Life under Covid 19 has been tough for everyone; extended lockdowns have put extreme pressure on households across the UK and those stresses inevitably impact on the work of local social services.
Every 20 minutes a young person comes into care and needs to be placed with a foster family in the UK and here in Cornwall that equates to nearly 500 children and young people being in care at any given time.
Cornwall Council’s Together for Families works tirelessly to find the best routes forward for every single child in its care within Cornwall, to enable them to thrive and reach their full potential, whether that be working with birth families, fostering or adoption.
There are many reasons why children need foster care; in our current situation, it could be that illness in the family means the child can’t be looked after at home for a short while, or it could be a longer term issue that means they need care in a stable and nurturing environment for an extended period of time.
Covid 19 inevitably pressurised existing foster caring situations as well and Cornwall Council put out a successful call to its own employees as well as people across Cornwall last year, to find temporary carers able to step in should our existing carers be unable to look after the children in their care.
As we come out of what may be our final lockdown, there is still a shortage of foster carers and adopters across the country and the situation is no different here, as Cornwall Council’s Together for Families fostering service manager Julie Goodwin explains: “We have truly amazing carers in Cornwall but the national trend suggests there are fewer new carers coming forward, so if you’ve got the time and you are ready to make a difference, we’d love to hear from you.”
As Cabinet Member for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health, Sally Hawken, adds: “Our aim is not only to have the best support network in the country, but to also have the best trained, skilled and informed foster carers to bring about the most positive change for all children and young people in care.”
If you’ve ever thought about adopting, Cornwall Council’s Adoption teams will also be there to hold your hand every step of the way, from initial enquiry to when you have been matched with a child or children and beyond, offering expert insights and advice on different types of parenting, access to professional therapeutic support, mentoring and the latest ideas and thinking about how to help a child that has experienced trauma or abuse in their young lives.
Are you ready to make a difference to a child’s life? If so, now is the time to act. We currently have 25 children we are looking to find forever homes for, including 5 sibling groups. Cornwall Council urgently needs adopters from all walks of life to reflect the diversity of the children in our care, especially those who could take on a sibling group, and as we approach LGBT+ fostering and adoption week (March 1-7), we reach out to members of all communities who want to find out more about how they can make that difference.
For more information about LGBT+ Fostering and adoption week, visit www.newfamilysocial.org.uk
Are you ready to start your fostering or adoption journey? If so, Cornwall Council is ready to make it happen.