People who have considered fostering or adopting a child are being encouraged to find out more about what can be a life changing experience - both for them and the young person they care for.

With an increasing number of children coming into care - both locally and nationally - Wolverhampton needs more individuals or families who can offer a loving home to young people on a short or long term basis.

As well as a growing number of children looking for a foster home, there are also around 60 children in Wolverhampton currently waiting for adoption, giving opportunities to people who can give a warm welcome to a new, permanent member of the family.

Councillor Val Gibson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: "Nationally more children are coming into care, partly because of a raised awareness of safeguarding following terrible cases like that of Daniel Pelka, and also because of the economic downturn, which is leading to more family breakdowns.

"The situation is no different in Wolverhampton and while the council does all it can to enable a child or young person to remain with their family, in some cases this is just not possible.

"Our foster families and adoptive parents do a truly fantastic job for vulnerable children and young people in the city - one which has a lasting impact on both their lives, and the lives of the children and young people they care for."

On average around 25 children a month come into the care system locally, with the majority being placed with foster families - and this has created a national shortage of foster carers.

Councillor Gibson continued: "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.

"But we need more people to carry out this role and we would love to hear from people who are interested in offering their help by fostering.

"Where possible, we like to place children with our own foster carers so they have the benefits of remaining in their local community.

"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.

"We're particularly looking for people who are able to share their home with siblings or older children."

The city council's foster carers receive 6 months' "buddy support" from experienced 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 when they need to attend training sessions or meetings.

Councillor Gibson said the council is also appealing for people interested in becoming adoptive parents to get in touch to find out more about the role.

"It is a sad fact that some children are simply unable to remain with their birth family, because of neglect, abuse or perhaps just because their parents are unable to cope," she said. "Adoption is one of the best ways we know of giving these children a new family for life and it's crucial that loving and permanent families are found for them."

Anyone interested in finding out more about fostering is asked to call Wolverhampton City Council on 01902 551133 or visit Type=articles;Articleid=3758;Title=Fostering;.

For more information about adoption please call Adoption in the Black Country on 0800 0730 597 or log on to Type=links;Linkid=3189;Title=Adoption in the Black Country;Target=_blank;.

People can hear the fostering experiences of 2 Wolverhampton families by Type=articles;Articleid=3761;Title=watching short films; produced by Wolverhampton City Council.

  • released: Friday 21 February, 2014