Foster carers are urgently needed to provide homes for children in care in County Durham.
With the numbers of children and families in need of help continuing to rise, Durham County Council’s Fostering Service is appealing for more potential parents to come forward and find out about how they could change the life of a child.
Fostering team manager Florence Coulter said: “We know times are hard and while we provide as much support as we can, we know some families still struggle, and that there are circumstances that require us to find new homes for children, both short and long term.
“When that happens we then need loving people to open their hearts and their homes and look after these young people.
“As a foster carer, you can really make a difference to a child’s life for the better.
“However, we know that there are many myths that surround fostering and so we would encourage people to find out the facts before they rule themselves out.
“You don’t need any special qualifications, as we can offer you a financial allowance, training and specialised support along the way.
“But you will need a genuine interest in caring for young people, patience, understanding – and a sense of humour helps too!”
Durham County Council Fostering Service would like to encourage anyone who has thought about fostering to find out more, with two information sessions being held in July.
“Our information sessions are a great opportunity for you to meet people who are already foster carers, and to learn more about fostering and what’s involved,” said Florence.
Foster carers are particularly needed to care for children on a long term basis – which would see a child become part of your family and live with you until they are old enough to live independently.
The Fostering Service is also keen to hear from people who can take care of brothers and sisters, so that they can stay together.
The two information events take place at Durham County Hall, in Aykley Heads, on Saturday 9 July, from 10.30am to 1pm, and Monday 11 July, between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.
Foster carers will be on hand to share their experiences of caring for children and young people.
And experienced social workers will be there to answer questions, explain about the wide range of both practical and financial support available, and provide information about how to get started as a foster carer.
Alternatively, for more information, contact the Fostering Service on 03000 269 400, or visit the website, www.durham.gov.uk/fostering.