Kenny and Janet Clements
Western Trust foster carers
People from all walks of life do foster
Kenny Clements is a farmer from Killadroy, Co. Tyrone. He and his wife, Janet have been married for 29 years (and still on their honeymoon, according to Kenny!) and have been fostering for 25 years. They have three grown up children of their own.
They currently provide respite and short term placements for children aged six to teenagers. “We fit this in around Janet’s works as a Nurse Manager in a Residential home and the farming calendar,” says Kenny. “Feeling very much connected to my home place of Killadroy, we try to give youngsters that sense of belonging for whatever period of time they are with us,” he adds.
The Clements recommend fostering, especially to farming families. “The farm environment can be a very positive experience for youngsters who may never have lived on a farm before. I managed to explain the concept of being fostered to a little seven year old boy we looked after as he helped out at lambing time. The fact that sometimes a wee lamb needs a foster mum made a lot of sense to him in terms of his own situation.
Kenny and Janet transferred to the Specialist Therapeutic Fostercare team in 2015. They are currently providing weekly respite to a 14 year old boy who is living in a Children’s Home. It is the couples hope to give this young boy an experience of family life at a level to which he can manage, he is loving the farming, and is learning new skills as well as developing new relationships. Janet and Kenny wish to offer this same experience to other young people who are growing up within children’s homes.
Fostering for us has always been about giving a helping hand to those that need it. It’s basically doing the things we did for our own youngsters – any extra help that is needed will be provided through assessment and training with your local Trust. So why not have a go?” says Kenny.
To find out more about becoming a valued HSC foster carer, call Regional Adoption and Fostering Service on 0800 0720 137 who will put you in touch with your local HSC Trust. Alternatively you can enquire online.