Local foster carers Tammi and Peter Lumb are sharing details of their lockdown lives in the hope that others will come forward to be foster carers.
The Lumbs have fostered with Rochdale Borough Council for 4 years. Tammi said: “We got into fostering because we wanted to help make a difference, we thought it would be wonderful to give children a chance and help them make a better future and great memories. It’s been the best thing we have done knowing we can help children and families.”
The family are passionate about celebrating the rewarding role of fostering as there’s lots they enjoy about it, Peter said: “Our greatest part is watching children flourish, meet their milestones and achieving their goals. Another is knowing we've helped with their forever families.”
“Our greatest part is watching children flourish, meet their milestones and achieving their goals”
The council is supporting the annual Foster Care Fortnight campaign from the Fostering Network and has been sharing experiences of fostering during the lockdown. Peter said: “Lockdown has been mostly lots of fun for us, we’ve found it important keeping everyone busy. The children have learnt lots of life skills in the kitchen and garden, it’s been nice having time to be able to do that. Every Thursday we clap really loud for the NHS and other key workers. We’ve had a garden party for our wedding anniversary and recreated our festival holiday, which got cancelled due to the virus, camping out in back garden.”
Tammi continued: “Like everyone else, we’ve been keeping in with family and the children have been doing their dance classes with their teacher and friends on video calls. We’ve done our own lockdown capsule so that will be great for someone to dig up in a number of years’ time.”
To recognise the demands the recent lockdown has placed on foster families, the council is giving an extra payment to its foster carers, as well as offering access to its employee assistance programme alongside the wider programme of support carers have access to.
Fostering with Rochdale Borough Council means you are supporting local children and keeping them near their familiar surroundings. The council offers generous allowances, locally-based training and help, advice and support from dedicated social workers. You will be helped at every step of the way by the council’s fostering service.
“What a fantastic job they do of creating a lovely family life for children who really need it”
Councillor Kieran Heakin, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Our foster carers are truly tremendous in the support, stability and love they give to our cared for children. The stories our carers have been sharing throughout lockdown have been so heart-warming and touching; they have really showcased what a fantastic job they do of creating a lovely family life for children who really need it. We really need more foster carers. We understand that it is a huge decision but we hope people across our caring borough recognise the role they can play and enquire with us. Our friendly team will chat through any questions you have.”
Applications are welcome from those who are single, in a relationship, married or divorced, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.