person for three years, but seven months ago I decided to transfer over to Oldham Council’s Fostering Service.”
“A year before I transferred across, I moved into a three-bedroom property to further my career and foster a second young person. However, the independent fostering agency I was with struggled to find me another placement for over a year, and this was the same story I was hearing from other carers with the same agency, so I decided to foster for Oldham Council instead.”
“When a child or young person comes into foster care, it is Oldham Council who is responsible for finding them a foster family, so I found that if I fostered for my local authority, I was more likely to get a placement and that a placement will suit my family."
“After I looked into the transfer, I realised that there was a full package of support available and also that the allowances were more competitive than the independent fostering agency I was with. After transferring, I had a placement within a week who has been with me ever since.”
“After my initial contact with Oldham Council, I was put in touch quickly with the manager who talked me though any questions I had. We spoke at great lengths about the household and extended family so a suitable second placement could be found, including preferences like what age range I wanted to foster and gender (being a single male carer).”
“I decided to foster teenagers, as in the past I have worked in supported housing with adults and 16–25-year-olds. Along with being a scout leader at the time, this was the age range I was used to working with. I love giving teenagers experiences that they wouldn’t normally get.”
“My best moment was taking my young man abroad for the first time since he was a baby. It was amazing giving him a new experience and also all the little things you do such taking him to a family wedding and christening which made him feel part of a bigger family.”
“The most challenging time while fostering is normally the first few months of having a young person placed. Due to instability in their past, in my experience, they struggle to settle into a family atmosphere and don’t know how to act in a settled place. However, not long after being placed, normally within a few months, both my young people have settled well after receiving consistent support. It is great when they start turning to me for support rather than pushing away.”
“Genuinely, every day now I love seeing the boys settled, enjoying school, playing in the park, and just living a settled, happy life.”
“If you want to work with children or teenagers, pick up the phone and have a chat with one of the staff. They were happy to answer all my questions and there’s lots of support available. I never thought I could have a career doing something I love so much and would recommend to anyone who wants to work with kids to look into fostering with Oldham.”
You can apply to foster regardless of marital status, sexuality, race or religion, or whether you are in work or have a disability. All the fostering service ask is that you are over 21, enjoy working with children and have room in your home.
All carers receive a tailored support package, first class training and generous payments and allowances.
For more information, call 0161 770 6600 or visit www.oldham.gov.uk/fostering