Foster Care Fortnight puts spotlight on caring

 

Liverpool is using Foster Care Fortnight to thank existing carers for looking after some of the city’s most vulnerable young people, as well as recruiting new carers.

Two fun days for foster care families will be held at Otterspool Adventure Playground on Saturday 21 and Saturday 28 May, while two thank-you events for carers will be held at the RMS Titanic hotel at 30 James Street on Thursday 19 and Thursday 26 May.

And in a recruitment drive, staff will be out and about across the city in locations including hospitals and Children’s Centres from Monday 16 May until Friday 27 May with information about what how to become a foster carer.

The city council has also launched a new fostering website – www.fosteringforliverpool.co.uk – which stars a selection of the city’s foster carers explaining why they foster and how rewarding it is.

Mayoral Lead for children’s services, Councillor Barry Kushner, said: “Our foster carers are very special people who provide a loving home for some of our most vulnerable children.

“Foster care fortnight provides an opportunity for us to thank all carers, whether they work for us or an agency, for their amazing support in keeping children safe.

“We need the good people of Liverpool to join our Foster Care team to look after our city’s children. We offer support, training and financial support for anyone who can commit to looking after our children.”

People who foster for the city council no longer have to pay council tax, meaning a saving of at least £1,100 per year for the 290 households who currently foster one or more child.

Councillor Kushner added: “Taking in someone else’s child is life changing, both for the foster carer and the young person, so it is absolutely right and proper that we do everything we can to support them.

“We really need more foster carers to come forward and work for us, and I believe the council tax exemption scheme will encourage families who want to foster but are worried about the costs that come with looking after a young person.”

As part of its commitment to supporting carers, the city council will, in the near future, launch a training programme in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University.

Liverpool has over 150 more looked-after children than it had five years ago, and the number now stands at around 1,000. The rise is due to a greater level of awareness of the issue of child neglect and abuse following the Baby Peter case in Haringey, and is reflected across the country.

Foster carers need to be aged over 21, but there is no upper age limit. They can be single, married or co-habiting, straight or gay.

People interested in fostering can visit http://www.fosteringforliverpool.co.uk to find out more or call the recruitment line on 0151 515 0000.

Look out for the fostering recruitment team in the following locations:

Monday 16 May
10am – 2pm: Kensington Children’s Centre
12-2pm: The Royal Liverpool Hospital, Linda McCartney suite

Tuesday 17 May
12-2pm: Liverpool Women’s Hospital, main foyer
12-2pm: Mersey Fire and Rescue Service HQ, Bridle Road, Bootle

Wednesday 18 May
9am-10am: Everton Children’s Centre
12-2pm: Broadgreen Hospital, main foyer

Thursday 19 May
9:30am-11:30am: Picton Children’s Centre

Friday 20 May
10am-1:30pm: Sefton Park Community Centre
12-2pm: Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, main foyer

Monday 23 May
9:30am-11:30am: Picton Children’s Centre
12-2pm: Liverpool Women’s Hospital, main foyer

Tuesday 24 May
12-2pm: Royal Liverpool Hospital, Linda McCartney suite
1pm-4:30pm: Belle Vale Children’s Centre
5:30pm-7:30pm: Everton Lifestyles Centre

Wednesday 25 May
10am-2pm: Kensington Children’s Centre
12-2pm: Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, main foyer

Thursday 26 May
9am-12: Yewtree Medical Centre

Friday 27 May
12-2pm: Broadgreen Hospital, main foyer