Appeal to boost county’s fostering team during national awareness fortnight
Oxfordshire residents are being urged to consider whether they could change a child’s life by becoming a foster carer.
The council is appealing for more people to come forward during national Foster Care Fortnight (from 16 May) and is hosting a special information event next Wednesday (details below) for anyone interested in finding out more.
The council has welcomed more than 40 new foster carers to the service in the last year, but more are needed to ensure the growing number of children in care can be looked after within Oxfordshire, closer to family, friends and local schools.
Training and support
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “As always, we need more people to consider whether they could change a child’s life by fostering. There are huge rewards in being able to make a difference to a young person’s life. The council also offers excellent training and support, as well as financial allowances.
“We need to increase the number of Oxfordshire foster carers so we can provide greater choice of placement for vulnerable children within the county, and enable more of our children to stay closer to home. Anyone can potentially become a foster carer – you just need a big heart and a safe and loving home to offer.”
Making a difference
Recently-registered foster carer Lee Mackie from West Oxfordshire, who has looked after a number of babies, said: “Fostering is hugely rewarding and such an important role in society. It is obviously challenging, but you simply can’t put a value on making a difference to vulnerable children’s lives.
She added: “I would encourage anyone to go along to the council’s information event next week. Even if you don’t immediately think fostering could be for you – there’s no harm in finding out more about the role. You don’t have to commit to anything in advance.”
Wednesday May 25, 6.30-8pm, County Hall, New Road, Oxford, OX1 1ND. Find out more online at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/fostering
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 0800 7835724
Who can foster?
- There is no age limit - to foster you have to be over 18, some people are still fostering in their 70s
- Single? Not a problem - children need stable loving homes with single parents or couples, whatever their gender or sexual orientation
- Disabilities or not, you can still foster - health concerns and disabilities will not stop you from fostering, provided you can care for the children
- No ethnic matching - there are children from many different backgrounds needing to be fostered, what is important is that you can meet the needs of the child
- Older children and Teenagers – 50 per cent of children in care in Oxfordshire are 10 years and over
- Sibling groups - we aim to place together rather than apart
- Babies and toddlers –need to be placed with foster carers who are at home full-time
- Children with disabilities – could you embrace the challenges and rewards of fostering a child with physical or learning difficulties?