A school has received lottery funding for its support group for parents who adopt or foster children.
The group, set up by St Michael’s Church of England Primary School in Tettenhall last year, meets every half-term, giving parents and carers the chance to discuss issues or problems with one another and to receive training and help in their parenting role.
A grant of £9,650 from Awards4All will enable the group to continue meeting and expand its support to other parents and carers living in the local area. There are also plans to establish a new a stay and play group at St Michael’s for parents of adopted children who live in the Black Country.
The Outstanding-rated school's Headteacher Kate Jackson said: "Being the parent of an adopted or fostered child can be very lonely and the opportunities for support are very limited, particularly as children grow up.
"Unlike birth children, parents of adopted or fostered children often have little background information about their child. Adopted and fostered children are also more likely to have social and emotional difficulties, which present a significant challenge to the child, their parents or carers and other members of the family.
"A number of our parents approached staff at the school and shared with them that they were struggling. We were pleased to set up the support group and we have been delighted with the response from parents who say it is really helping them and, most importantly, enabling them to know that they are not alone.
The group is starting to work closely with Adoption@Heart and is facilitating training for adopters and foster carers across the Black Country. Anyone interested should either contact the school directly or Adoption@Heart on 01902 553818 for further information.
Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "As any parent knows, raising a child can be challenging at times, but even more so if the child has for whatever reason been in care. It's therefore great to see that St Michael’s Church of England Primary School is providing a support group such as this to help its fostered families and adoptive parents and their children."
Awards4All is part of the National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK.
Meanwhile, St Michael’s has become a School of Sanctuary – demonstrating that it is a safe and welcoming place for all.
The school received the award from the National City of Sanctuary movement last month after showing that it extends a warm welcome to everyone, and that children, staff and the wider school community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary.
Other Schools of Sanctuary in Wolverhampton include St Andrew’s CE, West Park, Dunstall Hill, Bantock and St Luke’s primary schools, Colton Hills School and Windsor Nursery School.
The Schools of Sanctuary programme is part of the City of Sanctuary Network, a movement spread throughout the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. For more information, please visit https://cityofsanctuary.org/.
To find out more about education in Wolverhampton, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/education.