A spare room and dedication needed as Cambridgeshire looks to boost number of foster carers

As part of Foster Fortnight a campaign has begun by Cambridgeshire County Council to find new foster

As part of Foster Fortnight a campaign has begun by Cambridgeshire County Council to find new foster carers. Image: CCC - Credit: Archant

If you are over 21, have a spare bedroom and the dedication to help children and young people thrive then you could be on your way to becoming a foster carer.

These are part of the criteria, says Cambridgeshire County Council, needed to find new foster carers.

Foster Care Fortnight is from May 11-24 and both the county council and Peterborough City Council are engaged in a campaign to boost carer numbers.

A joint statement from both councils said: “We need foster carers to transform lives in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

Foster Care Fortnight aims to show the positive impact foster care has on children’s and young people’s lives.

The councils say that foster carers “accomplish incredible things every day, even in the face of a global crisis that has affected every one of us and impacted all aspects of our society”.

Despite the practical and emotional challenges that the coronavirus is bringing, foster carers they say continue to provide day-to-day support, love and stability to children and young people who can’t live with their birth families. “They support children and young people’s education, health, and social wellbeing, and help to maintain the children’s relationship with the people who are important to them but who they cannot currently see in person,” says the council statement.

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Both councils are keen to hear from people who can care for sibling groups of brothers and sisters, children with additional needs and teenagers.

Councillor Simon Bywater, Cambridgeshire County Council chairman of the children and young people’s committee, said: “We are always looking for local people who are interested in becoming foster carers and urge you to apply if you are over 21, have a spare bedroom and the dedication to help children and young people thrive.”

Councillor Lynne Ayres, Peterborough City Council cabinet member for children’s services, said, “We have made arrangements to progress your enquiries through phone or video calls.

“If you decide to go further then we will discuss the next stages with you.We hope being part of Foster Care Fortnight again this year will give our work an extra boost and help us reach even more potential carers.”

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “Foster care transforms the lives of children and young people as well as those of the foster carers and their families. This has never been more important.

“Foster carers help children and young people flourish and fulfil their potential, as well as provide a vital service to our society. Because this happens mainly in the privacy of their own homes – especially at the moment – their contributions too often go unnoticed.

“Foster Care Fortnight is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the work of foster carers and their families as well as recognising how transformational foster care can be for the children and young people who need it.”

Every year more foster carers are needed across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to make sure fostered children can live with the right foster carer for them.

Despite the coronavirus, this year is no different, so anyone who thinks they might have the skills and experience to become a foster carer is urged to contact the fostering services.

People should not rule themselves out or let ‘myths’ stop them from making an enquiry.

Depending which type of fostering you choose, working is not a barrier so please do contact us to find out more.

You are never too old to foster - we welcome the experience!

If you have your own children or no children we want to hear from you.

We don’t expect foster carers to be perfect, we want people who can offer safe, secure and loving homes.

You can be in a same sex relationship, married, single or living with a partner.

Carers receive payments and allowances to help cover their time and expenses, as well as advice and guidance so they are supported every step of the way.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council encourage you to find out more about fostering.

For Cambridgeshire, visit the website or email fostering@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or call 0800 052 0078. For Peterborough, visit the website or email FosteringandAdoption@Peterborough.gov.uk or call 0800 328 8433.

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