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Attend a fostering information event during Foster Care Fortnight

Cumbria County Council is running a number of fostering information events across the county during Foster Care Fortnight, the UK’s biggest foster carer recruitment drive, which takes place this year from Monday May 13 to Sunday May 26.

Providing loving homes for children in care is one of the most pressing issues our council faces. The council already supports over 200 foster families, but with close to 700 children in care, there is an urgent need for more people to join in.

This Foster Care Fortnight Cumbria County Council wants to get the message out that fostering is about changing futures - the futures of fostered children and the futures of the foster families who care for them.

Kendal’s Jeff and Mary Hicks, along with their three children, have been a fostering family with the council for four years. Jeff, a minister with the Calvary South Lakes church, said fostering has not only changed the futures of the children they’ve cared for but also changed their own lives too. He explained: “Our children have been so amazing in the way they responded to the challenge of fostering and it has transformed us as a family and brought us even closer together.”

There is a particular need for foster carers to come forward to foster teenagers, sibling groups and children with complex needs. Without more people coming forward to foster, children in Cumbria may have to live with a foster family a long way from their home and may be split up from their brothers and sisters.

A wider pool of foster carers with the right skills and qualities would make it more likely that the right homes can be found for our children, giving them the best chance of a happy and stable childhood and a successful future.

Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:

“If you feel you could make a difference to the lives of local children by offering them a loving home, then we’d love to hear from you. As we have heard from the Hicks, fostering is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Fostering changes lives; not just the children’s but your own as well!”

Foster carers come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions, but what unites them all is a desire and ability to help and support children and young people in care to fulfil their potential.

If you think you have what it takes to foster and change futures, come along to one of our events during Foster Care Fortnight:

Barrow - Information stand at Tesco Extra on Tuesday May 14 from 11am to 1pm

Carlisle - Fostering drop in, Costa Coffee, The Lanes Shopping Centre on Thursday May 16 from 12pm to 2pm

Penrith - Fostering drop in, Costa Coffee, Angel Square Shopping Centre on Wednesday May 22 from 11am to 1pm

Workington - Information stand at Party in the Park, Vulcan Park on Saturday May 25 from 11am to 4pm

For more information visit cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call 0303 333 1216.

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