Foster Care Associates has recognised the efforts of a young carer from the Vale of Glamorgan for the difference he makes to the lives of the children and young people his family fosters.
After being nominated by his mum, Rachel, and his dad, Mark, Jamie, 12, won ‘Young Carer of the Year’ at the annual Foster Care Associates (FCA) Achievement Awards. The family has been fostering with FCA Cymru for three years.
Rachel explained that she had nominated Jamie because of the way he has wholeheartedly accepted the work they do, giving up his free time to support them in caring for the children they look after.
Rachel said: “I’m so proud of Jamie. I think his experience of fostering has made him a very independent, mature and selfless young man. My daughter, Charlie who’s 16, is also incredibly patient with the children we look after.”
Jamie has taken fostering in his stride and explains how looking after vulnerable children is a family affair.
Jamie said: “Mum hadn’t told me she’d nominated me, so I was really surprised to win the award and it felt good to be chosen.
“I’m happy to help mum and dad whenever they need it. When a foster child joins our family I try and make sure they feel welcome, as they are sometimes shy at first.”
It is essential for anyone thinking about fostering as a career to be able to communicate with children and make them feel at home, due to the fact that many looked after children have had a tough start in life and need the support that a caring family can provide. Fostering is a normal part of life for many birth children, requiring the whole family to work together to look after the children who stay with them.
Birth children are the unsung heroes of fostering, and are often integral to maintaining stability within the foster family. They act as a role model and friend to the vulnerable youngsters who stay with them, ensuring the children settle in quickly and feel welcome in the family home. Recognising that fostering affects the whole family, FCA Cymru ensures that birth children are involved in every activity and have their voices heard.
Jamie wasn’t the only one to receive an award, many other young people received recognition for their hard work at the ceremony held by FCA Cymru.
Victor Thomas, regional manager for FCA Cymru commented: “Jamie is an outstanding young man with a positive attitude and a mature head on his shoulders. He won the award because he is always happy to help care for the little ones, never complains when he has to share his parents’ attention and has given up his free time to help paint and decorate rooms for youngsters in care.
“Congratulations Jamie, you’ve done us all proud and you really deserved the recognition.”