Could you change a child’s life?

Being a foster carer is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do. But don’t just take it from us, that’s the view of H&F resident, Hanora McCool who has been looking after young people for 28 years.

During that time Hanora has fostered 194 children. The 61-year-old said they keep her young.

“I know all the latest songs and love singing along when we’re on the car going for our activity days,” she said.

Hanora said she has learned a lot about looking after children over the years, both through experience and the support from Hammersmith & Fulham Council and fellow foster carers who guide each other through any challenges.

“I don’t think you can ever have enough experience,” she said.

Although her foster placements are temporary, they are all rewarding.

“It is amazing when children are rehabilitated back home it is worth all the hard work that goes into being a foster carer,” she said.

“And another favourite of mine is when the children pop back and see me. I have an open door policy where lots of children keep in contact and know they can visit me any time. This brings both the children and me a lot of pleasure, we have a lot of laughs about the past.”

There are two drop-in sessions for residents to find out more next week, as part of Foster Care Fortnight which runs from 16 to 29 May:

  • Tuesday, May 24 at Hammersmith Town Hall from 11am-2pm
  • Wednesday, May 25 at Shepherds Bush Library from 11am-2pm

“All our foster carers transform children’s lives, giving them safe, stable and loving homes” said Cllr Sue Macmillan, HF Cabinet Member for Children and Education.

“But it’s not just the children who benefit – our foster carers all say looking after children brings a lot of joy to their own lives to. Why not come to one or our events or visit our website and find out for yourself?”

There is no typical foster carer, you just need to be over 21.

You will receive full training and support throughout and benefits including tax breaks and fees around £1,500 a month depending on the needs and the age of the child you are caring for.

Call 0800 169 3497 or 020 8753 1057 or visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/fostering to find out more.

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