A new campaign to recruit more foster carers has been launched to find loving homes for some of the 1,000 children in care in Northamptonshire.
As part of the campaign, foster carers are sharing their experiences of caring for vulnerable children and young people in the hope of encouraging more people to sign up with Northamptonshire County Council’s fostering service.
Foster carer Paul Martin, from Northampton, said: “As a foster family we have looked after over 25 children in nine years. Our journey has taken us to places we thought we would never go.
“Our experiences have enriched our lives and those of the children we have cared for. We have found fostering both challenging and rewarding, but being able to make a difference in a child's life at a time of crisis is why we continue to do what we do.”
A part of the campaign, foster carers and members of the county council’s fostering team will be in the Grosvenor Centre in Northampton next week, where there will also be a display of children’s shoes spelling out ‘1,000’ created by Paul to represent the 1,000 children currently in care in Northamptonshire.
There are many different types of fostering, including short term, permanent, emergency foster care, remand foster care, providing homes for siblings or even short breaks for parents of children with disabilities.
County council deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services Cllr Matthew Golby said: “Our foster carers tell is that welcoming a child or young person into their home is one of the most life-changing and rewarding things they’ve ever done.
“There are currently more than 1,000 vulnerable children and young people in Northamptonshire and many of them could benefit from a stable loving home, whether that’s for a short respite break or a longer term fostering arrangement.
“We are looking for people who have the time and living situation to foster a child or young person, who are physically and mentally fit, and who above all want to make a difference.”
Northamptonshire County Council offers a full training and support package for its foster carers, and carers receive a competitive weekly payment which is higher than the government recommended rates.
Find out more
To find out more, come along to an information event at Caroline Chisholm School in Wootton Fields, Northampton, on Thursday 21st September between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.
Further information is also available at www.fosterme.co.uk or by calling 0300 126 1009.