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Leicester celebrates foster carers’ achievements

Foster Care Fortnight - a picture of a carer and child

THE INCREDIBLE achievements of Leicester’s foster carers are being celebrated by the city council as part of Foster Care Fortnight.

Foster Care Fortnight, an annual campaign organised by The Fostering Network, runs until 26 May and is the UK’s largest foster care awareness campaign.

There are more than 600 children and young people in care throughout Leicester, and this number is growing, so more and more foster families are needed each year. There is a national shortage of people coming forward to foster, and Leicester is no exception.

Foster carers play a vital role in providing stability, love and care for children and young people who cannot remain with their birth families. A foster placement allows them to be part of a loving home environment where they have the support and consistency they need to thrive.

This year’s Foster Care Fortnight theme, ‘Fostering Moments’, highlights the incredible impact of foster care on young people’s lives, celebrating the moments that define fostering journeys. Throughout Foster Care Fortnight, Leicester City Council has been shining a light on our foster carers and their work by asking them to share their fostering moments.

Among these carers is Sam, who - along with her husband - has been fostering for eight years. As well as bringing up their two birth children, they have fostered many children over the years, and currently foster three children who are with them long-term.

Sam said: “We had a little boy who was nine and never been in foster care before. He had a lot of worries and a lot of anxieties and every night before he went to bed, he would ask what was for breakfast in the morning. So, I’d tell him the same thing every day, that breakfast was at 7 o’clock… it was kind of like in order for him to feel relaxed enough to go to sleep, he needed reassurance that in the morning there would be food and he would be fed.

“This went on for a few weeks and then one night I put him to bed… and he didn’t ask me. Ever since then, he wouldn’t ask me because he knew that he was safe enough that he was going to be fed in the morning and it wasn’t something he had to worry about anymore. As a foster carer, that was the first time I felt like I’d really made a difference.”

Sam’s experience is just one of the many examples of the impact foster carers have on the young people they care for. To watch Sam’s full video where she shares more of her experiences as a foster carer, please visit YouTube.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell, who leads on social care, said: “Sam’s story demonstrates what a huge difference foster carers can make to a child’s life. Whatever your relationship status, background or circumstances, you may have what it takes to be a foster carer, so we urge you not to rule yourself out.

“We’ll be running lots of information events and drop-in sessions over the coming months, as well as regular information events throughout the year, to give potential new foster carers the chance to speak to staff and existing carers in an informal setting and ask any questions about fostering.”

 Forthcoming events include:

  • Wednesday 22nd May – 6.30pm–7.30pm – online information session
  • Thursday 23rd May - 10am-2pm - A Place to Eat, John Lewis, Leicester
  • Tuesday 11th June - 6pm-8pm - Holiday Inn, Wigston
  • Tuesday 25th June - 6.30pm - 7.30pm - online information session

For full details of future events, and to see more Fostering Moments from foster carers over Foster Care Fortnight, please visit Leicester Fostering’s Facebook page, and you can view our series of videos on YouTube.

For more information about fostering for Leicester City Council, please visit our Fostering website pages, or contact our enquiry officer on 0116 454 4500 or at