A NEW campaign by Foster Wales aims to inspire people from all walks of life to consider fostering with their local authority.

People across the Vale of Glamorgan have joined the new campaign and have now shared their experiences to show that everyone can support local children in Care.

There are currently 262 children in foster care in the Vale of Glamorgan, and 129 foster cares but another 63 are needed.

Alison James, a foster carer within the Vale of Glamorgan said: “I started fostering for the Vale in 2016 after losing my husband.

“I wasn’t sure that I could do it on my own, but I love it. It has had some challenges, but it is so rewarding when you see the children doing ok.

“I found attending support group, that I have built up a great support of Foster Carers, and have made some very special friends, who are supportive when you have some struggles. These have been so helpful to me. Fostering is so rewarding.”

Foster Wales has spoken to over 100 people to develop the campaign, including foster carers, social workers, teachers, members of the public and care leavers.

The responses from these groups highlighted three key things stopping potential carers from enquiring: A lack of confidence in their skills and ability to support a child in care, The belief that fostering doesn’t fit with certain lifestyles, and Misconceptions about the criteria to become a career.

Cllr Eddie Williams, Vale of Glamorgan Council cabinet Member for Social Care and health said: “I’ve seen first-hand the difference Foster Care can make for children dealing with difficult situations outside their control.

“With incredible support from our local authority foster carers within Foster Vale of Glamorgan, children are supported with empathy, skills, experience, and kindness to ensure they feel safe and secure.

“There are more children in our area who need to have a welcoming home and the right foster care carer for them. It would be amazing for more people to become foster carers.”

Wales is currently changing their children's services system. The 2021 co-operative agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru proposed changes that included a commitment to eliminating private profit from the care of children who are looked after.

By 2027, the care of these children in Wales will be provided by public sector, charitable, or not-for-profit organizations. This has resulted in an urgent need for local authority foster carers.

Cllr Williams added: “Foster Vale of Glamorgan is recruiting and will ensure that there will be access to dedicated local knowledge and support enabling children to stay in their local community, close to friends, their school and everything they hold close.”

The campaign began on Monday, January 8, across TV streaming services, radio , digital, social media and with various events in local communities across Wales.