New Association – run by foster carers for foster carers

Foster carers from across the county came together yesterday (Wednesday 23 September) to kick off the creation of an exciting new independent Association that is run by foster carers for foster carers.

The Somerset Foster Care Association is being set up by local carers to provide a stronger collective voice to influence services and enhance the support and guidance offered to carers.

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Over 100 foster carers attended the event at Edgar Hall in Somerton to hear how the new Association can benefit them and how they can get involved. Many foster carers expressed an interest in joining the committee for the Association and were excited by the prospect of getting together at future events to share ideas to develop services for them and children in their care.

Guest Speaker at the event, Delin Dixon, a foster carer and an Executive of the Birmingham Foster Carers Association, spoke to Somerset foster carers about the challenges, successes and fun she’s had developing an Association.

Delin said: “I am very pleased to be invited to Somerset to speak to local foster carers about our Association. I hope that I have inspired them to get involved and see the potential of coming together to influence and develop services for carers.”

Sue Blatcher, a Somerset foster carer who has been involved in organising the launch event, said: “It was great to see so many local foster carers give up their busy time to join us at the event. I believe the Somerset Foster Care Association can achieve great things if we work together.

“Over the next year we want to set up a mentoring or buddy scheme to enhance the support foster carers receive, encourage more people to become foster carers, organise social events and fun fundraising activities.”

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, said: “It is fantastic that foster carers are getting together and initiating this independent Association. I am sure they will be very influential and I intend to work closely with them to help shape future children’s services in Somerset.”

More information on the Somerset Foster Care Association can be found here: http://www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk/sfca

Somerset County Council is currently seeking people who can foster older children aged 10 and above, teenagers, children with disabilities, siblings, and those who could provide children in need of care with a place to call home, long term.

If you think you or your family could make a positive change to the life of a child or young person in need of care in Somerset, please get in touch with our Fostering Team, phone 0800 587 9900 or visit http://www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk

Notes to Editors

Foster Carer Sue Blatcher is available for interviews – please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020.

Thanks goes to foster carers, and friends of foster carers, who donated raffle prizes, Cheddar Chocolate Company who donated chocolates and Party Packs who donated the helium for the balloons.