Stoke-on-Trent City Council is making an urgent call to recruit foster carers, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, as the authority prepares to begin a carefully considered recovery plan.
There is a huge need for more foster carers in Stoke-on-Trent with 932 cared for children currently in the city and sadly the result of the coronavirus pandemic could lead to more children needing foster homes.
The city council is now marking Foster Care Fortnight as part of its recruitment drive. It already supports almost 300 fostering families across the city, but urgently needs to recruit more carers to help to provide children with loving homes and keep them in the area where they live with familiar surroundings.
Councillor Abi Brown, leader of the city council, said: “The need to find foster carers and loving homes for children remains very high. The coronavirus situation has caused disruption to many of our services, but we're still recruiting new foster carers, and need their support just as much as ever. We're also asking people who have fostered before to think about whether they could lend a hand in case of more demand being placed on the system as the pandemic continues.
“Now more than ever we are urging those who might have been thinking about fostering for a while, or those who may not have previously considered it but feel they can offer a loving home, to begin the process now. We are committed to supporting vulnerable children and we want to ensure that we give all our cared for children and young people the best possible start.
“There really is no typical foster carer. Anyone can come forward and make such a big difference in a child’s life regardless of age, gender, religious or cultural background, sexual orientation or if you are married, single or divorced. Our friendly team will be more than happy to talk you through the process step-by-step.”
Foster Care Fortnight is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, delivered by fostering charity The Fostering Network. It takes place between Monday 11 May and Sunday 24 May.
If you would like to know more about becoming a foster carer in Stoke-on-Trent then why not start your fostering journey by visiting www.stoke.gov.uk/fostering or calling 01782 234555. We also have some virtual events taking place over the fortnight to give people an insight into being a foster carer, including:
- Virtual coffee/tea morning on the city council’s fostering Facebook page on Thursday, May 14 at 10.30am with a foster carer and social worker to answer any questions
- Facebook Live chat on the city council’s Facebook page on Tuesday, May 19 with Councillor Abi Brown, leader of the city council, and Gill Guy-Edwards, the council’s strategic manager for corporate parenting. The time will be advertised beforehand.
Meanwhile, car parks will re-open at city council-run green spaces across the city from tomorrow (Wednesday). The move follows the Government’s updated guidance on exercising and staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Visitors must still be mindful around social distancing when visiting and stay least two metres apart from people who are not members of their household. We are asking visitors to keep dogs on leads to help observe social distancing rules and not to have barbecues, light fires, or dispose of cigarettes carelessly. Toilets will remain closed until additional hygiene and social distancing arrangements have been put in place and visitors should plan accordingly. Playgrounds will also remain closed across the city in line with national guidance.