Foster Wales Monmouthshire has partnered up with Great British Bake-off finalist, Jon Jenkins, to support a new regional campaign; ‘A great thing to do in 2022’. The campaign, which is aimed at encouraging more kind and caring people to consider fostering, hopes to have a substantial impact on the futures of children and young people who are fostered in Monmouthshire.
Throughout Gwent and Monmouthshire every child in need of a foster carer is in the care of their local authority. By helping children to stay within their local community wherever possible, Monmouthshire is able to keep them connected with their friends, their school and their sense of identity, which not only builds confidence but also reduces stress.
The Gwent-based foster carer has shared his fostering journey as part of the new campaign with hopes it will inspire others who may be able to provide support for children who are looked after.
Jon said “I’ve been fostering now for just under a year, we’ve only actually had the one child. He came to us on an emergency weekend and we’ve still got him 10 months later. He is absolutely lovely and it’s been a really positive experience for all of us”.
When asked why Jon was helping us with the campaign he replied: “I thought it would be great because we’ve got a lot out of fostering as a family and it would be lovely to promote it to other families.
“It’s always weird when you get into something like fostering because you don’t know how it’s going to be, but it’s been so positive for myself and my family. I hope my experience will inspire other families to give it a try because you do get a lot from it.”
There is still a need to recruit an estimated 550 new foster carers and families across Wales every year. This is to keep up with the numbers of children who need care and support, whilst replacing carers who retire or provide a permanent home to children.
Councillor Penny Jones, Cabinet Member for Social Care, Safeguarding and Health said: “This campaign is extremely important and I am delighted Jon has been able to share his experience and is a true ambassador for others to come forward as foster carers. Our vulnerable children and young people in Monmouthshire rely on kind and caring people to provide a safe environment for them. If that person is you, please get in touch with us today so we can help you begin your fostering journey with Monmouthshire.”
While no two children are the same, neither is the foster care they need. There is no ‘typical’ foster family. Whether people own their own home or rent, whether a person is married or single. Whatever a person’s gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or faith, there are young people who need someone on their side.
Foster Wales will be sharing content across all of the Gwent region on their local authority social media channels throughout January to help more people understand and value fostering and the positive difference it can make to young peoples’ lives.