The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy - Janet Finch-Saunders MS - has today (20 May) urged the Welsh Government to do more to support individuals who are looking to foster vulnerable children. Her call came as she praised Wales' 'unsung heroes' during Foster Care Fortnight.
Foster Care Fortnight is the Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise awareness of the transformational power of fostering . It also works to actively highlight the need for more carers across the United Kingdom. This year's theme is 'This is Fostering'.
Under her remit as the Welsh Conservatives' Shadow Minister for Children and Young People, Mrs Finch-Saunders had earlier urged the Welsh Government to do more to support Welsh foster carers who may be struggling with their finances as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during Foster Carers Fortnight, Janet said:
"As we recognise the demanding but vital role that our exceptional unsung heroes play in providing a stable and loving home for many vulnerable Welsh children, I urge the Welsh Government to do more to open up the foster system to prospective carers.
"This means working to remove unnecessary bureaucracy. By ensuring that the system is as efficient as possible, we would eradicate the long-held perception that fostering remains too complex.
"I also call on Welsh Ministers to better highlight the avenues of support available from local authorities and Welsh Government. By enacting a positive digital awareness campaign that highlights the rewarding nature of the work, we would show potential foster carers that the system remains open to all, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.
"With all eyes rightly on the present COVID-19 pandemic, it is vitally important that the Welsh Government does not loose sight of its obligations to our vulnerable children. After all, Wales remains in particular need for people who can care for teenagers, children with disabilities and sibling groups.
Notes for Editors:
- Foster Care Fortnight runs from 11-24 May. More information can be found at the Fostering Network website.