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Merthyr foster carer ‘brings something to the table’ to support young people in the area

  • Categories : Press Release
  • 09 May 2024
Foster Care Fortnight

Julie Howells hopes sharing their fostering moments will encourage more people to become carers.

This Foster Care Fortnight™, Foster Wales Merthyr 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 – 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.

Bring something to the table has over 20 recipes, including recipes from the foster care community, and celebrity chefs.

MasterChef Winner, Wynne Evans; Young MasterChef Judge, Poppy O’Toole; and cook/author Colleen Ramsey 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.

Our Foster Wales Merthyr foster carer Julie said:

“it is important for a child to know they are having regular nutritious and enjoyable meals… some children hide food because they don’t know when the next meal is coming or panic when there is a delay with their food.

Food is comforting and soothing for a child, they enjoy food and look forward to meal times. It gives the child a sense of security and helps them grow and develop. Food helps children feel settled and secure, and so they are content in the home and feel safe”


Care-experienced young people share authentic experiences

To launch the book, Colleen Ramsey, author of ‘Bywyd a Bwyd, Life Through Food’, will host a cookery workshop for young care-experienced people to learn a new recipe and vital cooking skills to take into their future independent lives.

Young care experienced people have also been heavily involved in the development of the cookbook.

Sophia Warner, a Welsh illustrator, campaigner, and care-experienced young person, illustrated and wrote the foreword for the cookbook:

“When I was younger, I vividly recall grilling my foster mum about the origins of the food she presented, insisting it hailed from Brecon, my beloved childhood stomping ground. I penned ‘Brecon Bolognese’ for the cookbook, based on my foster mum’s recipe.

“This recipe holds a special place in my heart because it was the first meal I had when I moved into my foster home. I mentioned that my birth mum used to make it and my foster mum lovingly prepared it for me. As I sat around the table with my new foster family, I felt a sense of belonging and warmth, making me feel truly welcome.”


More foster families are needed across Wales

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.

Cllr Julia Jenkins, Cabinet Member for Social Services commented:

“We are truly grateful for the incredible dedication and support that our foster carers provide to the vulnerable children and young people in our community.

Foster Care Fortnight is a special time for us to recognize and celebrate all that they do, especially during these challenging times. Their commitment, selflessness and compassion make a profound difference in the lives of those in their care, and we cannot thank them enough for their invaluable contributions.”

The cookbook will be distributed to foster carers across Wales and a digital version can be downloaded from:

To find out more about becoming a foster carer in Wales visit 

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