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National Childcare Week in Wigan
Friday 28th June, 2013

To coincide with this year’s National Childcare Week (1st – 8th July) Wigan Council is appealing for more foster carers to come forward.

In its 16th year, the National Childcare Week promotes the importance of childcare; extended schools and early year’s childcare which helps strengthen children’s learning through play to give them the best start in life.

At present around 50 children and young people are in need of a loving home and family. Some are groups of siblings that would ideally like to stay together and others need a long term home and stability in their lives.

On Tuesday 2nd July, those interested in becoming a foster carer or who would like to find out more information are invited to meet the fostering team at the Co-operative on School Lane, Standish, between 9:30am – 2pm.

Paula Halliwell, 39 lives in Golborne with her husband, two teenage children and three foster children.

The family have been fostering for five years and in that time have provided a loving home to over 30 children, all of whose portraits line the walls as happy memories.

Paula says: “Being a foster carer is the best and most rewarding job in the world.

“Over the past five years we’ve seen many children come into and out of our lives, some for only a couple of days and others for much longer. It is sad when they leave – you can’t help but grow attached. But watching the children return to their family or find a permanent home is a wonderful feeling.

“I can’t imagine not being a foster carer, of not having that feeling of excitement when you meet another child – I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“I don’t like a quiet house; my children fill the house with fun, love and laughter. Being able to offer a child stability and security gives me a lot of satisfaction.

“I couldn’t do it without the full support of my family. My husband and my children are fantastic, they help out and they love it just as much as I do. Kath Clark, our link worker has also been a massive help. She understands us as a family and is always there to offer advice and support.

“I’ll always remember the song that came on the radio the day I picked up my first foster child. Each time I hear it, it brings back many happy memories. Now each child that comes to us has their very own song.

“All of our foster children, past and present, have enriched our lives. They’ve made us stronger and happier. But there are still so many children out there who desperately need a loving home. I think as long as that’s the case, we’ll continue to foster.”

For more information or to apply, please visit: www.wigan.gov.uk and search ‘fostering’ or call 01942 487203.

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