A CELEBRATION of inspirational carers was held by Bromsgrove’s Clifford House Fostering.
It took place during national Foster Care Fortnight which ran from May 10 to 23.
This year’s event was on the theme of #WhyWeCare with Clifford House aiming to raise the profile of fostering and show how it transformed the lives of children and young people.
Lesley Greenfield, Clifford House manager, said the pandemic had posed extra challenges for foster families.
“While in normal circumstances, foster parents would have regular face-to-face visits, support and training, and children able to enjoy activities with friends and family, the various lockdowns over the past year has meant much more time spent at home.
“Therefore, at Clifford House, we want to celebrate the tremendous work of our inspirational foster parents andin staff over the last 12 months and say a huge thank you for the constant support they have provided to our children and families during these incredibly challenging times.”
Lesley added the pandemic may have changed life but had not altered the urgent need for foster parents.
“We want every child to have the best start in life, so if you feel you could make a difference to the lives of local children by offering them a loving, stable and secure home, then we’d love to hear from you.”
As part of the campaign, Clifford House has encouraged its foster families, including birth children and young people in care, to share their own experiences.
The organisation shared responses throughout Foster Care Fortnight via its social media platforms to encourage more people to come forward and foster.
Stephanie, who began her fostering journey with Clifford House 16 years ago, said her own teenage life was full of disasters with her own parents.
After having her own children and watching them develop into young men, she wanted to help more young people.
She said: “I wanted them to see someone cared, even if I was not family but just there as a friend.
“After meeting and marrying my husband, we both decided to apply, and the rest has been history.
“Seeing teenagers develop from being torn emotionally into young mature people making their own decisions is so very special to see.
“Sometimes, people can be nervous about taking on teenagers, but we love to work with them, because underneath their hardened shell is a loving young person waiting to bloom.”
Clifford House is an independent fostering agency based in Stoke Prior.
Call 0800 369 8515 or visit https://www.cliffordhousefostering.com/fostering-in-worcester/ for more information on fostering with Clifford House.