Warwickshire’s Fostering Service will be holding information events later this month to get more people to think about becoming foster carers.
The events are all taking place during Foster Care Fortnight (13-26 May), a trademarked national campaign from the Fostering Network to raise the profile of fostering and encourage more people to consider this rewarding career.
Kelly Furness from the county council’s fostering service said: “Currently there are around 670 children looked after by Warwickshire County Council. This number has increased steadily over the past few years so demand for quality placements is high and we are always keen to recruit new carers to give these young people the benefit of a stable family life.
“With this in mind, staff from the fostering team and some of the county’s foster carers will be available at local events to give friendly, informal advice and information.”
Information stalls will be at Rope Walk Shopping Centre, Nuneaton on Friday 17 May – 9am-12pm and Clock Towers Shopping Centre, Rugby on Friday 24 May – 11am – 2pm.
In addition the service will be holding their first ever Fostering Family Fun Day on 19 May from 11.30am to 3.30pm at The CHESS Centre, Cedar Road, Nuneaton.
There will be a variety of activities going on through the day including circus skills, a magic show, balloon modelling, decorating, storytelling, games, nail painting and more.
Presentations on fostering for Warwickshire will also be taking place and fostering information will be available. The free event is open to all families who foster and those who might be thinking about it.
Kelly is clear that almost anyone has the potential to be a foster carer, she added: “We are looking for foster carers who are single or couples; with or without children, retired, unemployed or working, so we can find the best match for every child or young person. What matters most is that you have time, space, commitment, patience, a caring nature and skills to work with children and their families.
We are particularly interested in hearing from people who may be looking to foster teenagers and really hope people considering fostering will pop along to an event or get in touch during Foster Care Fortnight to find out more.”
There are different types of foster care, depending on the needs of children and young people.
They include short term foster care from a couple of months to a couple of years, to permanent foster care where a child who cannot live with their own family stays with a family throughout childhood and onto adulthood.
Whilst Warwickshire Fostering Service wants to hear from anyone interested in foster care, it is particularly important for them to find people willing to look after, teenagers, siblings and children older than eight who need permanent placements. Parent and child placements are also required so the service would like to speak to anyone with space to house these families.
Full training and support is given to foster carers, who are matched to one or more of the different foster care schemes, depending on what suits their lifestyles and commitments. Carers are paid an allowance which reflects the real cost of looking after a child.
If you are interested in finding out more about Fostering for Warwickshire but cannot attend the above events please contact Central Fostering on freephone 0800 4081556 or register your interest online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fostering.
To read about the experiences of Warwickshire foster carers and looked after young people click on the case studies tab at the top of the page.