[C]umbria County Council is supporting this year’s Foster Care Fortnight campaign, which takes place from Monday 16 to Sunday 29 May 2016, by encouraging Cumbrians to consider providing a safe and caring home for a child, young person or sibling group.
The drive to recruit new foster carers in Cumbria is ongoing. The council already supports over 230 foster families, but with more children needing foster families there is always a need for more people to join in.
This year, the council is working in partnership with neighbouring local authorities from Lancashire and Blackpool to spread the message across the North West that for those looking to begin, expand or complete their family now is the time to foster. Cumbria County Council, Blackpool Council and Lancashire County Council have teamed up to ask foster carers why they choose to foster for the Local Authority rather than a fostering agency.
The top reasons foster carers shared were around council’s being non-profit organisations; the council’s dedicated family finders who find the best match for children in care and foster families; the high levels of support and out of hours help which is always on hand should it be needed; the on-going training which is flexible to fit round a carers lifestyle and the wider community which provides a network of local support groups and regular social activities for foster families to get involved in.
For Foster Care Fortnight a joint campaign will focus on these reasons in the hope that they will inspire others to consider fostering with the council.
Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Every year around 12 per cent of foster carers leave the service due to retirement so there is a constant need to recruit new foster carers. Together with the high number of children who need care, this means we are calling on local people to come forward and find out if being a foster carer could be right for them.”
“We often find that our current foster carers are the best advert for fostering. If you’re considering fostering follow us on Facebook and Twitter throughout the fortnight or come to a drop-in session and be inspired to make it your time to foster.”
Without more foster families coming forward during 2016 some children may find themselves living a long way from family, school and friends or being split up from brothers and sisters.
Members of the public can find out more about fostering and whether it could be right for them at www.cumbria.gov.uk/fostering/ or by calling 0303 333 1216. Members of the public considering fostering are also invited to attend a drop-in session, council staff and carers at these sessions are on hand to answer any questions about fostering or adoption.
- Carlisle (Tullie House, Castle Street on Saturday 21 May 2016 at 10am to 2pm)
- Workington (Conference Room, New Oxford Street on Thursday 26 May 2016 at 5pm to 7pm)
- Kendal (Committee Room 1, County Offices, Thursday 2 June 2016 at 10am to 2pm)
- Penrith (Penrith Library on Tuesday 7 June 2016 at 5pm to 7pm)
- Barrow (Forum 28, Duke Street on Saturday 11 June at 10am to 2pm)