Gloucestershire joins regional campaign to recruit more foster carers
Local authorities across the south west are joining together this Christmas to call for more people to consider becoming foster carers.
According to The Fostering Network, there are 6,140 children in care in the south west and 2,650 fostering households, with many more needed.
In Gloucestershire alone, there are almost 800 children in care, the highest number the county has ever seen, with 240 fostering households currently working with the county council.
Local authorities from across the south west region, including Bath and North East Somerset, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire, have all come together for this Christmas campaign.
They are calling for people who have space in their homes and their lives to consider fostering for their local council to give a loving home to a child in need
Philippa McIntyre, who fosters for Gloucestershire County Council said: “Christmas isn’t something that some children can take for granted, so when Father Christmas does actually come and you get presents in big boxes wrapped in Christmas wrapping, the joy is infectious.”
Linda Rogers, who also fosters for Gloucestershire County Council, agrees: “Fostering has put the magic back into Christmas for us. Once your own children grow up and leave home, Christmas can be a pretty dull affair but I think we almost get more excited than the kids do now."
Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for children’s safeguarding and early years at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We’re proud to be part of this campaign to raise awareness of the need for more foster carers across our region. When you foster for your local council you are part of a strong and committed team that is not for profit, and where every penny is spent on providing a good service to the children and their foster carers.
“We are so grateful to all our foster carers, not only at Christmas, but all year round. They make a real difference to the lives of children in our county.”
To foster, people need to be aged 21 or over and have a spare bedroom. Find out more by visiting www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/fostering or call 01242 532654.
A blog post ‘Father Christmas doesn’t come to my house’ from foster carer Philippa McIntyre appears on our fostering website here