This Foster Care Fortnight which takes place between 1st and 14th June, the Fostering Service at Cornwall Council is urging people to come forward as potential foster carers with a drop in event being held at New County Hall, Truro between 6pm and 8pm on Thursday, 11 June.
Foster carers look after children who are unable to live with their families. This can be due to a number of reasons, including the illness of a parent or other member of the family, family relationships problems or because they have been the victim of abuse or neglect.
While most fostered children go back to their own families after a short period with someone who understands their background, some are unable to return home and need long-term care or, when they are older, help to move on to independent accommodation.
At present, there is a real need for foster carers to care for older children, teenagers, siblings and also a need for people who can care for a child or young person permanently, until they reach independence.
In Cornwall there are 276 families who foster, but more are urgently needed. Foster carers help some of the most vulnerable children and young people by providing guidance, stability and love.
Many people have misconceptions about fostering, and don’t realise that some of the most rewarding experiences can be when caring for a teenager, or offering a child a permanent home. Many of our children and young people live with the same foster family throughout their childhood, and this gives them great security and emotional permanence.
It is important to highlight all of our foster carers get comprehensive training and support and there is a continual development programme that covers a wide range of subjects.
Foster carers have a vital role in giving children in care the best possible start in life. I would like to say our foster carers are doing a great job in making a truly positive difference to the lives of hundreds of children in Cornwall every year but we need more people to come forward.
You don’t have to have a set income, own your own home or be married to be a foster carer. What’s important is you are able to help a child. You can help change a child’s life by becoming a foster carer so please take the time to think about how you can become involved.
Can you help? If so, you can find out more about becoming a foster carer, you can attend the informal drop-in evening from 6pm-8pm on Thursday 11 June, at New County Hall in Truro, or call the Fostering Team on 01872 323 638. www.cornwall.gov.uk/fostering.
If you cannot make this meeting, please get in touch with the service who will be only too willing to help with any questions you have.