With Mother’s Day just gone we have all been thinking about the importanceof mothers and fathers in providing a safe and loving home environment forchildren as they grow and develop. Mother’s Day also brings into focus the 459 childrenacross Rhondda Cynon Taf living away from their families in Foster CareFamilies.
On Mother’s Day Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s foster care team praised the compassion, patience and enduranceof all our foster carers (as well as their families) as they care for our mostvulnerable children. Foster carers bring children into theirfamily but do so always understanding that these children have a motherwho will forever remain their Mother.
While it is tempting to see foster carers as “super-humans”, the fact isthat these are completely ordinary people – ordinary people whoare stepping up to an extra-ordinary role. Foster carers areneighbours in your community; single people, couples, families of all shapesand sizes, people who’ve retired, students, people who are employedpart-time, full-time or not at all!
As Rhondda CynonTaf Council continues its drive to find long and short term placements forhundreds of vulnerable children, one Foster Carer is urging residents of allages and backgrounds to consider if they could open their hearts and homes toothers.
And she has askedthem to put aside any prejudices or fears they may have, either about theirability to carry out such a role, or the challenges such young people maypresent.
Mary Bailey, whohas been a foster carer for 29 years, explained: “Many people feel they couldnot be a foster carer because of their age, their home, the fact they do or donot have their own children and even the fact they are a single person.
“The fact of thematter is that every foster carer is treated as an individual, just like everylooked-after child is!
“There is noperfect template of who can or cannot be a foster carer, it is about thepersonality you have and what you can bring to the life of a child who, withoutyou, could have a very different quality of life and standard of future.
“The main thing isthat you have it within you to care and to want the best for that young personand are prepared to learn about them as a human being, aside from any learningdifficulties or disabilities they may have, and do what is right by them, fornow and for their future.”
Mary concluded: “Atthe end of the day, a child is a child, no matter what challenges they mayface. As long as we recognise and respect that and do what is best for themthen we can only succeed.
“That attitude doesnot depend on your age, employment, family status, sexuality or marital status.It depends on you. Just as each child is an individual, so is each fostercarer.
“Of course it is achallenge, but there are carers such as myself who are prepared to meet andtalk, openly, about our experiences so we can help you make the best decision.The rewards are endless, to see a smile on a child’s face, receive a hug and athank you, my ‘job’ is the best in the world.”
Councillor, AnnetteDavies, Cabinet Member for Children and Equality, said: “Foster Carers areinvaluable to our County Borough and provide loving homes for vulnerable children,who may otherwise face a very different life. Mary and others like her inRhondda Cynon Taf should be commended for the work that they do. Mary has goneover and above in her role, and really is a mam in a million. We still needfoster carers to come forward and help the hundreds of children who are stillwaiting to be loved so, if you think you could open your heart and home to achild in need, please get in touch with the Council.”
So if you know a foster carer, take the time to congratulate and thank them. Orif you’re ready to step up along side foster carers across Rhondda CynonTaf call 0800 085 2635.