Celebrities are backing a campaign encouraging people in Wolverhampton to give children the best possible start in life - by becoming foster carers.

The appeal comes in the run up to this year's Foster Care Fortnight, which takes place from Monday 13 May to Sunday 26 May, 2013.

There are currently 70 youngsters in Wolverhampton waiting for a permanent foster home, and Wolverhampton City Council's Fostering Team is keen to hear from people who want to find out more about this vital role.

Nationally, the Fostering Network estimates that at least 9,000 new foster families are needed in 2013 alone and so it has launched Get in the Frame, a campaign supported by celebrities including singer Gareth Gates and TV chef Lorraine Pascale which urges people to put themselves in the frame and become foster carers.

Councillor Susan Constable, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: "Here in Wolverhampton, we have more than 200 foster carers who combine a desire to help children with a dedication to providing the best possible care.

"They support around 250 young people but we also have a further 70 youngsters who need a permanent foster home, and so we would love to hear from anyone who feels that becoming a foster carer may be for them."

People 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. They receive a regular, tax-exempt income as part of the role.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a foster carer can find out more at a special information event being held on Wednesday 22 May, 2013, where they will be able to speak to existing foster families about their experiences. Members of the Fostering Team will also be on hand to talk about the role.

The event takes place at Bushbury Triangle Children's Centre, Stanley Road, Bushbury, between 9.30am and 9pm, and refreshments and a crèche are also available. Places in the crèche should be booked in advance.

Alternatively, people can find out more by calling the Fostering Team on 01902 551133 or by logging on to Type=links;Linkid=1669;Title=;Target=_blank;.

Backing the Get in the Frame campaign. Gareth Gates, who is the son of a foster carer, said: "I am proud to be from a fostering family. My parents put themselves in the frame to care for some of the UK's most vulnerable children - they offered a home, security, stability and love to children because they wanted to make a difference to their lives."

And Lorraine Pascale, who spent time in foster care as a child, added: "I'm putting myself in the frame during the Fostering Network's Foster Care Fortnight because I want people to know that great foster carers helped me when I needed someone to be there for me the most.

"Growing up in and around the care system isn't easy. So if you think you can be there for some of the UK's most vulnerable children then go on, I urge you, put yourself in the frame today and consider being a foster carer."

Jackie Sanders, of the Fostering Network, said: "It is so important that people come forward and find out whether they have the skills needed to become foster carers. If all the children in care in the UK today were brought together they would fill the Olympic Stadium. The UK's foster carers look after most of these children, almost 62,000 on any one day, and they have earned the support of the stars."

People can find out more about Foster Care Fortnight by visiting Type=links;Linkid=1670;Title=;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Friday 3 May, 2013