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Millom Baptist Church signs up to be fostering friendly

Rachel Street, centre, with Mariann Dawson and Amanda Atkinson

A leader at Millom Baptist Church, the latest church to sign up to Cumbria County Council’s Fostering Friendly Churches (FFC) scheme, has talked about about how much the support from church networks can mean for foster carers.

Foster carers have an important role and the FFC scheme, launched last summer, asks local churches to help provide them with the support that allows them to change the lives of the children in their care.

Rachel Street, who was a foster carer with the county council for three years until leaving last year to become a minister in training, said: “When we had the first baby placed with us we had just a few hours’ notice! Two young mums at the church, Mariann Dawson and Amanda Atkinson, came round that evening with a bag of baby clothes and a pram. This kind of really practical support is wonderful and means so much.

“For us fostering was very much tied in with our faith. This was a way of living out God’s concern for the vulnerable, and sharing some of the love we’d received. I loved having children around and you can also make a real difference to their lives.”

The county council already supports around 200 foster carers but with close to 700 children in care across Cumbria, there is an urgent need for more people to come forward to offer safe and caring homes to local children.

The FFC scheme also asks member churches to help promote an awareness of the need for more carers for some of Cumbria’s most vulnerable children by participating in campaigns.

Claire Lloyd, Fostering Service Manager at Cumbria County Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Millom Baptist Church into the scheme; Fostering Friendly Churches can make a huge difference to the lives of foster carers in Cumbria and the children they care for.

“I’d like to thank Rachel and the members of her church for being the first in the Millom area to come on board and lend their weight to our scheme and I hope very much that other local churches will be inspired to follow suit.”

For more information on fostering go to www.cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call 0303 333 1216. To find out more about becoming a Fostering Friendly Church please email [email protected]

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