#truthbetoldfostering - The hardest things in life are often the most rewarding.

That’s perhaps never more true than when it comes to our foster carers.

I recently attended the launch of a new campaign to look for people who can offer a loving home to help keep brothers and sisters together, or who can care for teenagers. The centrepiece of the event was the launch of our new film, Truth Be Told, which is the third film released by the West and East Midlands Fostering Recruitment Forum. The film tells the truth about what it is like to foster – both the challenges and the rewards. We felt we should present this unvarnished reality after feedback from foster carers. They wanted us to show how sibling groups and teenagers can produce the most challenging situations for foster carers, yet they also wanted us to express how seeing the impact on these young people’s lives of good foster care can be totally rewarding. The new film therefore looks at the true stories of two sets of children and their foster carers – perfectly capturing the highs and lows of fostering.

I found the session deeply moving, yet also incredibly inspiring. It gave me a real insight into what it’s like to be a foster carer. Real stories from people who have all of the challenges, but experience the rewards too. And it made me value and respect foster carers even more. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

For those people who have even the slightest interest in becoming a foster carer, we have weekly drop in sessions every Wednesday from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at the Council House, Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge. There will be people to talk to you about all aspects of foster care – something that will change your life and the lives of children who need you.

For more information visit https://www.truthbetold-fostering.org.uk/ or follow #truthbetoldfostering on social media.

Of course other local authorities are working equally hard to recruit foster carers – check their website for details!

Martin Samuels is strategic director for people services at Dudley Council

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