Experienced foster carers are taking to the road across the next two weeks as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the importance for local carers to come forward to support city children.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is staging roadshows at venues across the city, where officers, recruitment teams and foster carers will offer advice and explain the process of joining the council’s ‘outstanding’ Ofsted service.
The roadshows are part of a dynamic promotional campaign titled ‘Stoke Fostering: Keeping children in the city… where they belong’.
Councillor Gwen Hassall, cabinet member for social services, said:
“There is a shortage of foster carers in the city – we have 430 children that need to be fostered, but only around 150 foster families. We especially need foster carers for older children, brothers and sisters and long-term foster placements.
“Foster carers make a huge difference to the lives of young people in our city, and we want to see more carers come forward.
“Our campaign is centred around finding local homes for our children. Experience and research shows that children and young people definitely benefit from being able to maintain their vital links with family, friends, community and school if they are in foster care. What can seem a relatively short car journey to us can seem like isolation to a child.
“So we have 48 sheet billboard sites throughout the city, as well part of our campaign to promote the service.”
The roadshows, which coincide with national Fostering Fortnight 2012, are available at the following locations for the rest of this week, as well as at sites throughout next week:
- 16 May, Stoke Library, Church Street, Stoke, ST4 1AA, 12pm - 4pm
- 17 May, Fenton Manor Leisure Complex, Victoria Road, Fenton, ST4 2RR, 10am - 2pm
- 21 May, Hanley Community Fire Station, Lower Bethseda Street, Hanley, ST1 3RP, 6.30pm - 8pm
- 22 May, City Central Library, Bethseda Street, Hanley, ST1 3RS, 10am - 2pm
- 23 May, North Staffs Afro Caribbean Association, Lindsay Annexe, Cannon Place, Hanley ST1 4EP, 11am - 3pm
- 24 May, Sandyford Community Fire Station, Marlborough Way, Sandyford, ST6 5ED, 4pm - 6.30pm
- 25 May, Dimensions Leisure Centre, Scotia Road, Burslem, ST6 4ET, 12pm - 4pm
Foster carers are needed from all backgrounds – children benefit from living with families who share their own culture, language and religion. Anyone who is over 21 can foster, carers don’t need a big house, be in employment, be a couple or have children of their own. It doesn’t matter if carers are married, divorced, single or living with a partner. The most important aspects are that carers have a spare bedroom and the time and space in their life to foster.
If residents would like more information about the roadshow events or about fostering for Stoke and what you can offer then please ring 01782 234555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.