Foster care fortnight events for all
Families, couples and individuals across Gloucestershire are being asked to consider if they could make the move to become foster carers as part of Foster Care Fortnight by coming along to local events.
oster Care Fortnight is a national campaign, and in Gloucestershire the county council will be hosting several events between 16th May and 29th May to encourage more people to foster.
The theme for this year's campaign is Time to Foster, Time to Care to recognise that every 20 minutes across the UK a child or young person comes into care in need of a foster family.
Current foster carers are doing a fantastic job but more are needed.
In Gloucestershire in 2014/15, there were 701 foster places requested, with 361 placements being for young people aged over 12, and 340 for young people under 12.
This figure increased in 2015/16, with 831 places requested, 385 placements aged over 12 and 446 placements for young people under 12.
Some placements are short-term and in other situations children need to be with foster carers for a long time. In either case, the foster carers are very important and can have a lasting impact on the child's life.
Becoming a foster carer offers a new career path that includes financial support and the opportunity to undergo training and learn new skills.
In Gloucestershire, there is a real need for foster carers to support sibling groups, parent and child, and the group most on the rise, teenagers. In terms of area, there is also a particular need for more foster carers in Cirencester.
Cllr Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people, 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.
"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."
The county 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.