Monday (12 May) marks the start of 2014 Foster Care Fortnight, the UK's biggest foster carer recruitment campaign, and members of Wolverhampton City Council's Fostering Team will be out and about over the next 2 weeks offering advice and guidance to individuals and couples who are interested in becoming foster carers.
There are currently dozens of youngsters in Wolverhampton waiting for a foster home and the Fostering Team is keen to hear from people who want to find out more about this vital role.
Nationally, the Fostering Network - which is behind Foster care Fortnight - estimates that at least 8,600 new foster families are needed in 2014 alone.
Emma Bennett, Wolverhampton City Council's Assistant Director for Children, Young People and Families, said: "Here in Wolverhampton, we already have more than 200 foster carers who combine a desire to help children with a dedication to providing the best possible care.
"They currently support around 178 young people but we also have a further 72 youngsters who need a permanent foster home so we urgently need more people to come forward to carry out this vitally important role.
"Our Fostering Team will be out and about at various locations in and around Wolverhampton over the next 2 weeks and are looking forward to meeting people who are either interested in becoming foster carers, or who want to find out a little more about what the role entails."
Foster carers can be sole carers, married or in a relationship - and they won't be on their own as help and support is available 24 hours a day. Placements can be anything from a few days to a number of years, and they receive a regular, tax exempt allowance to cover the cost of bringing up the child.
The city council's foster carers receive 6 months' "buddy support" from experienced foster carers who are there to befriend and guide them through the system. Supervising social workers will provide intensive support for the first 6 weeks of a placement and then every month thereafter, while foster carers can get help from their peers via a dedicated support line. Crèche facilities are even available if foster carers need to attend training sessions or meetings.
Emma added: "Fostering can truly be a life changing experience - both for the foster carers and the young person they care for, and we'd love to hear from people who are interested in helping local children by fostering."
People can find out more about fostering in Wolverhampton by attending one of the many drop in sessions taking place around the city over the next couple of weeks. They include:
- Monday 12 May: Virgin Active, Wolverhampton Business Park, 9am to 12pm and 4pm to 7.30pm; Morrisons, Pendeford, 9am to 3pm
- Tuesday 13 May: Wednesfield Market, 8am to 3pm; Asda, Wolverhampton, 10am to 5pm
- Wednesfield 14 May: Sainsburys, Perton, 9.30am to 3pm; Virgin Active, Wolverhampton Business Park, 9am to 12pm and 4pm to 7.30pm; Willenhall Community Hub, Gomer Street, 9am to 12pm
- Thursday 15 May: Mander Centre, Lower level, 9am to 4pm; Waitrose, Wolverhampton, 10am to 2.30pm
- Friday 16 May: Wolverhampton Market, 8am to 3pm
- Monday 19 May: Virgin Active, Wolverhampton Business Park, 9am to 12pm and 4pm to 7.30pm
- Tuesday 20 May: Wolverhampton Market, 8am to 3pm
- Wednesday 21 May: Virgin Active, Wolverhampton Business Park, 9am to 12pm and 4pm to 7.30pm; Willenhall Community Hub, Gomer Street, 9am to 12pm
- Thursday 22 May: Sainsburys, Perton, 9.30am to 3pm; Asda, Wolverhampton, 10am to 5pm
- Friday 23 May: Wednesfield Market, 8am to 3pm; Mander Centre, Lower level, 9am to 4pm; Waitrose, Wolverhampton, 10am to 2.30pm
Alternatively, people can also find out more by visiting Type=articles;Articleid=3758;Title=Fostering;, where they can also watch video interviews with local foster carers, or by calling 01902 551133.
- released: Friday 9 May, 2014