Potential foster carers are to be given a true scouse welcome by Liverpool’s Lord Mayor on Wednesday 30 January 2013.
As part of Liverpool Council’s fostering recruitment campaign, ‘Big heart – Big City’, an open day is being held the Town Hall from 10am until 2pm where potential foster carers can come along and chat informally to staff from the foster care service as well as existing foster carers.
And Lord Mayor, Councillor Sharon Sullivan, will be on hand to welcome them – serving up the traditional Liverpool winter warming dish, scouse!
The Lord Mayor said: “Fostering a child can be so rewarding, and anyone can do it, all you need is a good heart and a loving home.
“I would urge anyone who has ever considered fostering to come along to the Town Hall and speak to a member of the fostering team.
“This is going to be an informal event and we want to encourage people from all walks of life to take a moment and ask themselves if they can make a difference in a young person’s life.”
Liverpool has over 150 more looked-after children that it had 4 years ago, and the number now stands at almost 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.
Liverpool has over 300 foster carers currently looking after children, and the city is aiming to recruit a further 100 a year over the next four years to keep up with the demand for loving homes.
A website has been set up – www.fosteringforliverpool.co.uk– dedicated to foster carer recruitment. It has information about the role of a foster carer and has a simple enquiry form, accessible on every page, for those wanting to find out more.
An information line dedicated to enquiries from anyone interested in finding out about becoming a foster carer is also available – 0151 515 0000.
Cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Jane Corbett, said: “Our foster carers come from all walks of life. They reflect our children’s heritage, culture and ethnic backgrounds and they have a great understanding of the importance of belonging so every child feels they are special.
“Like all other authorities, we are in a situation where we need to reach out to more people in our community to consider fostering. So if you know of someone with a warm heart, the time and opportunity to devote to turning a local child’s life around, get them to come along or get in touch.”
Liverpool’s foster care service will provide carers with training, an allowance and support from a group of dedicated social workers.
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.