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9 May 2014, 14:34
A campaign to dispel myths around fostering and encourage more Wiltshire people to foster teenagers begins next week.
Wiltshire Council is launching a two-week drive during the national Foster Care Fortnight to encourage more people to sign up to fostering.
This year a variety of activities are being planned in Wiltshire to change preconceptions of fostering and encourage more people to welcome teenagers into their homes.
There are two information sessions for people wanting to talk to foster carers, and the team, about the rewards of being a foster carer and the difference it can make to a child's life. The first will be on May 13 at County Hall, Trowbridge at 7pm then on May 20 at City Hall, Salisbury at 7pm.
During the Salisbury session there will be a live web chat link available so those who can’t attend can still talk to foster carers. The link will be live from 7pm to 9pm on May 20.
Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children's services, said: ''We have some amazing foster carers in Wiltshire who can transform young people's lives. I’m sure there are many people out there who have considered fostering but worry they are not suitable or don't have the right accommodation. We want them to come and talk to us and find out more about what fostering means so we can increase that army of good people who are prepared to welcome young people into their home, and give them the right opportunities for a good start in life.''
Lisa Croker, 29 who was in foster care when younger, will attend both information sessions to give an insight into the powerful impact foster care can make. When she was 14 and going off the rails she asked for support and spent two years with a foster family based in Wiltshire. She believes the experience made her a better person and helped to build bridges with her own family with whom she now has an excellent relationship.
Lisa, who now lives in Bristol and is set for a nursing course at university this autumn said: ''I think it's important for potential foster carers to see they can make a difference and just because a child is 14 or 15 years of age they should realise it's never too late to help.''