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Tidworth couple urge others to foster children in need

Tidworth couple urge others to foster children in need

Published by Mike Draper at 6:15am 11th May 2020.

3 minute read

Foster parents Nats and Rupert Streatfeild are hoping to inspire others to open their homes to vulnerable children, as Foster Care Fortnight gets underway (runs 11th to 24th May).

The Tidworth based couple (seen above) were approved as foster carers with Five Rivers Child Care last year and since then have become foster parents to a 16-year-old boy, Liam (name has been changed to protect his identity).

Liam now lives with Nats, Rupert and their two birth children.

Speaking about why more families should consider fostering, Nats said: 

"We can't think of life without Liam now, he is part of the family and he is truly blossoming - his attendance at college has gone from 0.6 percent to 100 percent and he's passed two of his college courses with flying colours. 

Seeing Liam flourish in areas that he didn't realise he could makes you realise that it's the little things that make fostering so worthwhile."

Nats, and her husband Rupert, an Officer in the British Army, first considered fostering when they married in 2007. 

It's something they wanted to do because Nats had a challenging childhood. 

The couple have also done a lot of work over the years with former substance abusers while volunteering with their local church, so felt they could provide a safe environment to those who might not have had the best start in life.

And, the need for more foster carers is desperate - with a report from the government earlier this year showing that there are a record 78,150 children in care and in the South of England with another 1,680 foster carers needed to meet demand and help provide a safe home.

WHO CAN BE A FOSTER CARER?

People from all walks of life can be considered to become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age. 

This includes single people, co-habiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation. 

All you need is a spare room for each foster child. 

Jem Orman, Fostering Services Manager at Five Rivers Child Care across the South and South East, said: 

"The Coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped us recruiting foster carers, as the need for children and young people to have stable and caring foster carers has not diminished, and in some areas we have seen the need increase. 


We've also found that the lockdown period has given people the opportunity for reflection and time to think about future career paths, and becoming a foster carer is one option that more people are now considering. 


We're keen to hear from caring individuals who are interested in providing a nurturing home to children in need, whether they're considering it for the first time or already have fostering experience."

Five Rivers Child Care - which is an independent fostering provider and social enterprise - has now adapted the way it recruits foster carers as a result of the current situation and much of the process can be done virtually using video calls and interviews. 

 For more information contact Five Rivers Child Care on 0345 266 0272 or visit their website.

 

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