12 foster carers in Redbridge have created a poem using their experiences (credit: You Tube)
It’s hoped the poem named ‘Why We Care’, which has been released today, will encourage more families to consider welcoming a child into their homes by giving an insight into the role of fostering.
The release of the video also coincides with the start of Foster Care Fortnight.
There are currently 42 foster care households in the borough working with Redbridge Council, however, the Council are looking to encourage more.
Tracy Bishop, 52, from Redbridge has been fostering for nearly four years.
She is one of the 12 foster carers who created and voiced the poem.
Tracy said: “It was our voice to share with others as to why we care for these children and it’s an amazing poem.
“I would encourage people to watch it and listen to it because it does say exactly why we care for these children.”
Her and her family have cared for nine foster children ranging from new born to teens.
Tracy continues: “It’s been a real privilege to welcome children into our home and to see them go from surviving to thriving.
“There’s been times where there’s been challenges but overall the positiveness of what you get out of it out ways the challenges.
“All I can say is that for the last four years for us as a family it’s been amazing.
“We’ve had roughly nine children come into care and each of the children have come out completely different to when they arrived in.
“That to me just makes my heart pump and makes it all worthwhile.”
Jake Riley, 19, has been in foster care since he was 5, and with the same Redbridge foster family since the age of 6.
The budding doctor, is currently studying Medicine at a leading London university.
Jake said: “I feel really lucky, and have such a strong bond with my foster family. It seems silly calling them my foster family – to me they are my real family.
“They’ve given me so many fantastic opportunities, and have always been there cheering me on, and encouraging me to follow my dreams.
“They gave me the confidence to believe in myself. If you can foster a child, please do it because the love and support you are able to give can change a life.”
Financial support of up to £457 per child, per week, is available to foster carers and as well as training opportunities, access to a fostering network and a ‘buddy system’ to provide further support to new foster carers.
Additional financial allowances can also be provided for uniforms, religious festivals, birthdays and holidays. There is also up to an 80% council tax discount.
Tracy said: “If you have a home and you have faith and you are willing to open your heart and open your home, that’s the biggest thing because all the training you get before you become a foster carer, and all the training you get after, and the support you get from the social workers and other foster carers, you’re never on your own in it.”
For more information, or if you are considering fostering for Redbridge, please email the council’s fostering team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0208708 6068.
Alternatively, book on to their next information session on Redbridge Council website.
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