Tenants of the Bridge Innovation Centre (BIC), Pembroke Dock hosted a Summer Party for their friends and families and extended an invitation to those involved with foster care.

This included members of the Regional Foster Wales Team and Foster Wales Pembrokeshire, the local authority fostering team, foster carers, their families and the children they care for.

Katie Nicolle, Regional Business Support Officer for Mid and West Wales, Foster Wales
Katie Nicolle, Regional Business Support Officer for Mid and West Wales, Foster Wales (Pic supplied)

John Likeman of Raven Technologies, one of the many businesses operating from the BIC, organised the event in order to raise awareness of the need for foster carers in Pembrokeshire.

He also wants to encourage businesses to adopt a more fostering friendly policy to enable them to support their employees to become foster carers.

“We, as employers, need to be reactive - able to be accommodating and compassionate towards our foster caring colleagues,” he said.

“The businesses which operate at the Bridge Innovation Centre are so kind and have reacted so positively to this event with many pledging to become fostering friendly and foster flexible organisations,” added Mr Likeman.

Foster Wales is calling on employers to recognise the contribution that foster carers make and understanding the need for some flexibility to bust the myth that you cannot work if you become a foster carer.

Nicky Sandford, Foster Wales Regional Development Manager for Mid and West Wales said: “Nearly 40 per cent of foster carers combine fostering with other work. Those who do have told us that a supportive employer can make all the difference, enabling them to balance employment with looking after children.”

Rhys Evans, Melany Evans and Nicky Sandford at Bridge Innovation Centre Summer Party
Rhys Evans, Melany Evans and Nicky Sandford are seen with John Likeman at the Summer Party. (Pic supplied)

Melany Evans, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Service Manager for Children in Care thanked Mr Likeman and the BIC for their support.

She added: “There are more than 240 children in the care of the local authority in Pembrokeshire and we need more foster carers who are able to offer them the stable and loving homes that they deserve.

“If employers in can support their employees to become foster carers, we can help more children stay local, connected to their communities, and ultimately, to achieve better futures.”

Also in attendance was Voices from Care Cymru, an independent voice for the care community.

Summer Party at Bridge Innovation Centre
(Pic supplied)

Operations Director, Emma Phipps-Magill, said:“It is important, along with stable foster care, that our care experienced children and young people are given an avenue to connect with peers, be listened to and have a voice in influencing change for themselves and others.”

To find out more email [email protected] or [email protected]. More information about Foster Wales Pembrokeshire is available online or call 01437 774650.