People in Wolverhampton are being encouraged to give local children the best possible start in life - by opening their homes and becoming foster carers.

Foster Care Fortnight, the UK's biggest foster carer recruitment campaign, gets underway on Monday (16 May, 2016) and members of the Fostering for Wolverhampton Team will be out and about offering advice and guidance to individuals and couples who are thinking of fostering.

Councillor Val Gibson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "We are fortunate that here in Wolverhampton we already have more than 200 people who are fostering local children, but we are looking to recruit at least 30 more carers this year.

"The Fostering for Wolverhampton team will be at various locations in and around the city over the next two weeks and are looking forward to meeting people who are interested in becoming foster carers and want to find out how to go about it, or just want a little more information about what being a foster carer entails."

The drop in sessions are as follows:

  • Monday 16 May: Queen Square, Wolverhampton, 10am to 3pm, Molineux Stadium information evening, 6.30pm to 8pm
  • Tuesday 17 May: Wolverhampton Central Library, 10am to 3pm, Wolverhampton Market, 9am to 3pm

  • Wednesday 18 May: Molineux Stadium coffee morning, 10am to 11.30am, WV Active Bilston Bert-Williams, 12.30pm to 4pm

  • Thursday 19 May: Aldi, Birmingham New Road, 9.30am to 4pm, WV Active Aldersley, 3pm to 7pm

  • Friday 20 May: Waitrose, Penn Road, 9.30am to 4pm

  • Saturday 21 May: Bentley Bridge Retail Park, 8.30am to 4pm

  • Monday 23 May: Bilston Market, 9am to 3pm, Tettenhall Upper Green, 9.30am to 3pm

  • Tuesday 24 May: Wednesfield Market, 9am to 2pm, Shree Krishan Mandir, 7pm to 9.30pm

  • Wednesday 25 May: Sainsbury's, Raglan Street, 8.30am to 4pm, Wolverhampton Central Library, 4pm to 7pm

  • Thursday 26 May: Asda Wolverhampton, 9.30am to 4pm, WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams, 9.30am to 4pm

  • Friday 27 May: Bentley Bridge Retail Park, 9am to 3.30pm, Civic Centre, Wolverhampton, 10am to 3pm

  • Saturday 28 May: Birmingham Pride, 10am to 5pm

Foster carers can be single, married or in a relationship and 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 council's foster carers receive 6 months' support from experienced foster carers who will guide them through the system, while supervising social workers provide intensive support for the first 6 weeks of a placement and then every month thereafter.

Councillor Gibson added: "It's true that fostering involves taking on a tremendous responsibility and will change the carer's life, but our foster families say it is the best thing they have ever done."

Elizabeth Padmore, who with her husband Richard are currently fostering two children, said: "I'd encourage anyone thinking about fostering to follow their heart. There is a child out there who needs you and you will be a blessing to them."

For more details, people are invited to attend one of the drop in sessions listed above. Alternatively, please visit Type=articles;Articleid=3758;Title=Fostering; or call 01902 551133.

  • released: Thursday 12 May, 2016