May marks Foster Care Fortnight (10-23 May), the UK’s biggest foster care awareness campaign delivered by leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network.
Every year the Foster Care Fortnight campaign aims to celebrate the fostering community and raise awareness about how fostering transforms people’s lives and our fostering team has a shining example of someone who has done just that.
Jean, 71, from Hampton in Arden who describes herself as young at heart, has been fostering for Solihull Council for an impressive 40 years.
Alongside her husband Ken, Jean has welcomed many of the borough’s looked after children into her home and her family. She reflects: “Fostering in our experience has meant we have been able to make a difference to so many children, young people and families.
“We have worked with the council as part of a team to enable the best outcomes and have experienced many rewards and challenges along the way.
“It would be wrong to paint a rosy picture but the fact that we are still fostering and making a difference 40 years after being approved is testament to our love of the role and the great satisfaction that it gives myself and my family.
“The training and support I’ve received from the fostering team along the way has helped enormously as there has always been someone to provide guidance and reassurance – day or night. I would encourage anyone that feels able to foster to make that enquiry.
“Covid has had a huge impact on our lives and we have all had to think and work differently. One thing that has not changed however, is the need for foster carers to care for vulnerable children and young people.”
If you’ve been inspired by Jean’s story and think that you too could make a difference to a child’s life, please call the fostering team on 0121 788 4253 or visit www.solihull.gov.uk/fostering