Deputy Mayor, Cllr Maium Talukdar presented awards to foster carers
The commitment, passion, hard work and dedication of Tower Hamlets’ foster carers is being highlighted this month as the council marks Foster Care Fortnight.
Thousands of new foster families are needed every year to care for children, with the greatest need being for foster carers for older children, sibling groups, disabled children and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.
Tower Hamlets foster carers come from all walks of life. Some work full time, some stay at home. Some are single, some are married. Some own their own home, some rent. Their ages all vary as do their ethnic background. But what they all have in common is a passion for children and for providing a loving family home to children who need one.
Running from Monday 15 May to Sunday 28 May 2023, the theme of this year’s Foster Care Fortnight is Fostering Communities.
Foster carers, social workers, young people, employers and supporters of foster care are all part of a community making a real difference to the lives of young people.
Our foster carers build strong friendships with each other and benefit from being part of a community who support each other.
Activities for this year’s Foster Care Fortnight follow the Tower Hamlets Foster Carers Awards, held last month to recognise foster carers for their outstanding contributions and the positive difference they make to children’s lives. Awards were also presented for long service, training, and development.
Cllr Maium Talukdar, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education, Youth and Lifelong Learning, said:
“We are committed to investing in children in care and in our community of foster carers. We are grateful for the commitment, support, hard work and dedication of Tower Hamlets foster carers who are heroes and a true inspiration to us all. Foster Care Fortnight highlights the extraordinary resilience of foster carers who open their homes to needy children, meet their needs, and help transform lives all year round.”
Ernestine John, Chair, Tower Hamlets Foster Carers’ Association, said:
“Our fostering community has gone from strength to strength, and we are pleased to be ambassadors for the role by supporting existing carers and helping to recruit urgently needed new carers.”
Tower Hamlets Council offers carers lots of support including fantastic training opportunities and financial support of up to £850 per week (per child depending on age). Foster carers also receive 50 per cent off their council tax bill and a generous referral scheme offering £1000 for every carer who they refer on to be successfully approved to foster.
The council is looking for more carers to come forward to care for a wide range of children. From babies to teenagers, sibling groups and children with additional needs.
The council’s fostering team will be at the Town Hall, 160 Whitechapel Road, E1 1BJ, to meet the public and hand out information and advice, from 12-2pm throughout Foster Care Fortnight.
Call 020 7364 1246 or visit www.fosteringtowerhamlets.co.uk for further information.
Gertrude has been a Tower Hamlets foster carer for 25 years and has looked after more than 90 children between the ages of 0 to 18.
Gertrude said: “I enjoy working with children. Working in a school for children with special needs drew my attention to a lack of foster carers to look after children with disabilities or complex needs and give them the best.
I appreciate the ongoing support the council gives. Training, advice, support and follow-up is always available. I recently did a six-week course in therapeutic attachment which has given me skills and abilities to work with children who require mental health support.
Being a foster carer is enjoyable and the rewards are great. A former foster child who has a learning disability, has left care and is now a chef. He is so neat and articulate and when asked, he says ‘Gertrude taught me’. That’s one of the of the many wonderful things I can look back on.”
Posted on Friday 12th May 2023