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Foster Care Fortnight 2024: RCT Foster Carer 'Brings Something to the Table' to Support Young People in the Area


This Foster Care Fortnight™, Foster Wales RCT 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.

Tracy and Lee (pictured) have been fostering children with Foster Wales RCT for over 20 years. They have looked after many local children, and they work hard to help support other foster carers. They have recently done some filming with us where they talk about the importance of being flexible as foster carers, and also offering stability to children. Tracy hopes sharing their #FosteringMoments will encourage more people to become carers.

Tracy told us:

"It can be a simple thing like sitting down for a meal together every Sunday, or knowing that Thursday night is always a family meal night when you can bring to the table anything that you’ve enjoyed or been worried about that week. Sharing mealtimes and regular eating patterns can be a real help when it comes to providing a routine and stability for children and it emphasises that we do things as a family. If you live with us, you’re one of us!  

"We’ve got two young girls with us now, they’re going to be with us for the long term, and we took them to a restaurant for food recently to celebrate a birthday We’re very much family orientated so we all go together, just like we all holiday together.

"The highlight of that was, we had a fabulous lunch! We spent an hour and a half there just laughing and talking – being a family, and there was another couple there sat opposite us, and as they were leaving she said to me ‘I just have to say to you that your children are a credit to you…

"They’re so happy.’ And I just thought wow – nobody knew any different that there were 4 children there that are not mine, but I love them and care for them as my own. The fact that they could be in a restaurant and enjoy the food and the experience with us as part of our family was a moment in my fostering journey that will really stay with me."

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.

Councillor Gareth Caple, Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said:

“This new cookbook is a fantastic way for foster carers, fostered children, and those who were previously fostered to come together and work on a creative and worthwhile project.

“The cookbook showcases the key life skills that young people need to live independent lives and highlights the essential role that foster carers play in ensuring that these individuals can develop these skills in a caring and loving environment.

“Even more, the cookbook holds significance in spreading the word about the amazing work of foster carers and inspiring others to act by either stepping up as foster friendly families or supporting those around them who are involved in fostering.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all our local foster carers for the selfless and inspiring work they do. You are essential to ensuring that vulnerable young people have access to a safe and affectionate upbringing.

“If you have been inspired by this campaign during Foster Care Fortnight, then I encourage you to find out more information and explore how you can contribute to the fostering mission in Wales.”

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

Notes to editors

Interviews are available with representatives from Foster Wales and young care experienced people, throughout Foster Care Fortnight.

For more information or media requests, please contact /

About Foster Care Fortnight

  • Foster Care Fortnight™ is The Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.
  • Foster Care Fortnight 2024 will take place from 13-26 May.
  • The theme is #FosteringMoments.

Recipes and contributors

Celebrity recipes

  • Colleen’s ‘everything’ sauce - Colleen Ramsey, presenter, and author of the bilingual family cookbook, Bywyd a Bwyd - Life Through Food
  • Wynne’s family style spaghetti - Wynne Evans, MasterChef Winner
  • Poppy’s sausage and vegetable traybake - Poppy O’Toole, Young MasterChef Judge
  • Jon’s Pasteis de Nata - Jon Jenkins, Great British Bake off star and foster carer, Newport
  • Fatima’s family cottage pie - Fatima Whitebread, MBE, 2x Olympic medallist, world javelin champion, world record holder, and fostering campaigner.
  • Chicken Kabsa - Kiri Pritchard Mclean is a comedian and foster carer in Anglesey. Her stand-up show, Peacock, shares her journey to become a foster carer.

Care leavers

  • Brecon Bolognese  - Sophia, illustrator, and care leaver, Cardiff
  • June’s Cheesecake - John, founder of the Care Experience Network, Care Experienced Specialist for the John Lewis Partnership, a care leaver, and Independent local authority foster carer panel member.
  • Ryan’s Fishcakes - Ryan, aspiring chef, and care experienced young person
  • Tuna pasta bake - Sam*, Care leaver, and member of Voices from Care Cymru – a group which brings young people together throughout Wales, who are, or have been looked after. Any young person, who is or has been looked after in Wales, can become a member.
  • Oreo Brownies - Rhys, professional chef, and care leaver

Foster Carers

  • Grandma’s corned beef hash - Ian, foster carer, Conwy
  • Nan’s cheese and bacon pie - Emily, foster carer, Newport
  • Jenny’s Homemade Pizza - Jenny, foster carer, Flintshire
  • Pete’s special pasta  - Pete and Vonda, foster Carers, Denbighshire
  • Root Vegetable Crumble - Ian, foster carer, Neath Port-Talbot
  • Hidden veg gravy - Christine and Mike, foster carers, Vale of Glamorgan 
  • Vicky’s Yorkshire puddings - Vicky, foster carer, Bridgend
  • West Indian Dumplings - Sue, foster carer, Ceredigion
  • Thai Green Curry - Tracey, foster carer, Neath Port Talbot
  • Chicken Kadhai (Special occasion curry) - Kanu, foster carer, Gwynedd
  • Eid Dinner (Akhni fulab (lamb pilau) Pudding Kheer) - Claire, foster carer, Cardiff
Posted on 13/05/2024