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Council campaign asks ‘Got time to foster?’

‘Got time to foster?’ is the latest campaign from Staffordshire County Council’s Fostering Service to help find families for some of the county’s most vulnerable children.

The rallying call comes alongside Foster Care Fortnight from 14 to 27 May; the national campaign to highlight the urgent need for more foster carers.

A short film highlighting the need for foster carers for teenagers, a series of online animated videos to start the conversation and Online webinars are amongst this year’s activities.  A series of countywide roadshows and special information events will also help highlight the urgent need for more foster families.

Every year, tens of thousands of children across the UK need someone to provide foster care and in Staffordshire alone, 60 more foster families need to be found this year.

Philip White, Cabinet Support Member for Learning and Employability at Staffordshire County Council said:

“We are always looking for foster families to come forward and when you hear about the amazing difference that fostering can make to a young person’s life, you’ll see why it’s such a wonderful thing to do.

“We all want to see children and young people get the best possible start in life, and that’s exactly what you could do as an approved foster carer for your local council.  Continuity is so important for a child – including access to their extended family, friends and school so it’s vital we have a steady flow of local foster carers.

“All sorts of people from all walks of life can and do foster with us and you’re never on your own. There’s always advice on hand and lots of training available. And this year, we are especially looking for foster carers for teenagers, sibling groups and children with additional needs too, so please get in touch with us if you think you can make a difference.”

Staffordshire Foster carer Cliff Whiteley said:

“I’ve been fostering for 18 years now and it’s a wonderful thing to do. It brings fantastic rewards like making a difference to a child without making that child feel different.  It also keeps you young and comes with great support and training from your local council authority. Everyone has life skills they can pass on to a foster child too, so go on, give it a go.”

Throughout the fortnight, Staffordshire’s foster carers will be joining ‘Reggie Bear’ on the Fostering Service’s promotional bus which will be calling in at the following towns:

Stafford, Market Square, 14 May
Leek, outside Co-op Bank, 15 May, 10am to 2pm
Lichfield, Market Square, 16 May, 10am – 2pm
Burton, Coopers Square, 17 May, 10am – 2pm
Uttoxeter, Dovefields, 18 May, 10am – 2pm
Tamworth, St Edithas, 21 May, 10am – 2pm
Cheadle, back of Barclays, 22 May, 10am – 2pm
Stone, high street, 23 May, 10am – 2pm
Cannock, Market Square, 24 May, 10am – 2pm
Newcastle, Ironmarket, 25 May, 10am – 2pm

This year Staffordshire’s Fostering Service has also teamed up with neighbouring local authorities Shropshire, Stoke-on-Trent, and Telford & Wrekin to highlight the benefits of fostering for your local council.

People can find out more about fostering with Staffordshire County Council at www.care4child.org/gottime or by calling 08001692061.