Services to support people to foster have adapted so that they can continue to recruit vital foster carers through the coronavirus outbreak.
The Stoke-on-Trent City Council fostering service has been unable to hold their regular face-to-face information evenings to help recruit foster carers. Instead, they’ve been holding a number of virtual events on the fostering Facebook page to answer questions and encourage people to come forward to provide stable, supportive and loving family homes for local children.
The service has adapted from face-to-face initial visits to virtual visits taking place through video calls on mobile devices. Residents interested in becoming foster carers are now using online courses to complete training and receive support from the fostering team, and panel meetings, which make recommendations on the suitability of applicants, are also taking place through video calls.
Cabinet member for children and young people, councillor Dave Evans said: “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. Being a foster carer can be a massively rewarding experience and you can have a hugely positive impact on the life of a local child.
“We currently have 294 fostering households. Last year we approved 25 new carers but with more than 940 children in care there is still a huge need for more foster carers to come forward. 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.
“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, whether or not you work, 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.
“If you’ve ever thought about fostering I’d urge you to get in touch and start your fostering journey with us now.”
If you would like to know more about becoming a foster carer in Stoke-on-Trent visit www.stoke.gov.uk/fostering or call 01782 234555.
For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 236156.