Council calls for more foster carers

This Foster Care Fortnight (14 – 27 May), Cornwall Council is appealing for people to come forward as potential foster carers to look after vulnerable children and young people who are unable to live with their families.

Looking after vulnerable children is everyone’s business, and with 460 children in Cornwall unable to live at home, there is an urgent need for many more foster carers who are able to offer them guidance, stability and love. There is also a need for people who can care for a child or young person permanently until they reach independence.

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Children and young people may be unable to live with their families for a number of reasons such as their parents being ill, family relationships problems or because they have suffered from abuse or neglect.

Michelle and Dan are foster carers in Cornwall and have cared for nearly 20 children and young people over the years. They said:  “Fostering for us means that we are making a difference in children’s lives. Watching sad, anxious faces slowly changing into happy and confident ones, and rebuilding the trust that they have lost. It can be challenging sometimes and even heart breaking but the results are so rewarding. This is the best thing we have ever done in our lives. We love it with all our hearts”

Paul, a young person who has been in foster care, said: "Being in foster care has changed my life for the better. I came from a negative place but being in care has given me the chance to achieve."

Cornwall Council Cabinet member for Children and Wellbeing Sally Hawken said: "Foster carers do an amazing job and can be so important in raising the self-confidence and aspirations of the children and young people they look after. What’s important is that they have time, energy and patience to give a child or young person."

"Many people have misconceptions about fostering, and worry that they may not be eligible. Our foster carers are of all ages and from all walks of life and all have different life experiences. This ranges from single people, young or old, married and same sex couples and caring professionals, to empty nesters and people from different cultures and religious backgrounds. Fostering can a fantastic and rewarding experience, and many of our children and young people live with the same foster family throughout their childhood, providing them with great security and emotional permanence.

"All of our foster carers get comprehensive training and support and there is a continual development programme that covers a wide range of subjects."

To find out more about becoming a foster carer, call the Fostering Team on 01872 323 638 or visit  www.fosterincornwall.co.uk

Posted on 15 May