Updated: Thursday, 19th September 2019 @ 4:44pm

Can you give a child a childhood? Minister backs Manchester fostering campaign after personal experience

Can you give a child a childhood? Minister backs Manchester fostering campaign after personal experience

By Sarah Hodgson

A Manchester fostering campaign calling for people to become carers has gained the support of the Children’s Minister at its launch yesterday.

The campaign Give a child a childhood, run by Modus Fostering Partnership, aims to combat the area’s shortage of foster carers.

The launch event in Westminster coincided with the Fostering Network charity’s annual campaign, Foster Care Fortnight, the theme of which is Get in the Frame.

Modus were joined by Minister Edward Timpson who commended them and its parent company, Compass Community, for the campaign and their efforts to recruit more carers.

He said: “A fostering agency like Modus is integral to ensuring we have enough foster carers for the number of children going into care.”

Modus Fostering Partnership, based in Manchester, supports foster families across the North West and works with local authorities to find foster carers from a variety of backgrounds.

Mr Timpson has personal experience of the foster care system after his own parents fostered 87 children over a period of 30 years.

He said: “I grew up in a foster family and at times it can be challenging, there is no denying it, but it is also ultimately hugely rewarding when you see children who are often very damaged and vulnerable start to build in that resilience and grow in your care.”

According to his department’s figures 67,000 children need care, so it is important to ensure as many people as possible come forward to foster.

He says that foster carers can give children a loving and stable family environment and the chance to have a normal childhood where they can build their skills.

Compass Community Chief Executive Ian Pigden-Bennett said: “We are privileged to have the backing of a Government Minister who knows exactly what foster care is all about and how important it really us to give a child their childhood back.”

As well as attempting to address the shortage of foster carers Modus’ campaign will highlight the rewards and support and training on offer to carers.

Mr Pigden-Bennett says that the campaign aims to dispel the many myths surrounding fostering.

A recent Modus survey of more than 1,000 people undertaken on the Netmums website revealed that 90% were not aware of the financial funding on offer to carers.

Modus’ Head of Fostering Yoni Ejo said: “Many children who come into care have never had a childhood; they’ve never been to the beach or flown a kite, they’ve never had an ice cream in the park or ridden a bike.”

They are looking to hear from anyone over the age of 21, with a spare bedroom, who thinks they can give a child a home.

Picture courtesy of Yukon White Light, with thanks.

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