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Tuesday 17 May 2011

Council backs drive to boost number of foster parents

Fostering Fortnight Poster

Cheshire East Council is backing a campaign to boost the number of foster carers for children.

It follows a survey which reveals teenagers are the most at risk of missing out on a stable family life due to a shortage of foster families.

The charity Fostering Network study of 128 fostering services revealed that finding foster families for teenagers is now their top priority – with 80 per cent reporting that the shortage of such carers is most acute for children aged 11 to 15.

More than half (52 per cent) reported that the pressure to find foster families for teenagers is worse than last year. Youngsters aged 11-15 make up 40 per cent of all children in care.

Local authorities from across the region are working together again for the latest part of the You Can Foster campaign. The Foster Care Fortnight recruitment and awareness drive begins today (May 16).

Advertising bikes, a poster campaign, leaflets and social media networks will be among the methods used by Cheshire East Council to spread the message across the Borough. A gingerbread men decorating competition for schools will also help promote the fostering campaign.

Foster carers will also be heard on radio stations, asking more people to come forward and look into how they too can change a person’s life for the better.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “I hope this campaign persuades people who may have never thought about becoming a foster carer, to take up the role. Fostering can be a hugely rewarding experience and we are always looking for more people – particularly to care for teenagers.

“Foster care provides a stable, safe and caring home for children going through a challenging time. Teenagers are missing out at a stage in their lives when a good foster family could make all the difference, helping them to achieve at school and prepare for adult life.

“Fostering doesn’t have to be on a long-term basis, it can involve just looking after a child for a shorter period, such as a weekend.

“Foster carers play a vital role in helping the Council improve the life opportunities and health of young people in Cheshire East.”

A similar Cheshire East campaign last year was hailed a success. The Council’s fostering and adoption team received triple the number of enquiries it would expect in an average month following the high-profile campaign.  

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

To find out more information about fostering go to:

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