This Foster Care Fortnight© (9th -22nd May 2022,) Gwent is celebrating the differences that foster carers have made to children’s lives in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen. From foster carers who have shown dedication over many years, to those just starting their fostering journey to help give children a better future.
Foster Care Fortnight© is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, delivered by leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network. This year's theme is #FosteringCommunities to celebrate the strength and resilience of fostering communities and all they do to ensure children are safely cared for and supported to thrive.
So, this May, Blaenau Gwent are asking residents to help brighten up the region, by planting sunflower seeds in their gardens and posting their progress online as well as hosting a sunflower design competition for all primary aged pupils. To find out more please visit:
The campaign aims to shine a light on the many ways people in the fostering community have supported each other during the Covid-19 pandemic – and to highlight the need for more dedicated foster carers. The sunflower theme represents how foster carers can nurture a child so that they can flourish and grow to reach their full potential.
Tanya Evens, Lead Head of Children’s Services for Foster Wales in Gwent said: “The last two years have certainly been challenging but we’ve seen such compassion and selflessness from our foster carers across Gwent, who have opened their doors to children and given them a safe place during the Covid-19 pandemic when the rest of the country were struggling to even see their own families.
Fostering has had to adapt to the unusual circumstances we all found ourselves in and our foster carers really stepped up to provide outstanding care and support for children and families who needed them. We want to say a big thank you and convey our appreciation for everything they've done.”
Foster Wales wants to encourage more people to become foster carers for their local authority so that children can remain in their local area, close to their friends and family and remain in their school wherever possible. This can help children and young people retain their sense of identity during a time of transition.
Tanya also stated: “Most people don't realise that it's your local authority, your local council, who take care of children when their family are experiencing difficulties or when children are living with abusive and neglectful situations, and it’s your local authority who finds them a safe place and is responsible for them.
There is a wealth of knowledge in the Foster Wales local authority fostering team and dedicated social workers who all work together with local families and local schools to build better futures for local children.
By fostering locally, you are helping children to stay in their community, with the surroundings, accent, school, language, friends and activities they know. It keeps them connected and helps to build stability and confidence.
We would encourage people not just to foster, but to foster with their local authority, which is part of Foster Wales, the national network of 22 not-for-profit local authorities responsible for the children in our care.”
One foster carer who decided to open up her heart and her home to care for children and young people is Diane Faulkner, a long term foster carer in Blaenau Gwent.
Diane says: "When I began fostering I was conscious of children getting moved around from town to town. I didn't want that and felt it important to keep them for the longevity in caring for local children to stay in their local community.”
Remember to tag your sunflower pictures on your local authority Facebook and Twitter page, to help keep us up to date on how your sunflowers are growing! Happy planting!
To find out how you can foster visit
Blaenau Gwent fosterwales.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk
Tel: 01495 357792 or 01495 356037