A chance to make a difference as a foster carer

Date: 20/11/2017

There are currently 220 children who are in foster care in Gwynedd because they cannot be with their parents for some reason or other.

Some need foster care for a few days while others need a longer period of care for up to a year or more.

As part of the continuous efforts to find new foster carers, the Council is staging an informal drop-in session on 28 November from 10am until midday at the Council’s Penrallt offices in Caernarfon where staff and foster carers will be available to talk about their experience. Anyone who is interested is welcome to call in.

Councillor Dilwyn Morgan, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member who leads on children and family issues said: “Foster carers are providing a vital service and are doing excellent work to help us find safe and happy homes for looked after children in Gwynedd.

“Without the help of foster carers, it is very likely that these children would have to be placed in children’s homes or with carers from outside the area - to be brought up far away from their natural surroundings, their friends and their school.”

There are around 120 foster carers who have been registered in Gwynedd and who open their homes so that children have safe places to live and to grow up. They receive full training, with the support of specialist and experienced officers. If you are interested, the Council’s fostering team would like to hear from you, and would be very happy to have an informal chat and discussion.

Mali and Iestyn Williams from Pen Llŷn are amongst those who have been confirmed as registered foster carers with the Council.

“Both of us had been talking about it since we got married. Our youngest child is now 14, so we feel that the time is right for us,” said mother of three, Mali.

“I was adopted myself, so this is something I had actually been discussing and considering. Iestyn’s grandmother used to foster for a while back in the 1960s, so it is something that both of us have been thinking about for years.”

Whilst the process of becoming a foster carer is thorough, the couple from Sarn Mellteyrn have no regrets.

“It certainly did not feel like a long-drawn out and overly complicated process,” said Iestyn, who works for a company selling cleaning products in the area.

“Obviously, assurances must be made that everyone who becomes a foster carer is suitable for the role, but we felt that it was a fair process. We had really good training and it was an eye-opener and reminded us as carers that support is always available from the Council and the fostering team.”

Mali added: “The process has reassured us and confirms that what these children need is a home, love and care. As a family, we can offer that and we are very happy to be in a situation where we can make a difference for the better.”

To contact the Council’s fostering team, phone 01286 682660 for a chat, or you can e-mail: maethu@gwynedd.llyw.cymru, or for further details go to: www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/fostering

PHOTOGRAPH: Foster carers - Mali and Iestyn Williams