Stockton Council is appealing for more people to think about becoming foster carers to help support some of the most vulnerable young people in the area.
Stockton’s Fostering team is hosting an information evening this Thursday 7 May at All Saints Academy in Ingleby Barwick for people to drop-in between 6pm and 8pm to find out about the process, support and training available.
There are around 380 children and young people across Stockton on Tees who, for various reasons, cannot live with their birth families and need to be looked after.
There is a shortage of foster carers across Stockton-on-Tees needed to look after children of primary school age and teenagers, as well as groups of brothers and sisters to avoid separating them.
More carers are also needed to foster children on a long-term basis until they reach adulthood and are able to live independently.
Many people rule themselves out of fostering before even making an enquiry.
In fact, there is no upper age limit to foster you can be any age, as long as you’re over 26. You can also be single or divorced, gay or lesbian, employed or unemployed, and a homeowner or tenant. Other factors such as ethnicity and religion do not prevent you from fostering.
Jackie Ward, Child Placement team manager at Stockton Council, said: “Children and young people come into care for a wide range of reasons but all come needing professional and compassionate support.
“Our foster carers are inspirational people who open their homes to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people. Many say it’s the best thing they’ve ever done, however we urgently need more people to think about fostering and we’d encourage people to make an enquiry with the Council or come along to our event.”
To book a place at the event or if you would like more information about fostering and adoption, call Stockton Council’s Child Placement team on (01642) 526218 or visit www.stockton.gov.uk