Appeal for foster carers

AN appeal has gone out for more foster carers in Northumberland.

Northumberland County Council is seeking to recruit people who can offer either a permanent or short-term home for local children in need.

Foster carers receive a generous support package for their work of up to £500 a week, as well as an allowance per child and paid holidays.

They are supported by a dedicated supervising social worker, local carer support groups, a 24-hour telephone service and help from the council’s Children’s Services teams.

A free and comprehensive training package is also available for people to develop their childcare skills, including attainment of the national Training, Support and Development Standards.

Different foster care schemes are available to suit the carers’ working preferences, skills, family circumstances and experience.

One carer, who has worked with the council for 12 years and welcomed 20 young people into her home over the years, said: “One great aspect about foster care is that you’re not left on your own, whereas you can be as a parent.

“This was part of the reason why I wasn’t fazed by looking after older children.

“Northumberland County Council is fantastic, from the Foster Care Team through to the many supporting services. Our supervising social worker listens to everything, makes useful suggestions and most importantly, when I ask, gets things done.”

She added: “I would say that foster care is a bit like fishing — you wind them in a little bit and keep going with persistence and patience.

“At the end of the day, all kids have a good side and it’s our job as foster carers to help them bring that out.”

For more information about becoming a foster carer call 01670 534450, email familyplacement@northumberland.gov.uk or visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/fostering