News: Appeal for Foster Carers during Foster Care Fortnight

May 12, 2017 by

Local foster families in Southend-on-Sea have been part of an exciting new promotional campaign to encourage more people to consider fostering this Foster Care Fortnight.

The campaign highlights the fact that the children in need of support are from our local community and that foster carers can inspire young people to be what they want to be when they grow up.

Around 100 Southend-on-Sea foster carers provide safe and loving homes for hundreds of children each year, but with a number retiring and demand continuing to be high, up to 25 new foster families are likely to be needed this year.

To help raise awareness of the need and inspire the next generation, existing foster carers in Southend-on-Sea are involved in the video and telling their stories this Foster Care Fortnight – an annual campaign by the Fostering Network, which runs from Monday, 8 May until Sunday, 21 May. 

Among them is Tina, who started fostering three years ago as a way of giving something back. She has looked after children from two to 15 years old.   

Tina says: “My children persuaded me to foster. I thought that because I was single I would not be able to but the foster team welcomed me with open arms.  I believe that having a good community starts with bringing up children, and that’s what fostering is. I always say to the children that come here what do you want to be when you grow up?  One little boy said I think I’ll be a tramp. Now he wants to be a scientist and cure cancer!  If you are thinking about fostering just go for it, you probably have more of the qualities needed than you think”.

John O’Loughlin, Director of Children’s Services says: “Foster Care Fortnight is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the massive difference fostering can make to children’s lives. We believe that our children in Southend can be whatever they want to be. All they need is love, support and stability. Foster carers offer care to children at a crucial time in their lives.

We encourage anyone who is thinking about fostering to come to our event or get in touch with the team. You will be joining a tremendous team of existing foster carers in Southend-on-Sea.”

A high proportion of children who come into care are aged ten and over so there is also a particular need for foster carers who can provide homes for older children, as well as those who can accommodate sibling groups and children with disabilities.

Prospective foster carers must have a spare bedroom, be financially stable and available before and after school and during the school holidays.

As well as the chance to make a difference to the lives of young people in Southend-on-Sea, you will receive local training and support and a competitive financial package.

To find out more about the exciting opportunities to foster through Southend-on--Sea, come along to our open evening on 18 May at the Civic Centre between 6-8 pm or contact Dawn Webb 01702 212155.

To view the promotional campaign photos and video, click here.