Torbay has its own Children in Need - of foster carers

Torbay Foster Carers Member Champion Judith Mills

Torbay Foster Carers Member Champion Judith Mills - Credit: Archant

Children in need and indeed only recently Pudsey have been very much in the news and people, every year, throughout Britain, give very generously to such a worthy cause.

There are different types of foster care needed in Torbay, we need respite, emergency, short term, l

There are different types of foster care needed in Torbay, we need respite, emergency, short term, long term and parent and child. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

However, there are children in need very close to home, in Torbay in actual fact, approximately 320 of them who are going through difficult times and need to regain a sense of stability.

By fostering, you can help a vulnerable child to thrive. Fostering is about helping children, from babies through to teenagers and their families get through a difficulty caused by many different reasons.

Applications are welcome from people from a diverse range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds regardless of gender, sexual orientation, marital and residential status.

There are different types of foster care needed in Torbay, we need Respite, Emergency, Short Term, Long Term and Parent and Child.

Here are statements written by two of our current Torbay foster carers.

“We currently do respite fostering, which means that we offer short breaks of up to 17 days mostly to other full time foster carers. We also have regular children that come to us for respite, for example we have one boy who comes for the weekend every three weeks, and other children that we have regularly. This works well as it enables you to build a connection with them. Having children for respite often means that you see their best behaviour, although there can also be challenges.

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It is very rewarding to be able to support other foster carers and children in this way, and the children generally feel very at home. We have also done full time foster caring but we have found that offering respite works well for us as a family, as we are able to have time in between just for us and our son. Respite is also a good way to start in fostering and build up your confidence at a pace that suits you.

We sometimes offer support for children who are at home with their parents and the parents are struggling to cope. This is also very rewarding and we enjoy being able to support families in this way. Other times children come in between placements for a couple of weeks and we enjoy being able to offer them a quiet and safe place to feel accepted and supported whilst a longer term placement is found.”

“My wife and I began our fostering journey in November 2014 and we are agreed that six years on it has been hugely rewarding as we feel that we are making a positive contribution in Torbay and helping to set a young life off on the right path.

In one way or another every single child that we have looked after has made a huge impression on our lives, as we hope that we have made on theirs.

One lady who took on a Special Guardianship Order of her niece back in the summer said as we left the little girl with her on the final day of the transition that she felt as if she had joined a family rather than having taken a child away from one.

Indeed in almost all cases since we became carers we have built relationships with all of their adopted parents and other relatives and continue to have contact with them all to this day.

Our approach is a simple one really.

We are taught that foster carers should treat the children that they look after as if they were members of the family, but in our case the children we look after are members of our family for as long as they are with us, and we cherish them as we do our own, ensuring that they are part of everything we do, never being left out of anything.

For further information visit the Torbay Foster Care website: www.torbay.gov.uk/fostercare or telephone Torbay Foster care Service on 01803 207857