Speaker: Jane Close
Asby Wi members, at the first meeting of 2016, welcomed neighbour and friend Mrs Jane Close as guest speaker. for the evening. Jane and her husband Eddy are foster parents and the WI had invited her to speak about their experiences over the past two years. Mrs Close explained that fostering was when someone else’s child was looked after by adults acting as temporary guardians who share the care of that child with the parents and the Social Services. A child coming into care could be as a result of parents’ illness and no other relatives being available to help, or as a result of neglect, or abuse., or for respite care. In general the aim is always to keep the child in its own family but this isn’t always possible, hence the need for foster parents.
Jane explained that the process to become a foster parent took about a year and involved Social Services following up references and making house visits, intense and intrusive interviews, several weekends of training, and finally meeting a selection panel of 10-15 people. Having been accepted Jane and Eddy opted for Short Term care for 0-5 year olds. Having agreed this they then expected to be involved in placement planning meetings prior to any children coming to live with them. But these didn’t happen until after a family of three siblings (aged 4 years, 1 year and a few weeks) had been with them for three weeks.
It was expected that the children would stay with the Close family for just a short while but it is only now, two years later, that arrangements for the children’s adoption have been made. They are currently in the throes of meetings leading up to handing the children over to their adoptive parents. Jane explained that they would miss the little family but that they were always going to be moving on ever since they had come to Asby. The children would leave with a detailed record of their life histories so that they would know from an early age that they had been adopted. Following their departure Jane and Eddy planned to take a break before welcoming another baby or child.
Pam Cowey gave the vote of thanks and as hostess with Pat Bevan served refreshments. The evening’s business included arrangements for several visits: to Farfield Mill for a once-only in the UK exhibition of quilts; to the exhibition of WIs’ Centenary Scrapbooks in Kendal; to the Cumbria-Westmorland Federation Northern Show in Appleby where several members planned to have entries; to another exhibition of quilting at the Bowes Museum; and in May, the annual coach trip which this year is going to Leeds.
The competition for a 20th century child’s toy was won by Susan Walker; Rachel Forrester second. And the raffle prize went to Secretary, Gwen Hadrill.