Fostering with Cariad is a very small independent fostering agency based in South Wales, probably the smallest in Wales. Originally set up as Cariad Fostering in 2008, the agency has maintained its ethos of remaining small and providing an extended family feel to foster parents and children. To this end all Foster Parents and staff get together twice a year to plan training, activities and support so that everyone takes part in the decisions. They are given lots of opportunities to provide feedback and we listen, review and adjust procedures as necessary.
Although small, our foster parents stretch across the M4 corridor from Carmarthen to Newport. Our office is based in the middle in Pencoed, Bridgend, where all our training and meetings are held (COVID has prevented this from happening this year but we have adjusted to virtual meetings and support groups). We also hold lots of get-togethers and activities for the children and foster parents, for example, ice skating, paintballing, picnics, BBQs, Christmas meals and frequent support groups.
Our aim is to provide long term stability for children in care to enable them to achieve their best and give them a really good foundation for their adult life. To do this we need foster parents of all shapes, sizes, ethnicity and age. Then we make sure that we provide a very high level of support 24 hours.
What do we look for in Foster Parents?
We need people who are dedicated, who will not falter at the first hurdle, who have a sense of humour, who are prepared for the ups and downs, who are willing to learn, who are willing to advocate for a child, who are prepared to attend meetings for the child and write daily recordings and have a spare bedroom.
Sometimes there is a misconception for new foster parents that if they have their own children fostering will be easy as they know what to do. But unfortunately, most ‘Looked After’ children have had very difficult backgrounds which may result in behavioural issues and how this is managed can be quite different from birth children. A good foster parent will therefore be open to training to help them understand the reasoning behind the behaviours and how to deal with different situations which may arise. We will support you through all this.
Cariad is committed to making the right matches between Foster child and Foster parent. We look at the specific needs and interests of the child and match those with the interests and ability of our Foster Parents. This has worked successfully over the years and many of our children are placed with their foster families on a long term basis. We have supported carers to adopt children or prepare children for adoption, to take on Special Guardianship orders for children, to enable young people remain with their foster families post 18 under a When I’m ready Scheme, to return to family or to go onto independent living. That is not to say that we don’t need carers who are looking to offer short term or respite care. A good mix helps provide stability and continuity of care within Cariad.
Cariad has a reputation for providing an extremely high level of support and training to our Foster Parents on a one to one basis and in group form. Foster parents are allocated a supervising support worker who will visit regularly, offer support at meetings and get to know the family and foster child extremely well. The advantage of being small is that Foster Parents have the opportunity to get to know all staff and vice versa. We offer in-house out of hours support so when you phone you know exactly who you will be talking to.
If you think you would make a good foster parent, please contact us on 01656 861 650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.