It’s the season for family summer holidays and residents are being asked if they could open up their home to a child through foster care.
Like many other Wigan families, Wendy and Steve Lowe are looking forward to making memories this summer as they holiday in Fuerteventura.
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And it will be a special trip not just for Wendy and Steve, but for their foster daughter Helen (not her real name), who has been with them since September. They are holidaying with another two couples who are foster carers, one of which is looking after Helen’s siblings.
The Lowes have been fostering for 13 years. Wendy said: “We have a really positive relationship with the other families who are looking after the other siblings. We actively keep the children in touch. We just want them to have the same opportunities as our own daughter, and that all children, should have.”
Wendy works in two special educational needs schools and began her fostering journey when she wanted to care for one of the pupils who was going through a difficult period in his life.
She said: “We started as foster carers for respite, having children on regular weekends and in school holidays, but have also fostered three children long-term.
“Over the years we’ve fostered about 30 children. It really does make a difference to a young person’s life. We love bringing them in as part of our family and giving them the experiences every child should have.
“We love to build lasting relationships and be able to support a young person in preparation for adult life. We support the young people to have an understanding on how they get to being the person they want to be in life.”
Since Helen has been with the family they’ve been to London, Centre Parcs, Mallorca and Egypt!
Wendy’s 28-year-old daughter Steph has also enjoyed having new children join the family and is now provides respite care herself with her partner. They also have taken young people in foster care on holiday and had some wonderful times camping.
Jenny Bullen, cabinet member for young people’s services at Wigan Council, said: “We have children currently waiting to be fostered who would absolutely love to become part of a family and go on a summer holiday. We need more foster carers to give loving homes to our young people and hope people feel inspired to start their fostering journey.”