As Father’s Day approaches (June 17th) Cumbria County Council is calling on families across Cumbria to think about fostering and offering a loving home to children who cannot live with their families and may not spend this Sunday with their fathers.
The council currently supports around 200 foster carers across the county but urgently needs more people to come forward to offer safe and caring homes to local children who, for a variety of reasons, can no longer be cared for by their own families.
If you think you have room in your life and your home, then why not become part of Cumbria’s biggest family? Council foster carers benefit from having a team of locally-based social workers on call 24 hours a day, as well as access to specialist services when they need them and a network of support from other local carers. In addition to this they receive ongoing training, opportunities for development and generous fees and allowances for each child in their care.
Without more people coming forward some of our area’s most vulnerable children may find themselves living a long way from family, school and friends or even being split up from brothers and sisters.
Lawyer Rob Mason, 60, and his wife Christine, 51, of Penrith, are long-term foster carers for a brother and sister. He said: “We had friends who’d been foster carers for a number of years and they were inspiring. It was wonderful to see the how the children they cared for could be changed and shaped by having a secure home. That’s what sowed a seed for us early on.
“We decided early on we’d like to foster siblings and that we could manage at least two. We were shown a profile of the kids and at that point we started to get excited, all of a sudden these were real children we were talking about. Cumbria did a great job matching us!
“The next thing is to meet them and that is scary, exciting and amazing all in one. But two years on and this is their home now and it’s like they’ve always been here.”
Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Dates such as Father’s Day can be difficult for children in care but the support of foster carers can make these special days a little easier for them to cope with. The support and love of our foster carers can transform the lives of the young people in their care.
“Over summer our friendly team and carers are holding a number of information events across the county and I would urge anyone who is considering fostering to find out more about fostering with us by attending an upcoming event in their area.”
If you think you have what it takes, visit cumbria.gov.uk/fostering, call 0303 333 1216 or attend one of our upcoming information events:
- Saturday June 23 – Kendal Unity Festival, information stand at Abbot Hall Park, 10am to 4pm
- SundayJune 24 – Barrow Carnival, information stand at Barrow Park, 10am to 5pm
- Saturday June 30 – Be Well Fest, information stand at Barrow AFC, Holker Street, 11am to 3pm
- Tuesday July 3 – Workington Costa Coffee Drop in, Washington Square, 12pm to 2pm
- Saturday July 7 – Skelton Show, near Penrith, 10am to 5pm
- Monday July 16 – Alston House Hotel café, Alston, 10am to 12pm
- Thursday July 26 – Carlisle Costa Coffee Drop in, The Lanes Shopping Centre, 12pm to 2pm
- Wednesday August 1 – Cartmel Show, Cartmel Racecourse, 10am to 5pm
- Saturday Aug 18 and Sunday August 19 – Harrington Kite Festival, Bellaport Marina, Harrington, 11am to 4pm
- Saturday Aug 25 – Broughton & Millom Show, Broughton, 10am to 4pm