Tees Valley FosteringFAMILY fun was the name of the game at a special celebration of the life- changing role played by fostering.

The Fostering Family Fun Day took place at Middlesbrough Sports Village on Sunday (July 24) – and new recruits are being urged to get involved.

The event put the contribution of the area’s army of foster carers in the spotlight – and acted as a rallying call to others to step forward and make the life-changing commitment.

The Family Fun Day – now in its second year – is hosted jointly by Tees Valley Fostering which covers the Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool, Redcar & Cleveland and Darlington local authorities.

Teams of foster carers, children and staff from the five areas joined friendly battle in a range of sporting events, while raising awareness of the need for more foster carers and encouraging people to come forward and look into fostering with their local council.

There are currently more than 1,250 looked after children across the Tees Valley and all five authorities need to recruit more foster carers, especially those able to support older children and sibling groups.

Fostering involves providing a home for children and young people who can’t live with their own families for a variety of reasons, sometimes just for a matter of days or weeks, and in other cases for considerably longer.

Councillor Mike Carr, Executive Member for Children’s Social Care and Tees Valley Fostering spokesperson, said: “Every child has a right to a happy, secure and loving home, and that’s something we’re committed to across the Tees area.

“We have a great many fantastic foster carers who make an invaluable difference to the lives of countless children, but we always need more to step forward and take up the challenge.

“Fostering is truly life-changing for all involved, and there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ foster carer – we welcome inquiries from everyone regardless of age, sexuality or religion.”

The Tees Valley Fostering Celebration Day took place at on Sunday, July 24 from 11am to 4pm.

For more information about fostering across the Tees area visit www.teesvalleyfostering.com