Join Wakefield Council’s dedicated team of foster carers
Date: 10 June 2015
Foster carer Cynthia Creighton has opened her home - and her heart - to more than 130 children and teenagers over the last 21 years.
She’s a shining example of the dozens of dedicated carers supporting young people in the Wakefield district, who for different reasons can’t live with their own families, and need a safe and caring place to stay for a few days, months or years.
Cynthia is sharing her experiences to highlight Fostering Fortnight, which runs until Sunday (June 14), and is encouraging people to come forward to find out more about fostering.
Cynthia, aged 68, was volunteering at a children’s centre in 1994, when a colleague suggested she considered fostering. She applied, did the training, and has never looked back.
The mum of four from Upton, Wakefield, said: “Being a foster carer has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It’s a joy to see young people learning new things and grow in confidence.
“As a foster carer you don’t just open your home to them, you also open your heart and as you get to know each young person you begin to form a bond.”
Cynthia says that fosters carers need patience and tolerance and a willingness to really get to know each young person, in order to provide a sense of stability in turbulent times.
She has fostered children from a few days to as long as five years and said: “However long they are with you, it is very important to take time to get to know each person as an individual, to find out what they like to eat and what they like to do.
“Coming into a stranger’s home is very difficult for a young person, so it’s really important for the carer to get to know them and to set boundaries so they know the rules and what to expect.
“The first time you share a laugh and a joke is special as you know that you’ve found some common ground.
“In the longer term, there is also a lot of satisfaction in knowing that you are giving a child or young person a loving home, and preparing them for the next stage of their lives.”
Cynthia works as a single foster carer, and her grown-up children and her neighbours provide a supportive network, as fostering can be challenging.
But she would wholeheartedly recommend fostering to others, adding: “It is very satisfying as you get so much out of it, so I’d say ‘go for it’ if you’re interested.”
How to become a foster career
In the Wakefield district more than 300 children and young people are living with foster carers.
But more caring people are needed to meet the demand for placements, and to provide young people with a stable home.
Foster carers don’t need to be married, in a relationship or in paid employment.
They provide a home to a baby, child or young person in the short or long term, and the length of stay can vary from days to months or years.
In Wakefield there is currently a need for carers for children over the age of eight, to look after youngsters with complex needs, and for long term placements.
Cllr Olivia Rowley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We would really like people who have been considering fostering to get in touch. We have children and young people in the district who need foster care. So I would urge anyone who believes they may be suitable to get in touch as soon as possible.”
Wakefield Council is looking for foster carers over the age of 21, whether they are single applicants or a couple.
Fostering teams need people with patience, tolerance, energy and flexibility and most importantly the ability to provide a loving and secure home for a child.
For more information please visit: www.wakefield.gov.uk/mynewfamily or call 0800 197 0320.
Events taking place:
To talk to the foster team why not come along to an event?
- Thursday 11 June 2015, 10am to 4pm
Asda, Asdale Road, Wakefield, WF2 7EQ
- Friday 12 June 2015, 10am - 4pm
Junction 32, Tomahawk Trail, Glasshoughton, Near Castleford, WF10 4FR