North Wales Farmers Asked To Foster Children

Fostering agencies of North Wales are calling on local farmers to help find caring homes for children in care. Statistics from the Fostering Network show that in March 2005, there were 3,194 children living with foster families in Wales. There were approximately 1,900 foster families. The Fostering Network estimates there is a shortage of at least 750 foster families in Wales.

With increasing numbers of sibling groups coming into foster care, fostering agencies are calling upon anyone who could offer the space, time and care to brothers and sisters who are unable to live at home.

Jane, foster carer with Denbighshire County Council who lives in a rural farming community, said: “Being part of a farming environment, can sometimes make fostering a whole lot easier. When we had a 14 year old boy, he came to us with no social skills or working ethics. He would help in jobs at the farm, rather than submerge himself for hours a day with the Playstation. This gave us chance to know him as a person and find out about his life. We have also had smaller children who we have fostered. You cannot underestimate the importance of seeing a child’s face feeding the lambs, or running freely in the fields when they have been deprived of space to play.”

Director of the Fostering Network Wales, Jane Butler, said: “Foster carers offer a vital service to children, who can’t for what ever reason live with their own families. Unfortunately we don’t have enough foster carers to keep up with demand and this shortage leads to children living miles away from their friends and families, being split up from their brothers and sisters, and, most worryingly, being moved between foster families. “Going to live with a different family is difficult enough for a child, but being split up from brothers and sisters can make the experience even more traumatic.”

Foster carers make a huge difference to children’s lives. Fostering agencies provide an allowance to help pay for the children’s food, clothing and household bills.