A roadshow is heading around Staffordshire to recruit more foster carers.
'Reggie’, Staffordshire County Council's Fostering Service’s promotional bus, is heading out on tour to highlight the urgent need for more foster carers and give people information on what it means to look after a vulnerable child.
A further 60 foster families are needed this year alone.
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, the roadshow will be visiting:
- Biddulph Home Bargains – Tuesday 9th May
- Lichfield Market Square – Wednesday 10th May
- Cannock Market Square – Thursday 11th May
- Newcastle Ironmarket – Friday 12th May
- Leek (Outside Co-op Bank) – Monday 15th May
- Burton (Outside Brantano) – Tuesday 16th May
- Tamworth, Edithas Square – Wednesday 17th May
- Uttoxeter Dovefields (Outside Argos) – Thursday 18th May
- Rugeley Market Square – Friday 19th May
Amanda Fritz, Fostering manager at Staffordshire County Council said: “Our foster carers do a wonderful job helping to transform children’s lives every day.
“We do have an urgent need for more foster carers in Staffordshire and Foster Care Fortnight gives us the perfect opportunity to encourage more people to come forward. And, once again it’s great to see our own foster carers being the stars of the campaign. If fostering is something you’re considering then please do come along to one of our events and hear first-hand from real foster carers what a rewarding thing it is to do.”
Karen Turner from Newcastle said “I’ve been fostering for 14 years and it’s an absolutely great thing to do. It isn’t always easy and has it’s challenges but there is always plenty of help and support available.
“I’d definitely recommend people go along to the fostering information evenings, you get to meet other foster carers and hear exactly what’s involved. You’ll also get the chance to talk to staff about all the great training that is available too.”
Cathie Toon from Cheadle said: “Fostering is a really wonderful thing to do and I really encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to come and join us at one of our roadshows and events.
"It’s a great way of finding out exactly what’s involved.
"Fostering isn’t always plain sailing though and there will be challenges along the way. But it is great to see children grow and learn new things. And, the positives always outweigh the negatives.”
Brian Cooke from Biddulph said “We considered becoming foster carers for many years and after talking to a foster carer at an information evening we eventually took the plunge and became foster carers ourselves. We’ve now been fostering for five years and it has been very worthwhile.
“I’d definitely encourage people to come forward and become a foster carer. It’s a great thing to do and at the end of the day you can see the difference you made for that child, and the life that child can have.”
Tina Thatcher is a supported lodgings host from Stafford and said: “I’ve been a foster carer for many years before starting to specialise in supported lodgings which is a type of fostering.
"It’s a bit like a bridge supporting young people between leaving foster care and living independently. Leaving care can be a real shock for some young people and this scheme helps them adjust and learn the skills to be able to live independently.
"The young person lives with you for around 12 months and during that time you’re passing on vital skills like cooking, cleaning and household budgeting.”
There are also information events taking place for prospective foster carers:
- Wednesday 24 May, 7pm, Staffordshire Place 1,Stafford,ST16 2LP
- Wednesday 7 June, 7pm, Roman Way Hotel, Cannock, WS11 1SH