Every child deserves a happy and safe childhood but for some children in Derbyshire that sadly doesn’t happen.
There are just under 700 children in care in Derbyshire and they all need a place to call home. That’s where foster carers step in to play a vital role in a child’s life.
May 13 to May 26 is Fostering Fortnight and it’s the perfect time to make that first step that can mean a huge difference in a child’s life.
Ilkeston-based carer Claire Greatorex explained that her teenage foster placement feels like one of the family.
Claire, 36, began fostering for Derbyshire County Council in 2011, she started off offering short term overnight and weekend respite care before moving onto longer term respite care.
She said: “Fostering is something that I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember but it was only in 2011 that the circumstances were right.
“I wanted to be able to offer a home to children in Derbyshire, to make sure they did not end up having to be homed outside of the county, which is not ideal as they are far away from friends and family.”
Claire currently cares for a 14-year-old girl and says that the rewards of fostering are in the small details – watching her grow and develop and try new things.
She said: “It’s the little things like when she bakes us a cake, then you know that she appreciates what we do.
“When we first started out we needed to build a bond, a relationship, then the trust develops and they work with you instead of against you.
“Now she is one of the family and it feels a bit strange when she is not around!”
In Derbyshire there are different types of fostering and you can decide which sort you are interested in and what best suits you.
For more information call Derbyshire free on 0800 083 7744 or visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/adoptionandfostering