Cambridgeshire County Council launches campaign to find new foster carers
Cambridge Independent joins Team Cambridgeshire to help cause
Here in Cambridgeshire there are more than 700 children currently in care.
It’s a lot of children – and it is what has prompted the county council to launch its Team Cambridgeshire campaign to encourage more people to consider becoming foster carers. Many of the youngsters in care end up being sent out of the county to homes, due to a lack of places here.
The launch event at the Abbey Stadium, explained how comprehensive training, 24-hour support and generous allowances are available to those who sign up to change young lives. Carers can also earn additional payments as they develop their skills and experience.
Foster carers can be single, married, in a civil partnership or living with a partner – and they can be from any ethnic background or of any sexuality.
The type of fostering a specific carer is most suited to will depend on factors such as skills, experience and availability. Those with children can work fostering around their own lifestyle and their own family.
Cllr Simon Bywater, chairman of the council’s children and young people’s committee, told the Cambridge Independent: “We’re launching our Team Cambridgeshire fostering campaign to try to attract foster carers from within Cambridgeshire.
There is a wide variety of children that we need to support and we’re reaching out to the community to support them.
“We’ve got more than 700 children in care within Cambridgeshire, who we look after at the moment, and it’s a continual pressure.
“We want to try to keep our children in Cambridgeshire and not send them out of county. We want them to be near their family because the ultimate goal is to get them back to their own family because that’s the best outcome for children.”
Cllr Bywater stressed that there are few limitations when it comes to being a foster parent.
“Children come from all walks and backgrounds of society, so we want our foster carers to come from all walks and backgrounds of society.
“And there are different types of fostering – there’s short-term placements, weekend placements. We can help people go on that journey and go through that process.”
Wendi Ogle-Welbourn, executive director, people and communities at the county council, added: “A lot of people think that you’ve got to be married – you haven’t, you can be single.
“You don’t have to have your own home, you can be renting, you don’t have to be working, you can be unemployed – you can be retired.
“Actually, retired people have got a lot of time on their hands, so we would welcome that.
“We welcome any ethnicity, any sexuality – anyone who genuinely wants to make a difference to the lives of children, locally, we would welcome.
“If you’ve got some time to offer and you want to make a difference, contact us.”
To find out more about joining Team Cambridgeshire, call 0800 0520078 or visit cambridgeshire.gov.uk/fostering.