By Hannah Ingram
A new fostering campaign has prompted nearly double the usual number of enquiries after being launched by Bury Council this month, but more are needed.
Bury is one of 23 North West councils taking part in ‘You Can Foster’, which aims to recruit at least 150 new foster carers and save £3.7 million from independent foster care placements.
Tim Loughton, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Children and Families, said other areas should take note of the excellent results.
He said: “Greater achievements can be made by working in partnership on this scale. It’s clear the North West is leading the way in delivering high impact and value for money recruitment drives.”
There are approximately 40 children placed with independent fostering agencies and the council would prefer to place children with Bury carers.
Debbie Needham, fostering team manager at Bury Council, said 22 people expressed an interest in fostering, with 19 of them processing requests for a home visit.
“This is excellent news for Bury,” she said. “We hope to recruit as many new carers as possible to keep children who can’t live at home with their families either in Bury or close by.”
She added: “We need a diverse a range of people to come forward.”
There is a current shortfall of 8,200 foster carers in England and the campaign points out that there is no “typical” foster carer.
Suitable applicants can be in their 20s upwards, single, married or living together, tenants or homeowners, in same sex or mixed sex relationships.
A Bury foster carer, who wanted to remain anonymous to protect her foster child’s safety, said: “Fostering is such a rewarding process, and not just for the child.
“I really wish more people came forward because there are so many needy children out there. All they need is some love and we could all spare some of that.”
Potential carers should visit www.youcanfoster.org or call Bury fostering team on 0161 253 6868.