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This is how you could become a foster carer in Kent as council launches recruitment campaign

By Jenna Dobbs

A couple who have fostered up to 70 children said they have "cherished every moment" of their "rewarding journey".

Wendy and Trevor Percival, who live off Old Road East, Gravesend, have spoken out as part of Kent County Council’s Foster Care Fortnight - a campaign to recruit 150 new carers for vulnerable children.

The pair are described as providing "the backbone" of Kent’s fostering community, which they have been a part of since 2002.

WATCH: Urgent appeal for more foster carers in Kent

Wendy, 51, who has two children aged 18 and 20 with escalator engineer Trevor, 61, said: "It's been a rewarding journey, despite the odd bump along the way.

"The whole family has learned a great deal and try to support our foster children through good times and bad.

"We have learnt about all sorts of disorders and problems children are either born with or developed in their short lives.

"With this ever-growing knowledge, the whole family try to help all of them to the best of our ability.

Wendy Percvial, 51, has fostered nearly 70 children
Wendy Percvial, 51, has fostered nearly 70 children

"Being about for their rough times, and upsets, but also understanding them, creating good times, and having fun when we can."

Since 2018, the number of children under the care of Kent County Council (KCC) has fallen by just under 150 to 1,600, with around three quarters in foster care.

Despite more than 80 families, couples and single people taking the plunge, many more foster carers are still needed.

Wendy added: "I think the most rewarding thing is when a child who has left comes back as an adult, telling you how everything you taught them, or they gained from living with you, helped shaped their future.

"I think the most rewarding thing is when a child who has left comes back as an adult, telling you how everything you taught them, or they gained from living with you, helped shaped their future" - Wendy Percival

"I always say to every child when they arrive, you may not be blood relatives, but now you are part of our family."

Foster carers can look after young people long-term, or offer short-break respite care for children with disabilities.

Kent Fostering is also developing a new "Hub Family Scheme" where foster carer families are linked to nearby children in care, to be there as extra support to the child's main placement.

  • To find out more, visit Eastgate in Springhead Road, Northfleet, on Thursday, July 4 from 7pm for an informative event.

For more real life stories, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

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