Column by Sam Bromiley, South Gloucestershire Council's cabinet member for children and young people.

As the cabinet member with responsibility for fostering, I am well aware of the fantastic and essential work that foster carers do for children in our area. The impact that they have on children and young people’s lives cannot be overstated and it is brilliant to see a real difference being made.

That is why it’s important that we mark Foster Care Fortnight, which is running until Sunday 22 May. The theme this year is ‘fostering communities’, which shines a light on the many ways people across the fostering community support each other. Whether you are a foster carer yourself, a social worker, young person or supporter of foster care, you are all part of a community that makes a huge difference to the lives of young people. As a council we want to celebrate all that you do.

These two weeks also highlight the need for more foster carers in South Gloucestershire. We have an acute shortage, especially for those willing to foster older children and teenagers. This can unfortunately mean that we have to place children with fostering providers outside our area. The result is that some children have to change schools and move away from friends and family.

With more foster carers, we can help more children and see that they stay in their own communities. I am always struck by the diverse backgrounds of our foster carers, who come from all parts of society and bring a wide range of life and work experiences. You could be a family, a couple, a single man or woman, same-sex couple, a homeowner or renting. It doesn’t matter. As long as you have the time, energy, space and flexibility to be there for a child, we want to hear from you.

Fostering is of course a significant commitment, but if you join us, you will receive training and support to help you develop your skills that will meet the needs of children and young people in care.

If you are interested, I strongly encourage you to contact our fostering team to find out more. Call one of our friendly team on 01454 866423 or visit and we’ll be happy to answer any questions and provide all the advice and information you may need.