03/09/2020 - Could you change a future?
We are urgently appealing to residents to consider becoming foster carers and help to look after children and young people in need of support and care.
Mandy Carter and Everton Stevenson, have been foster carers with Luton Council for eight years and have two long term foster placements. Mandy said: “We love every part of fostering from the challenges to the reward of giving children a home to feel safe which they all deserve. Fostering has enhanced our lives in so many ways.”
Everton said: “My daughter is a massive part of our fostering effort. We wouldn’t have done it if she hadn’t agreed to it. She thanked us for giving her a little (foster) brother which really touched our hearts.
“We get a lot of support from the council – a supervising social worker who is designate to us to support us throughout our journey, 24 hour help line, and training support. We go on different courses tailored to us and our children’s needs which we find is really beneficial. The courses help you grow as a parent, not just for fostering but even with your own children. Along the way on our fostering journey we have met a lot of wonderful people who foster for Luton and who are very supportive.”
Now more than ever during a global pandemic, children waiting for foster placements need safe, secure and loving families to care for them. The fostering team have adapted their services to provide online support and have been able to continue to help foster carers during lockdown and thereafter.
Mandy and Everton who have continued to foster during lockdown said: “Straight away we had the full support from the fostering team to ensure the children are okay and if we needed anything such as ensuring we are getting the right support from the school. We got a social worker straight away who we could call at any time and who helped ensure the children have the correct resources to learn.
“We feel the children have embraced lock down very well learning everyday life skills like cooking, cleaning, DIY, etc. They have enjoyed security of home life and we have embraced more family values like meals together, working together as a team and respecting each other.”
Cllr Mahmood Hussain, portfolio holder for children and families said: “We are committed to improving the lives of children and young people in Luton. We need foster carers to give children a sense of security, stability and support during an uncertain time in their lives.
“Our fostering team will provide you with the training and financial support ( a foster carers fee and child allowance ) that you need to become foster carers . We will also guide you throughout the process from assessment to approval.”
If you have spare room in your home and heart and have been thinking of fostering, we would love to have a friendly chat and help you understand what being a foster carer for Luton is like.
Mandy said: “We were in two minds at the beginning but it’s the best thing we have done. It’s a massive learning curve. Fostering is a lovely rewarding challenge. Call the fostering team who will be there with you throughout the journey. Now more than ever these children need us.
Everton added: “We learn so much from the children. It’s not only one way giving, the children give you so much - they enrich you. It’s one of best things we have done. Your life will never be the same again. Go for it!”
Luton’s fostering service is ready to help you take the next step. We will be hosting two online information events in the last week of September so you can find out more about fostering from the comfort of your home. To find out more, contact our fostering team on 01582 547569 or visit our fostering webpages.