Fostering Fortnight begins this week with Barnet Council highlighting the essential role foster carers play throughout the borough.
The theme for this year’s Fostering Fortnight, which runs from 8 – 21 May, is ‘Proud to Foster’.
There are close to 64,000 children who live in foster families across the UK. In Barnet, there are 118 foster carers who care for around 190 of the children and young people.
The Fostering Network estimates that fostering services will need to recruit a further 5,900 foster families in England over the coming year, underlining the importance of encouraging more people to consider becoming a foster carer.
Chris Munday, Commissioning Director for Children and Young People, said: “The number of children in need of a foster home is growing. Having a happy and stable home provides children and young people with an environment in which they can succeed and that is why it’s vital we get more foster carers. The more help we can provide, the more likely it is that these young people will be healthy, happy and stay in school.
“As we strive to be the most Family Friendly borough in London by 2020 we are always encouraging more people to join this programme and become foster carers. If you can provide a caring and stable environment for our young people, please contact us.”
Sonia has been a foster carer in Barnet for five years and is currently caring for two girls. She said: “We first became foster carers because we wanted to help children. A lot of the children who come in really grasp the opportunity with both hands and it’s amazing to see the progress they make while they’re in your care.
“The reward you get from seeing a child flourish from the care you give them is incredible. With the right care and support, anything is possible. Becoming a foster carer is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
During Fostering Fortnight there will be a number of opportunities for residents to drop in and have a chat to find out more about fostering and what is involved. It will also be a chance to speak to a member of the recruitment team and a foster carer in a relaxed environment.
Information events taking place during the fortnight include:
• London Consortium Information Session on 10 May from 6-8pm, at The Camden Centre, Bidborough Street (just off Euston Road and opposite the Dolphin Pub), WC1H 9AU
• South Friern Library drop-in session on 11 May from 10am-1pm
• Costa Coffee Drop-in Session on 11 May from 2pm at 1287 High Road, Whetstone N20 9HS
• Church End Library drop-in session on 12 May at 2pm
• Chipping Library drop-in session on 17 May at 2pm
Barnet values the important role foster carers undertake, and the support package for foster carers includes in-depth training and a payment scheme.
More information can be found at www.barnet.gov.uk/fostering, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 020 8359 6274.