Nottingham City Council has issued an urgent appeal for more foster carers to provide loving, stable family homes for children in the city.
Coinciding with Foster Care Fortnight, May 16-29, council staff have been encouraging people to find out more about the process and take their first steps into fostering.
Carers are needed for around 600 children and young people currently in care with the council—as well as short term placements for vulnerable teenagers and children with disabilities.
Councillor David Mellen said: “Foster caring is a challenging yet immensely rewarding experience, and carers often describe it as the best thing they’ve ever done.
“Our foster carers come from a wide range of backgrounds and family make-ups, but what they all have in common is their desire to provide a secure and welcoming home for some of the county’s most vulnerable children.”
Many children who come into care have experienced years of neglect, which can impact their physical and emotional development.
It can also mean they have never experienced simple pleasures like celebrating birthdays, cooking with family or visiting the seaside.
More foster parents would allow more children to be placed where they can grow and learn.
Coun Mellen added: “People often think they can’t foster because they are single, work, or are too old, but none of these things matter.
“We’re looking for people who have space in their homes and hearts, and can offer a positive and loving home environment. By becoming a foster carer, people have the opportunity to change a young person’s life for good.”
Foster carers Mark and Sharon are currently looking after three girls, aged four to 13, and Mark said: “It’s one of the most rewarding things you can do. Our social worker is so supportive, and the network of other foster carers is great.”
For more information, visit www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/foster.