30 May 2024

Here’s your chance to ask any questions you might have about foster caring

Wiltshire Council’s fostering team is using Foster Care Fortnight to tour the county to chat with local residents about becoming a foster carer.

Now in its second week, the tour will be stopping at Five Rivers Leisure Centre from 12pm tomorrow (17th May 2022).

Spencer Mulholland, a local foster carer, told us more, “We are going to be answering questions anyone may have about being a foster carer. There will be various different foster carers there and some people from the council and we will be asking people if they are interested in becoming foster carers.”

Spencer and his wife Lisa have been foster carers for Wiltshire Council for over a year but they have been fostering overseas students for over 25 years.

“Now that we foster with Wiltshire Council there’s a lot more training. They need to know if you have the skills to be able to do it because it’s not for everyone. They have a need for people with the capability of looking after teenagers, not exclusively but that’s the area where they most need carers.”

Spencer’s parents inspired him to be a foster carer.

“They had seven children and they fostered and I have always had foster children in my life as a child and an adult. We always knew we wanted to do it but it had to be the right time for our children and our circumstances.

“When our youngest biological son was 18 we knew it was the right time for us and we contacted Wiltshire Council and they immediately contacted us back and it was an instant fit really. We know we really wanted to do it.”

Spencer says that fostering gives him and his family immense satisfaction.

“We still believe that we have a lot to give. We will feel we have more to offer young people and young children, we can offer a loving home, we can offer stability and we can offer endless amounts of empathy which are three of the most important elements really.

“We feel really strongly that we can make a difference in a young person’s life and we’ve seen it over the years we have done it many times and it’s been amazing having that back from them. These people are still adults and they regularly contact us and we follow their lives and progress.

“You change people’s lives, what you do for them is forever because you’re teaching them the skills to get through life and you’re giving them a loving home.”

To anyone who thinks they would like to become a foster carer, Spencer says, “Speak to Wiltshire Council, I am sure many people reading this will have questions that they need answers to and Wiltshire Council would be delighted to talk to you about it.”

Foster carers need to be over 21 years of age, have a spare bedroom, time to care for a child and have a willingness to care for and seek to understand young people who have experienced trauma and loss.

People who foster with Wiltshire Council are given training and continued support. Payments reflect the commitment carers are making to the role and have recently been increased. There are different fostering schemes available ranging from £357 to £663 a week, depending on people’s skills and experience.

For more information, visit www.fosteringwiltshire.uk email fostering@wiltshire.gov.uk, call 0800 169 6321 or text the word Foster to 60002.

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty