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Give a child a fresh start in 2017 - consider fostering


Gloucestershire County Council is encouraging anyone thinking of a career change this new year to consider fostering.

There are many different types of fostering and many different kinds of foster carers. For those who already work, or are looking for a new and rewarding career change, there's a kind of fostering to suit a wide variety of circumstances. This ranges from emergency short term and weekend fostering, to longer term care.

To find out more, residents are invited to come and chat to a social worker and experienced foster carers at Nature in Art, Twigworth, GL2 9PA on Saturday, 4 February from 10am to 2pm.

Alternatively, the fostering service can be contacted on 01242 532654, or via the council's website:

Rachel Besien has just completed her first year as a full-time foster carer. She said, "I spent 15 years working in pastoral roles with young people in different educational settings. I decided that I wanted to use these skills outside of the normal nine-to-five to help children feel safe and, hopefully, to support families to get back together. I considered fostering many times and finally got to a point where I had a good support network around me and the time was right."

Councillor Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people, said, "At this time of year, people often think about new opportunities. If you've a spare room and want to make a difference to the life of a local young person, I'd encourage you to consider fostering."

The council needs foster carers for children of all ages. This includes sibling groups, teenagers and a parent and their baby. Carers are also needed for disabled children and for unaccompanied asylum seeking children, who are usually older boys between 14 and 17 years old.

All fostering pays a weekly maintenance allowance to cover the costs of looking after the child. Foster carers are also paid a weekly fee in recognition of their skills and expertise and additional allowances to cover travel.

Anyone with extensive experience of working with young people will be able to apply to become a specialist foster carer, working with young people in a crisis. These carers will be paid £650 per week plus allowances.

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