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Campaign Launched For Sefton's Children Waiting For Foster Places


DO SOMETHING INCREDIBLE

A region-wide recruitment campaign launched today (Monday September 12 2016) will highlight the need for more than 700 new Local Authority fostering households, and invite local people to do something incredible.

Sefton Council is one of 23 local authorities backing the #youcanfoster campaign which aims to address the North West’s fostering goals.

Local authority professionals behind the campaign want to dispel some of the out-dated misconceptions about children in foster care as well as those around who is eligible to foster - and attract more people to step forward and find out more.

Across England around 52,000 children and young people are in foster placements, 9,000 of them in the North West.* Around 3,400 families foster for their local authority.*

Securing a stable home environment for foster children is vital if they are to have the best chances in life and realise their ambitions.

The campaign launched today is aimed at replacing foster carers leaving due to retirement and natural turnover, combined with an increase in the numbers of looked after children.

Sefton currently has more than 15 children and young people awaiting foster placements. Sefton Council was keen to lend its support to the campaign and urge local people and families to step forward and find out more.

As part of the You Can Foster campaign, Sefton Council’s Fostering and Adoption Service is hosting a free information session for anyone considering foster carer on 21 September, 6.30pm at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre in Waterloo. Sefton’s expert teams and experienced carers will be on-hand to answer all fostering questions.

Pam Killen who transferred from an agency to foster with Sefton Council is currently caring for three siblings. “I always knew that one day I would foster. I’ve worked with children for most of my career; once my children had grown up I knew it was the right time for me. 6 years later and I’ve not looked back. One of the most rewarding things is to see the achievements they make, something that seems simple to us can be a giant step for them. Seeing how far they’ve come since first coming to live with you is an amazing feeling.

John-Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Families, said:

“Like our friends and neighbours in North West local authorities, we’re asking people to think about fostering by challenging the ideas they have about who can and cannot foster children and what is involved in fostering children, especially older children, who are wrongly seen as harder to care for. Above all, I want local residents to think about one of the most rewarding vocations there is. The upcoming information session being hosted by our fostering service is a really good opportunity to find out about fostering and if it is right for you.”

Charlotte Ramsden, Strategic Director of Children and Adults Services representing You Can Foster said: “In the UK as whole and even just the North West, we have thousands of children who need foster care and we need more carers to provide the support and stable homes that these young people need to really thrive.

“People have a lot of preconceived ideas about why they might be ruled out as foster carers but the only thing that matters is the support you can offer the child. Whether you are older, single or never had children, you can foster. Foster carers don’t need superpowers, they just need to be able to provide a solid and reliable foundation for children and young people to find theirs.”

She added: “If you are interested in fostering then your Local Authority is the best place to find out more. More people turn to their Local Authorities than any other fostering provider. Foster carers across the North West are benefiting from the support and training they provide.”

Pam Killen said: “Transferring to Sefton from an agency has been the best move for me. Fostering is not always easy and good support is crucial. I have a fantastic relationship with my supervising social worker and even when she’s not available there’s always someone from the team ready to help. Another great aspect is the training on offer, it’s very comprehensive, so it doesn’t matter how much you’ve done there’s always something new to learn.”

Recruitment priorities for the region include places for

  • Brothers and sisters – including sibling groups of 3 or more children/young people.

  • Older children/young people – over half of all Looked After Children are 10 or older

  • Children from BME communities, in particular black children and increasingly those from new migrant communities

  • Long term – where children and young people are not be able to live with their own families for a number of years, if at all. Children and young people stay in a family where they feel secure, while maintaining contact with their birth family.

  • Children with complex/additional needs including behaviour that challenges – this is an identified priority for a number of Local Authorities including the need for ‘short break’ carers (carers providing a variety of different types of part-time care. Stays for anything from a few hours each week to a couple of weekends each month, giving their own family or their full time foster carers a break.)

For more information on fostering visit http://youcanfoster.org/

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