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Wednesday 3 November 2010

Cheshire East Joins Region’s Biggest Ever Fostering Campaign


Cheshire East Council is joining forces with local authorities across the North West to tackle a dramatic shortfall in the number of people becoming foster carers in the region.

Some 23 Councils have come together to create the largest ever regional fostering campaign under the banner: You Can Foster.

The campaign aims to dispel many of the widely-held myths about foster caring, while showcasing the diversity of foster carers throughout the region and how they can make a real difference to a child’s life.

You Can Foster launches this week across TV, radio, print and social media, featuring real-life foster carers as the ‘faces’ of the campaign.

It will urge people to consider whether they can offer a secure, safe and caring home for a child who cannot live with their own family.

In the North West alone there is a shortfall of 1,700 foster carers, presenting a greater need than ever for new carers. The shortfall across England is more than 8,200.

Earlier this year, Cheshire East Council launched a campaign to recruit 40 new foster carer households to help the authority look after an increasing number of cared-for children.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and families, said: “We are extremely proud to be part of You Can Foster – the most dynamic and far-reaching campaign North West local authorities have undertaken in the field of foster care.

“Despite the success of our own recent foster care recruitment campaign, we still desperately need more people to come forward to be carers.

“The regional campaign aims to raise awareness of the shortage of foster carers across the North West and urge people to consider whether they could fill this important role.

“It is important to understand that there is no such thing as the typical foster carer. We need a diverse range of people with different skills and qualities, so more children can be placed in the right home.

“I urge anyone who thinks they may have the skills to foster to make contact and find out more about this hugely rewarding role.”

Currently, there are 180 foster carer households looking after more than 300 children in Cheshire East.

Foster carers come from all walks of life and may be married, living together or single and may or may not have children of their own.

They provide many different types of care including emergency overnight stays, short and intermediate-term care, short breaks for children with disabilities and long-term support until the young person reaches adulthood.

Foster carers are paid an allowance to cover the daily costs of looking after each child, plus holiday, birthday and Christmas allowances. They are also paid a fee, depending on skills and experience.

Anyone wishing to find out more about fostering via the campaign can visit the website or telephone 0800 634 7052.

More information about fostering in Cheshire East can be found on the Council’s website or by contacting the fostering and adoption team on 0300 123 3223.

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