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Foster care campaign launch

PUBLISHED: 12:57 17 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:47 30 June 2010

EFFORTS are being stepped up to recruit more foster carers with launch today of Foster Care Fortnight.

Norfolk County Council launched its I Am Hope Campaign in January, aimed at recruiting 50 new foster carers to look after some of the county's most vulnerable children and young people.

EFFORTS are being stepped up to recruit more foster carers with launch today of Foster Care Fortnight.

Norfolk County Council launched its I Am Hope Campaign in January, aimed at recruiting 50 new foster carers to look after some of the county's most vulnerable children and young people.

The campaign has so far led to 222 enquiries and a significant increase in hits on the fostering page of the county council's website.

However, there are still children waiting for foster families across the county and they need carers to ensure they can remain in Norfolk, close to their friends and support network.

Recruiting an additional 50 carers would save £1.5m per year meaning more children could stay in Norfolk, near their extended families and school.

An estimated £6.3m was overspent on agency placements last year and the council wants to deliver a more efficient service.

More carers particularly need to be recruited to look after adolescents and mothers with babies.

Cabinet member for children's services Alison Thomas said: “Children coming into care have often missed out on the stability and support they desperately need and we will always do our best to ensure they can stay in the county, close to their friends, school and extended family.

“To do this we are totally reliant on Norfolk's foster carers and we must recruit more to ensure that children are getting the absolute best start they can in life.

“Foster carers do a fantastic job every day, in caring for some of the county's most vulnerable young people. It is not a job for everyone and carers need to have a combination of skills and attributes to ensure they can provide the level of care needed.

“I am sure that there are people in the county who have thought about fostering, who would make fantastic carers and I would urge them to get in contact with us and think about the difference they could make.

“Fostering is a remarkable vocation, which brings tremendous rewards to both carers and children.”

Applications are accepted from adults of any age, background, religion or sexuality.

A range of fostering opportunities includes:

Task-centred fostering - providing a safe place for a child for anything from a night to over a year, while social workers work with the family to see if the child can return home;

Long-term fostering - where children cannot return home but need to stay in contact with their families;

Short-breaks - where carers look after children at weekends or during holidays.

Permanent foster care - carers offer a place to a child for the rest of their childhood.

Foster carers are provided with a scale of allowances and are supported and trained by social work staff and fellow foster carers.

For more information, call 0800 005 007, or email: fostering@norfolk.gov.


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