This festive period Stoke-on-Trent City Council is urging its resident to think about fostering as 973 children will be care in this Christmas.
No matter how often a person can foster – short term, weekends or emergencies only, foster carers are immensely needed. The service is aspiring to recruit up to 36 new foster carers in 2022 and has an urgent need for therapeutic carers and to find families for sibling groups.
Stephen Russell who has been a foster carer for Stoke-on-Trent City Council for eight years said: “Over the years we have fostered seven children (three of which are currently still with us) and I say at the end of every meeting and every review that it is by far the best thing that we have ever done in our lives and wished that we had done it years before. My wife and I both agree the most rewarding thing about fostering is making a positive difference to the children that we look after, seeing them thrive both at home and in school and gain in confidence.”
Guy Lawton who has been a foster carer for Stoke-on-Trent City Council for seven years said: “Fostering is a very rewarding but also challenging role, seeing a child grow and flourish in our care is fulfilling and we feel a real sense of purpose. We decided to foster as we wanted to provide a safe, loving and caring environment for a child in need. My family and I work proactively with the fostering team and invest quality time in building positive relationships with everyone involved. There has been the odd challenge but the support we have received has been great.”
To help promote fostering the city council will be running a 12 days of fostering Christmas campaign from December 13, 2021 to December 24, 2021 across social media which aims to dispel the common myths around fostering.
Councillor Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people said: “Sadly, there is still a great need for foster carers in our city. We are very fortunate to have many wonderful people who foster in Stoke-on-Trent. They are making a real difference to many lives, but more needs to be done and we need more people to open their homes and their hearts to fostering.
“When is the right time to do something different? There really is no typical foster carer. Anyone can come forward and make such a big difference in a child’s life regardless of age, gender, religious or cultural background, sexual orientation or if you are married, single or divorced. Change a life this Christmas by becoming a foster carer, our fostering team will support you every step of the way.”
The next virtual fostering information event will be via Facebook live on the Stoke-on Trent Fostering Facebook page on 14th December at 10am: www.facebook.com/fosteringstokeontrent
If you would like to know more about becoming a foster carer in Stoke-on-Trent visit www.fostering.stoke.gov.uk or calling 01782 234555.