10 May 2010

Social workers and staff from Northamptonshire County Council’s communications team will be putting themselves into the shoes of looked after children tonight (May 10th) as they embark on a sleep out.

Eight members of staff will be spending the night at a local community centre to try and see what it’s like for a child when they are placed in foster care with new surroundings and new routines.

When a child is taken into care by the county council they are placed with foster carers and despite all the good work the authority’s foster carers do, the uncertainty of how long they will be away, the added stress linked to separation from family, friends and the factors that may have led to them needing to be in foster care in the first instance, can have a huge effect on the child.

Cabinet member for children and young people Councillor Andrew Grant said: "Clearly we don’t put our children and young people in community centres and the staff who are involved in this are only there for one night, but we thought it was an excellent way to get the staff and those who will read and hear about it to start to think about what it’s like for a child to go into care.

“The purpose of this scenario is to also highlight our need for more foster carers who can give the children and young people we do take into care, a loving and stable home.”

Tonight’s sleep out is a precursor for Foster Care Fortnight which runs from May 17th to May 30th.

Bus advertising and radio adverts will be running all month with our new slogan 'Don't let this generation down...children in Northamptonshire are in need of your support and care...could you be the next generation of foster carers?'

Anyone interested in fostering can call the county council on 0300 126 1009 or get more information on our website www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/adoptionfostering