A child comes into care and needs a foster family every 22 minutes across the UK.
That’s the stark message behind this year’s Foster Care Fortnight, a national drive to recruit more foster carers.
In Northamptonshire the national initiative is supported by a two-week campaign incorporating traditional and digital marketing channels to spread the message as widely as possible that more foster carers are needed.
Councillor Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children, learning and skills, said: “It’s quite staggering that in less than the time it takes to watch your favourite soap opera or cook a tray of oven chips, a child in the UK will have been taken into care and be in need of a fostering placement.
“In Northamptonshire we have had a year-on-year rise in the number of children needing foster care placements and my wish is that we can get an extra 50 fostering households this year.
“The circumstances of a child needing foster care are hugely varied. For some children, it’s the start of a process that will ultimately see them living a new life with a new family; for others, it's a short term need that may be linked to parental mental health issues or domestic violence.
“Irrespective of the variety of circumstances, what all these children have in common is that they need security, a loving family and to feel valued. We take foster carers from all walks of life, and the carers we need are as diverse as the children who need fostering.”
In Northamptonshire there are currently 158 couples and 62 individuals providing foster care.
There are different types of fostering including short-term and permanence. Foster carers are paid an allowance and a further payment which increases as the carers skills increase.
A series of informal information events is taking place across the county throughout Foster Care Fortnight where people can find out more about fostering:
• 10.30am to 12noon, May 15th at Northamptonshire Central Library
• 10.30am to 12noon, May 16th Weston Favell Library
• 10.30am to 12.30pm, 19th May Weston Favell Library
• 10.30am to 12noon, 21st May at Daventry Library
• 10.30am to 12.30pm, 23 May at Kettering Library
• 2pm to 3.30pm, 23 May at Wellingborough Library
• 10.30am to 12.30pm, 26 May Northamptonshire Central Library
• A specially-extended open evening is being held at the council’s John Dryden House offices in Northampton on Wednesday 23 May It is an informal evening, including a barbeque, so anyone interested can come along anytime between 6pm and 9pm and speak to foster carers, social workers and the support services offered to carers.
For more information call the fostering recruitment line on 0300 126 1009 or visit our website www.fosterme.co.uk