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#WeSupportFostering

Wales’ gold medal sprinter Jamie Baulch is among a host of celebrities backing a Barnardo’s campaign to find more foster carers to help look after the UK’s most vulnerable children.

Singer Paloma Faith, former TOWIE TV stars Lydia Bright and Debbie Douglas, Cold Feet actress Fay Ripley, Love Island’s Marcel Somerville, Gogglebox vicar Kate Bottley are among those giving their support by opening their family albums.

The celebrities are using the hashtag #wesupportfostering to share personal images of their families and the people who have supported them through thick and thin to show how vital it is to have someone in your life to support you as part of Barnardo’s Fostering and Adoption Week (22 – 28 January 2018).

Across the UK, there are more than 64,000 children living with almost 55,000 foster families, however, its estimated that a further 500 foster families  are needed in Wales in the next 12 months to support children in need of loving homes.

Jamie Baulch, a long -time supporter of Barnardo’s, has shared a picture of himself with his “amazing” adoptive parents Marilyn and Alan who raised him in Risca.

He said: 

“If it wasn’t for the love and support of my adoptive parents my life could have been so different. They are selfless and I love them so much.

“When children need fostering it is because they urgently need stability and safety in their lives. Foster carers help children believe in themselves again.”

The foster carer drive comes as new research by YouGov, conducted on behalf of the charity, reveals that nearly half (46%)  of people polled say that a lack of  support from a fostering agency  is likely to put people off fostering.

However, a poll of Barnardo’s own foster carers reveals that more than 90% are happy with the level of out-of-hours support they receive.  Carers benefit from a dedicated 24-hour helpline to trained social workers, generous financial support, ongoing training and short respite breaks.

Barnardo’s also provides individual support from the initial home visit and throughout the duration of the placement and it organises fostering support groups.

Jason Baker, manager of Barnardo’s Cymru Fostering and Adoption Service, said:

“Having a stable and loving home can make such a difference to a child or young person.

“Children who have been taken into care have often experienced neglect, abuse or other trauma so having a foster carer to help them through difficult times can have a huge impact on them and the person they grow up to be.”

Barnardo’s Cymru is also keen to hear from potential adopters who feel they could provide a forever family for a sibling group through its Adopting Together campaign.

If you feel you could offer a welcoming, stable home for a child or siblings in care please contact Barnardo’s Cymru Fostering and Adoption Service by ringing 029  2049 3387 or email bcafs-south@barnardos.org.uk.