Janet and Gareth have been fostering with their local authority in Gwynedd for over 40 years.
They were amongst the first foster carers to be approved by Gwynedd Council in 1981.
Janet and Gareth, along with their children, Andi, Haf, Sion and Nia, have opened their hearts and homes to children of all ages during their time as a foster family and have made a real difference to the lives of local children and young poeple who could not, for whatever reason, live with their own families.
“Hopefully, as a family, we have given these children and young people some stability, life skills and the ability to trust,” said Janet, who came into fostering after stepping up to help a local mother by taking care of her young child whilst she was in hospital.
“By coming here, they’ve had a place to live,” Janet added. “It’s a home. It’s normal, it’s noisy and there’s often chaos, like in any family home! But as well as giving them a home, we have given them our time, which is so important. We’ve listened to them, been patient with them, been there for them, and we have never, ever judged them.”
Janet has also mentored other local foster carers and helped train newly approved foster carers. She has campaigned at the Senedd, spoken at conferences, facilitated events, attended advisory groups and done whatever was needed to champion the role of local authority foster carers and improve the lives of children in care.
“We feel extremely lucky that, as a family, we’ve had these children and young people in our lives, and still in our lives today,” Gareth added. “There have been so many highlights and memories, from the first time they smile, to seeing them achieve in their education, to being invited to their weddings and being involved in the lives of their own children.”
“Of course, fostering comes with its challenges and we couldn’t have done this without the excellent support and guidance of our Foster Wales Gwynedd team and other Foster Carers here in Gwynedd. We’ve never felt alone in fostering, we’ve always felt part of a team, and have always felt valued and respected. At the end of the day, we all have the same goal – to do the best for the children in our care.”
“Fostering has completely changed our lives as a family, and for that, we are so grateful,” both Janet and Gareth agreed. To find out more about becoming a Foster Carer in Gwynedd, contact the Foster Wales Gwynedd team on 01286 682660