Councillor Patricia Stallard, the County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Young People, said: “Due to lockdown restrictions, normal outreach activities such as public information stalls at supermarkets and libraries are not an option, so our fostering team colleagues are instead making themselves available online to anyone who wants to find out more.
“Covid-19 has been challenging for all of us, with foster families no exception. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all Hampshire carers who have continued to support others at this difficult time. But even now there are positives. I am delighted to hear from our foster carers about how they have used lockdown as an extra opportunity to strengthen the bond with the children and young people they are looking after. At times like this the rewards of offering a home to a child in need really make themselves apparent.”
One such carer in Hampshire, is Jules , who currently looks after three foster children. Jules said lockdown has unleashed her imaginative, childlike side:
“During the challenging time of lockdown my looked-after children have inspired my silliness, craziness and humour. Yes, it's been very hard at times but it has also been great fun and hugely bonding.
“We have three children including an infant, and on our once-a-day walk we have become troll hunters, animal trainers (searching for clever insects to join our garden circus) and our baby has become the key holder of the 'Trumptis' (a sacred key). The children have adapted really well with the changes to our everyday life and that is why we are proud to be foster carers.”
New foster carers are always needed to look after Hampshire children and information about fostering with the County Council, including the virtual information events, is available online at hants.gov.uk/fostering and Facebook @HampshireChildren The following virtual information sessions are open to all and are hosted by a social workers and experienced foster carers, with full details on the website. Each event includes an informal presentation and opportunities for questions.
- Friday 12 June, 3:15 - 4:30pm
- Thursday 18 June, 7:15 - 8:30pm
- Tuesday 23 June, 7:15 - 8:30 pm
- Monday 29 June, 3:15 - 4:30 pm
Drop-in sessions: to answer any questions you may have before starting your application. Join in at any time between these hours.
- Tuesday 9 June, 2:00 - 4:00pm
- Tuesday 16 June, 3:00 - 5:00pm
- Friday 26 June, 2:00 - 4:00pm
- Thursday 2 July, 10:00am - 12:00 noon