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Shining a spotlight on foster care

Waltham Forest’s fantastic foster carers were celebrated yesterday (Tuesday June 2) at a special screening of a film highlighting the difference they can make to a child in need.

To coincide with the Fostering Network's Foster Care Fortnight campaign, which runs from Monday 1 June to Sunday 14 June, Waltham Forest Council’s fostering team invited current and prospective carers to attend a screening of a short film about the role at Walthamstow’s Empire Cinema. You can see the film here.

As well as watching Waltham Forest Council’s fostering film, guests heard from Cllr Mark Rusling, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People about the importance of fostering – and having dedicated foster carers.

Sandra and Lee Elliott are two such carers, having helped several young people during their time fostering in Waltham Forest.

Sandra first thought about becoming a foster carer 16 years ago when she contracted a serious virus – prompting her family to rally together to support Sandra and her children.

She said: “Over the years we have fostered three children long term and had a few short term placements. The children have gone onto independent living or back with their birth families. Fostering is hard work but very rewarding.”

As well as receiving a professional fee for their care work, foster carers are given an allowance for each child they foster to meet all their needs. A variety of support services are also available to help foster carers whenever they need it.

Cllr Rusling said: “Listening to the two families that feature in the film, it’s clear how positive an impact foster carers can have on a young person’s life - so I would encourage anyone considering becoming one to get in touch, you really could make a huge difference.

“If you are interested, or even if you just want to find out a little bit more about what’s involved, our fostering service holds regular information sessions and offers opportunities to meet existing carers – so you can hear for yourself what they do and if fostering is for you.”

During Foster Care Fortnight, you can find out more by meeting the Council’s Fostering Team at the following times and places:

  • 9.30am-4pm, 4 June. Stall outside NatWest, Town Hall Square, top of Walthamstow Market on the High Street

  • 11am-4pm, 9 June. South Chingford Community Library, 265 Chingford Mount Road, E4

  • 9.30am-4pm, 11 June. Stall outside NatWest, Town Hall Square, top of Walthamstow Market on the High Street

  • 12noon-5pm, 13 June. Chingford Village Festival, The Green, Chingford Assembly Hall, Station Road, E4

In addition, a free-to-attend fostering information session is being held on Wednesday 17 June from 6.30pm - 8pm at Waltham Forest Town Hall, in Forest Road, Walthamstow.

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