A Spen woman is calling on people to support a fostering initiative after taking on more than 100 fostering placements in just five years!
Foster Care Fortnight is taking place this month, and Colleen Callaghan – one of Kirklees’s busiest fosterers – is keen to share what is so special about foster caring.
Colleen, from Cleckheaton, has fostered a mammoth number of children in the past five years, but said she wouldn’t change it for the world.
She said: “I couldn’t imagine not doing this now.
“Obviously it can be quite difficult at times, but it’s also very rewarding to know that you are helping people.
“My own children get along with the foster children really well.
“Sometimes we only get a child for a few days, and other times we look after them for a longer period of time, but we try to make them feel at home as much as we can.”
Colleen has volunteered for charities such as City Lights and Blood Bikes, and developed a thirst for more charitable work when she left her job as an IT consultant in 2008.
Colleen then got the idea of fostering children, and has not looked back in the past five years, taking on 125 fostering placements.
She said: “I have volunteered for charities for a long time, and my husband Stephen, who I was dating at the time, suggested I would probably enjoy fostering children.
“Now I can’t imagine doing anything else – it’s just so brilliant and rewarding to know that you are helping children who are in need.”
She is now a full-time foster carer, and is busy promoting events that tie in with Foster Care Fortnight, which she hopes will raise awareness of available foster caring opportunities.
“We want to promote fostering to people in the area. There will always be a need for foster carers, and people will have the opportunity to have a chat with us and see what it’s all about.”
Anyone who wants to know more can visit the foster carers’ tea and cake afternoon tomorrow from noon-4pm at St Patrick’s Catholic Club, Huddersfield.
Foster care fortnight is a nationwide initiative set up by the Fostering Network to help raise awareness of foster caring.
For more information, visit www.fostering.net/foster-care-fortnight.