Shrewsbury couple encourage more to consider fostering
A couple who have been caring for youngsters in need of a home for many years are calling on people across Shropshire to explore a career in fostering.
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, which runs until Sunday, Sarah Thomas and husband Steve, from Shrewsbury, have told why they have opened their home to children and young people.
Sarah, a volunteer with Shropshire Parent And Carer Council (PACC), started supporting and providing care for people with disabilities or additional needs shortly after her youngest son Owen was born with a chromosome abnormality 18 years ago.
She said: “When he was born, we knew we would need continuous support. We connected with Shropshire PACC which provided the tools needed to raise a child with a disability. It was then that we were introduced to the idea of short break care, which allowed Owen to stay with other carers for a weekend giving us a break. We started short break care with Owen when he was five and a few years later started to provide the same for two other boys with disabilities on alternating weekends.”
After 10 years of providing short break care for the boys, Sarah and Steve became foster carers in 2016. They took on two young brothers, now seven and 10. It's a busy household, with their biological children Eliot, 16, Owen and Jake, 20, but Sarah wouldn't have it any other way.
She said: “Fostering has been really positive for our family. The five boys all share a genuine brotherly relationship. The additional support we have received from other family members and friends has made this experience that much better. If you’re considering providing foster care, I would say go for it. You have nothing to lose and so many new experiences to gain.”
Pauline Fitzgerald, manager at Foster Careline, said: “Foster Care Fortnight is an important reminder that there are a number of vulnerable children in need of care and loving homes across the UK. We welcome anyone who is interested in becoming a foster carer to have an informal chat with us.”
For more information about fostering, contact Foster Careline on 0800 566 8337 or go to fostercareline.com