May 21, 2024

Denbighshire foster carers share family recipe in new cookbook

This Foster Care Fortnight™, Foster Wales Denbighshire is calling on people in the area to consider becoming foster carers to support local young people in need.

 

Recent research by Foster Wales – the national network of local authority fostering services – found people are often put off applying to become a carer because they don’t believe they have the ‘right’ skills and experience.

 

In their new cookbook named ‘Bring something to the table’, Foster Wales highlight the simple things a carer can offer, like the security of a regular meal, family time around the table, and creating new food favourites.

 

Pete and Vonda, who are Foster Carers within Denbighshire, have contributed a recipe to this new book, which is full of recipes and life-changing fostering moments from carers and care experienced people.

 

The cookbook has over 20 recipes, including recipes from the foster care community, and celebrity chefs.

 

It features MasterChef Winner, Wynne Evans, Young MasterChef Judge, Poppy O’Toole, and cook/author Colleen Ramsey. All of whom have contributed recipes.

 

Also featured are Olympic athlete and foster care campaigner, Fatima Whitbread, who was herself in care. Former Great British Bake-Off contestant Jon Jenkins and comedian Kiri Pritchard Mclean also added recipes – drawing on their personal experiences as foster carers.

 

Denbighshire foster carers, Pete and Vonda, have shared one of their special family recipes, ‘Pete’s Special Pasta’, which is featured in the new cookbook.

 

“This recipe is special to us as it is a meal that everyone in the house will eat and enjoy,” says Vonda, who has been fostering with their local authority Foster Wales Denbighshire since 2014.

 

“As foster carers, many of the children we look after will often have a poor relationship with food, such as bingeing, not knowing when to stop eating. This may be a result of food deprivation in the past and not knowing when their next meal would be available. We try not to make an issue out of their food insecurities, but rather reassure them when and what their next meal will be, and make sure that there is a routine when it comes to food. We also like to involve the children when it comes to meal planning, such as letting them choose their favourite pasta shape or spaghetti for this dish, for instance. This can help ease the stress and anxiety that they may have about when their next meal is coming.”

 

Every May, Foster Care Fortnight™ – The Fostering Network’s annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives – hope to raise awareness of the need for more foster carers.

 

In Wales, there are more than 7,000 children in care, but only 3,800 foster families.

 

Foster Wales has set out with the bold aim of recruiting over 800 new foster families by 2026, to provide welcoming homes for local children and young people.

 

Rhiain Morrlle, Head of Children Services said:

 

“When it comes to food and nutrition, our foster carers have an important role to play in promoting healthy eating habits to children and young people in their care. Many of our foster carers will have fostered children experiencing food insecurities and are often faced with challenges when cooking quick and healthy meals for them. This cookbook will hopefully offer some inspiration and tips to support our foster carers in teaching their foster children to establish healthy eating behaviours early in life, which will have a long-lasting impact on their well-being.

 

We are delighted to see Pete and Vonda’s recipe featured in this collection of special recipes from across Wales. I would also like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all of our amazing foster carers for their commitment, passion and dedication to provide better futures for children and young people in Denbighshire.

 

By fostering locally, with Denbighshire, our foster carers are helping local children and young people to stay in their community, close to friends and family members they stay in touch with. It keeps them connected, builds stability and help them retain their sense of identity.

 

To anyone thinking about fostering, contact our fostering team in Denbighshire and we can talk you through your options.”

 

The cookbook will be distributed to foster carers across Wales and a digital version can be downloaded from: fosterwales.gov.wales/bringsomethingtothetable

 

To find out more about becoming a foster carer in Denbighshire visit: denbighshire.fosterwales.gov.wales