Foster Care Fortnight, Monday 14th May- Sunday 27th May
Foster Care Fortnight, led by The Fostering Network, has been established for almost 20 years, showcasing the commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers across the country.
In Bedford Borough, we are marking Foster Care Fortnight with a picnic in the park for our fantastic foster carers on 19th May. Council staff are also doing a sponsored bike ride, cycling the distance to the child placed furthest away from the Borough to raise awareness of the need for more local foster carers. Staff will be cycling 20 minutes slots to reflect that in the UK every 20 minutes a child comes into care needing a fostering family. In addition the event will also be raising money towards the annual Looked After Children Awards.
Foster care transforms lives, not just for the young person who is fostered, but also the lives of foster carers, their families and all those involved in fostering.
One of Bedford Borough Council’s foster carers said “I foster because it’s a chance to make a difference to a child’s life and an opportunity for them to live a normal life and experience activities that they’ve never done before.”
According to The Fostering Network, over 7,000 additional foster families are needed in the UK over the next 12 months to care for a range of children. In Bedford Borough, there is a particular need for foster carers for older children, sibling groups, foster carers from black and minority ethnic groups, as well as for children with disabilities.
Cllr Shan Hunt, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Social Care said “We never want to have to place a child out of area, but when there isn’t a foster carer available locally we have no choice. That’s why it is so important that we have foster carers here in Bedford Borough. Almost anyone can become a foster carer; we welcome enquiries from people of all religions, race, genders and sexuality. You can be single, and you don’t have to own your own home but you do need to have a spare bedroom. We’re more interested in your ability to provide support, protection and care for a foster child and advocate on their behalf. As a foster carer you will receive training and have your own fostering social worker for support, as well as an allowance and fee when you have a child in placement.”
Bedford Borough has active support groups for foster carers and their children and a generous weekly allowance and fostering fee is paid to all carers.
Could you be a fantastic foster carer? To find out more about becoming a foster carer with Bedford Borough Council, visit www.bedford.gov.uk/fostering or call our Team on 01234 718718.