PUT your spare room to good use and give a local child a forever home is the message from a former foster child.
23-year-old Isobelle from Stafford spent 4 of her teenage years living with her foster carers David and Kelly Hyden
Now the mum of two is urging Staffordshire families to put their spare room to good use to help give children in care a loving home.
Isobelle is backing Staffordshire County Council’s latest fostering campaign to help recruit 60 more families this year.
Isobelle said: “My foster carers were great and supported me throughout my teenage years. They encouraged me with my school work, friendships and helped build up my confidence.
“Even though I’ve got my own young family now, I still visit them, and they are always there for me if I need anything.
“Many children in care will have had a tough start to their lives but getting them into a foster family like what happened to me will make sure they are loved and able to flourish. I would definitely encourage people to consider putting their spare room to good use and being a foster carer. It really can change a young person’s life for the best.”
Isobelle’s foster carer Kelly Hyden explained that fostering was definitely the best thing that she has ever done.
Kelly said: “I often hear people say that they would like to foster one day, but I know that most probably don’t get around to actually doing it. To those people I would say, make that one day today, and take your first step by going along to one of the fostering information events.
“Supporting children to flourish into young adults can be challenging at times but the rewards of seeing them achieve outweigh any challenges. You’ll get all the support you need too, and you’ll have a mentor on hand who is experienced in foster care.”
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council said: “All sorts of people from all walks of life can and do foster and our latest campaign is hoping to encourage more families to consider fostering.
“People who want to foster simply need to care about children, have a spare room, good communication skills and be up for a challenge. If this sounds like you and you’re looking to make a difference in 2019 then please get in touch.”
Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer with Staffordshire County Council can find out more at www.care4child.org/spareroom or by calling 0800 169 2061.
People are also welcome to attend the next fostering information event on Thursday 28 February, at 7pm at Staffordshire Place 1, Tipping Street, Stafford.