THE five Tees Valley councils have joined forces to recruit more foster carers to look after vulnerable teenagers across the region on a long-term basis.
The Tees Valley Fostering campaign is a collaboration between Stockton, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Hartlepool, and Redcar & Cleveland Councils in a drive to find more foster carers for the region’s 1,300 children who, for various reasons, cannot live with their birth families.
Unfortunately, not enough people are coming forward to foster children over the age of 11 (particularly teenagers) yet there are currently more than 600 children of this age group within the Tees Valley who need to be looked after.
The five councils therefore want to recruit more people who think they could support teenagers on a ‘long term’ basis, which is over two years and usually until the young person no longer requires the placement, and is able to live independently.
Having more of these types of foster carers means that fewer teenagers will be placed outside the Tees Valley.
The campaign begins this week with a TV advert featuring real foster carers from the Tees Valley, which is due to be aired on Sky TV channels.
The advert can also be viewed view Middlesbrough Council’s YouTube page: https://youtu.be/4a6IVa9Yai0
The Tees Valley Fostering team is also holding a series of information events at Morrisons supermarkets to offer information and advice to anyone thinking about becoming a foster carer.
The events are aimed at helping to dispel the myths that often prevent people from coming forward to foster.
Sue Mansell, Safeguarding Assistant Team Manager with Middlesbrough Council and a spokesperson for Tees Valley Fostering, said: “Every single young person within the Tees Valley is important to us and we have a duty to do everything we can to find safe and secure foster placements for children who need to be looked after.
“The reality here in the Tees Valley is that there is always a high demand for suitable foster carers, yet not enough people are coming forward who can support our teenagers.
“We are looking for people from all age groups and backgrounds who have a spare bedroom and can offer a young person a loving, stable home, and make them feel a part of their family.
“There has never been a more important time to find out about becoming a foster carer and the support available to you from your Local Authority’s fostering service.
“Our foster carers play a vital role in helping to shape the lives of young people and ensuring they have every opportunity to have happy and successful futures.”
The Tees Valley Fostering team will be holding information stands at Morrisons supermarkets across the area:
Teesside Park Thursday, January 28, 10am – 4pm
Hartlepool Marina Thursday, Jan 28 Noon – 4pm
Middlesbrough Berwick Hills Jan 28 and 29 10am – 4pm
Redcar Thursday, January 28 Noon – 4pm
Darlington Morton Park Friday, January 29
- For more information about fostering or the information events, visit www.teesvalleyfostering.com, www.facebook.com/teesvalleyfostering or https://twitter.com/teesfostering
Local authority contact numbers:
Middlesbrough 01642 201962
Redcar 0800 073 8800
Hartlepool 01429 405588
Stockton 01642 526218
Darlington 01325 406120