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Penrith carer adds her voice to appeal for more foster carers in Cumbria

Esther Palliser

Foster carer Esther Palliser, from Penrith, is encouraging people to find out more about the rewarding role as part of the council’s latest fostering recruitment campaign.

She said: “I would encourage anyone who is thinking about fostering to make a call or attend an information session and have that initial chat and go on the Skills to Foster course, which really does answer a lot of your questions. There are so many different types of fostering that you will almost definitely find one that fits with your family.”

Esther and her husband Sean, have been short term foster carers for children aged 2 to 8, for five years. She added: “We had two children of our own and decided not to have more because they were both born with disabilities. But we always felt we had the space and love for more children.

“During the approval process we built up a really good relationship with our social worker and realised we were not going to be on our own, our support worker would always be on the end of the phone.”

She would encourage anyone who’s been thinking of fostering to find out more: “It has been really, really rewarding. Watching the children grow, develop and eventually move on to a secure and stable home, knowing that we have been a ‘stepping stone’ to that, is the reward for us.”

With close to 750 children in care in Cumbria and around 20 children coming into care each month locally, there is a shortage of carers within the county, which means some children are being sent outside of the area to be cared for. This leads to children being taken away from friends, schools, clubs, family members and familiar surroundings.

Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Our information events are a brilliant way for people who have been considering fostering to find out more about the children who need homes, as well as the exceptional training and support we offer our carers.

“They also provide an excellent opportunity to hear from our foster carers in your area and speak to our friendly team to get the ball rolling.”

Find out more at an information event

If you would you like to know more about fostering opportunities in your area, come along to an upcoming information event:

  • Saturday 25 January – Information event at George Hotel, Penrith -doors open 10am, presentation starts 10.30am, events finishes at 12pm
  • Saturday 1 February – Information event Crown and Mitre Hotel, Carlisle – doors open at 1pm, presentation starts at 1.30pm and evening finishes at 3pm

For more information visit cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call 0303 333 1216

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