Wanted: 30 foster carers to help transform lives
Are you over 21 years of age? Do you have a spare room? Gloucestershire County Council needs you to consider fostering.
Foster Care Fortnight runs from 8th to 21st May and is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign. The Fostering Network estimates that over 7,000 new foster carers are needed nationally in the next year.
Ahead of the fortnight, the council has released a video featuring four care leavers telling us what they think makes a good carer: https://youtu.be/1VthNOvtGow
The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘foster care transforms lives’ and Gloucestershire County Council is looking to recruit 30 new foster carers before April 2018 to help make a difference to more children and young people’s lives.
In Gloucestershire in 2016/17, there were 868 foster places requested, with 426 for young people aged over 11, and 442 for young people under 11.
There is a particularly need for foster carers for teenagers, siblings and disabled children.
The county council is holding events around the county during Foster Care Fortnight, in Cirencester, Gloucester, Coleford, Cheltenham and near Tewkesbury.
Tammy Wheatley, head of service for fostering and adoption at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Foster Care Fortnight is a brilliant way for us to really put a spotlight on the role of a foster carer and let people know about what a fantastic opportunity it is.
“As the video from our care leavers shows, fostering is a way to make a positive difference to a child's life by providing them with a stable and loving home and the support and encouragement they need to flourish and do well.”
Becoming a foster carer offers a new career path that includes financial support and the opportunity to undergo training and learn new skills.
One of Gloucestershire’s foster carers, Leah Summers, told us of her own experiences as a carer and said: “Fostering is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of! For me, it’s the look on the child’s face when you have got something right. Knowing you are helping a child to create some positive early memories is wonderful. I feel privileged to be a part of their care.”
The council accepts applications to foster from all sectors of the community. There is no upper age limit to foster and people can be single, married, co-habiting, in a heterosexual or same sex relationship, own or rent their home.
Applicants need to be over 21 and have a spare room (or spare rooms for siblings) in their home.
For more information contact the county council’s fostering team on 01242 532654 or go to www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/fostering.