Cardiff foster carer shares family recipe in new celeb-backed cookbook


Foster Carer Claire contributed a recipe to ‘Bring something to the table', a new book full of recipes and life-changing fostering moments from carers and care experienced people.


She hopes sharing their fostering moments will encourage more people to become carers.


This Foster Care Fortnight™, Foster Wales Cardiff is calling on people in the city to consider becoming foster carers to support local young people.


Recent research by Foster Wales - the national network of local authority fostering services - found people are often put off applying to become a foster carer because they don't believe they have the ‘right' skills and experience.


In its new cookbook - Bring something to the table - Foster Wales highlights 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.


When the young people arrived at Cardiff foster carer Claire's home, they used to take food from the cupboards and hide food in their pockets to save for later.

"They had never eaten as a family", Claire explained. "Now sitting down as a family is something we do every day, it's a great time to chat about the day and also time to have a joke, talk about things we've done in the day and places we've been."



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 - hopes 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.


Cabinet Member for Social Services (Children's), Cllr Ash Lister, said: "The Bring Something to the table cookbook is a fantastic celebration of that simple thing - a home-cooked meal - as well as of the fantastic foster carers who have contributed these brilliant recipes to the book. Here in Cardiff, we're delighted to see Claire feature.


"We want to raise awareness and encourage everyone to take a look at the cookbook -  we hope it will really whet the appetite of anyone who can provide a supportive and nurturing home for children and young people in our care.


"Please do give the recipes a try, enjoy some fantastic food but most importantly, think what you could bring to the table. We're really keen to hear from everyone who could step up to the plate."


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 Cardiff, visit