‘Foster caring is challenging but there’s always support’

Jenny and John Barney have been fostering kids for 17 years

Jenny and John Barney have been fostering kids for 17 years Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

NOT content with bringing up eight of her own children, Jenny Barney has taken in more than 50 foster children from across Oxfordshire.

She is one of Oxfordshire’s 293 dedicated foster carers and she and husband John have taken in dozens of children in the past 17 years.

Now she is urging others to take on the role as part of Foster Care Fortnight, which began on Monday.

Mrs Barney, who takes in children in the Oxford area as a full time job, said it is a hugely rewarding experience.

The couple look after children of all ages, including many teenage mothers and their babies.

The 60-year-old, who lives in the Oxford area, said: “Children come with a lot of complex needs and it is going to be challenging. But you have got to remember you can always ask for help and there is always support there.”

Mrs Barney took up fostering at a friend’s suggestion and said: “Only three of our kids were still at home at the time and all our children have always been fantastic about it and have always accepted the children who come in.

“We’ve had children stay in an emergency for just a night but in other cases we’ve had someone who was meant to be here a week and stayed four years.

“The first boy we had was 10 years old, the same age as my son, and he stayed three and a half years before he went to live with his grandmother.

“We speak to him frequently and see him about once a year now.”

She added: “One girl who stayed with us for four years went off to university and is now a theatre practitioner so we are very proud of what she has achieved.

“No matter how long children are with us, any milestone they reach is always a rewarding feeling.”

Maria White, from Oxfordshire County Council’s fostering team, said: “Fostering is a way of working as part of a team, in your local community, to help turn children’s lives around.

“Specialist training and support is given, carers receive an allowance and in some instances an additional fee. All you need is a desire to help children reach their full potential.”

An information evening on fostering will take place tonight from 6.30pm to 8pm at County Hall, New Road, Oxford.

For more information, visit oxfordshire.gov.uk/fostering or call 0800 7835724.

Who needs a home?

Children of all ages need foster parents for short- and long-term care, including:

Teenagers – about half of children in care are 12 years and older.

Sibling groups who need to be placed together.

Babies and toddlers who need to be placed with carers who are at home full-time.

Disabled children – who need placing with people with skills and experience to care for a wide range of disabilities.

Carers are paid fees like £168 a week for children aged up to two, rising to £276 a week for 16- to 18-year-olds.

Extra costs for spending like mileage and presents are also available.

  • Our top stories:

Delays on M40 near Bicester after vehicle fire

Oxford Mail: Lorry jackknifes on M40 causing traffic tailbacks

7:18pm Sunday 23rd November 2014

THERE are delays of up to half an hour on the M40 after an earlier vehicle fire.

Woman sexually assaulted in pub car park in Kidlington

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:21pm Sunday 23rd November 2014

A woman has been sexually assaulted in a pub car park in Kidlington.

Horse killed in crash near Steeple Aston

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

2:26pm Sunday 23rd November 2014

A HORSE was killed after it collided with a car near Steeple Aston yesterday.

Gritters out tonight as mercury plummets across Oxfordshire

Oxford Mail: Gritter lorries get ready to set out last night

2:17pm Sunday 23rd November 2014

OXFORDSHIRE is set for a cold snap tonight and tomorrow with temperatures as low as -2C expected in some parts of the county.

Have you seen missing 23-year-old Kerri Hutt from Witney?

Oxford Mail:

11:51am Sunday 23rd November 2014

A WOMAN from Witney has been missing since Friday.

Oxfordshire NHS staff on strike over pay and privatisation moves

Oxford Mail:

8:00pm Sunday 23rd November 2014

NHS staff including midwives, nurses, radiographers and cleaners are taking strike action today in protest over government cuts and privatisation of the health service.

Attack in Oxford city centre leaves two men needing hospital treatment

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:24pm Saturday 22nd November 2014

TWO men were assaulted in Oxford city centre last weekend.

What have our brilliant columnists said this week - choose your favourite in our interactive collage

Oxford Mail:

4:00pm Saturday 22nd November 2014

Just what have our thought-provoking columnists been writing about this week? Catch up with our interactive collage giving you a choice from 9 of the best

Our interactive spread of the week's best photos: but what are the stories behind the pictures

Oxford Mail:

3:00pm Saturday 22nd November 2014

We've had some wonderful pictures this week - here's our interactive spread with links to the stories behind the photos

Oxfordshire callers to police's 101 number urged to stay on line amid problems

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

11:19am Saturday 22nd November 2014

Callers to the police's non-emergency 101 number are being urged to stay on the line despite problems.

Brainpower is the key for Oxford United says head coach Michael Appleton

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 22nd November 2014

Michael Appleton says Oxford United will need to be intelligent if they are to keep heavyweight striker Adebayo Akinfenwa quiet for AFC Wimbledon today.

6 things you may not have known were happening in Oxfordshire this weekend

Oxford Mail: Terry Wogan at the fund raising reception

11:34am Friday 21st November 2014

Six things you may not have known were happening in Oxfordshire this weekend.

Hanborough primary school among region's best

Oxford Mail: Magdalen College School Antiques Roadshow

8:30am Saturday 22nd November 2014

A state primary school in Long Hanborough has been included in a list of the top schools in the South East.

Teacher denies abuse

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

8:30am Saturday 22nd November 2014

A 70-year-old former teacher has denied historical sexual abuse offences.

 

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree