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Could you be the difference this Foster Care Fortnight?

We might all be in lockdown, but that doesn’t mean the need for people to take children in care has gone away. That’s why Cornwall Council is launching a fresh appeal at the start of Foster Care Fortnight to recruit new foster carers to help support the 450 young people currently in care across the county.

As the country enters the seventh week of lockdown, this huge change to everyday life can place severe strain on some families which could result in some of them reaching crisis point.

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Cabinet Member for Children, Health and Well Being, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Fostering transforms the lives of children by providing safe and stable environments for them to thrive and we have a dedicated recruitment team on hand to take your call.  We can progress your enquiry by phone or video call during this self-isolation period.”

Our recruitment team is following the government advice and are taking all the necessary steps during the fostering process. If your application progresses then we will discuss the next stages with you which will include a face to face visit as part of the assessment process, this will adhere to the social distancing rules at all times.

Sally continued: “While many of us have family and friends who are there to support us in these difficult times, there are many children and young people across Cornwall who are in need of that support more than ever.

All carers receive training, 24 hour access to support, along with allowances. As a foster carer you need to have the time, patience and determination to support and help vulnerable children and young people who are living away from their families. You will need to be over 21 and have a spare bedroom in your home.

Kay Harris and her partner are two of the latest foster carers to be approved in Cornwall, she says: “We had been going through the process for some time , but the final stage was dealt with very quickly and now we are ready now to support a young person in Cornwall. We’ve had great support from our social worker and our foster care mentor through the application process and they are keeping in touch with us regularly.

Across Cornwall there is a diverse range of young people in care and this means foster carers need to come from a variety of backgrounds and have different life experiences. The children range in age from newborn to teenagers, and some are sibling groups but like all children, they need to be part of a family where they are nurtured and feel safe.

 Kay added: “My son who is 17 is asking me every day is someone coming today; so as a family we are all really looking forward to welcoming someone new into our home. 

“During this current period we have all got to come together and support each other as a community and that’s why we are really excited to become foster carers and are just waiting for that call. We would encourage anyone else to do the same and if you have ever considered fostering, now is the time to take that first step.”

There is a need for thousands more foster carers every year across the UK. Foster carers come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a wide range of life and work experiences with them. They work as part of a team of professionals and receive training to develop the skills required to meet the needs of children in their care. Alongside this professionalism, they offer children love, warmth and stability.

If you would like to know more, then please visit www.cornwall.gov.uk and search fostering or call our recruitment team on 01872 323 638.