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'Make fostering a child your New Year’s resolution'

Cumbria County Council is asking people to make fostering a child their New Year’s resolution.

There are currently more than 600 children and young people in care in Cumbria.

The council's hosting a series of drop-in events this month so people can learn more about what’s involved. This call to action is part of an on-going campaign to recruit more foster carers to help look after them across the county

“Fostering provides a stable and caring home for children and the support and encouragement they need to flourish and do well while they cannot live at home.”

"Our foster carers are ordinary people who have chosen to something extraordinary and make a difference to a child’s life.

"All the children in our care are different, and to meet their needs, we are looking for a wide variety of people. Fostering is a challenging role to take on but very worthwhile. If you feel that you are looking change your life then why not make a New Year's resolution that will change a child's life too?"

– Cabinet Member for Children’s Services Cllr Ann Burns

Foster carers are offered full training and support, and are paid a fostering fee and an allowance for each child. The allowance is designed to cover the daily costs of looking after the child and varies according to the age of the child.

“We need people from all walks of life - married, single, unmarried couples, gay and lesbian, have their own children, retired, a homeowner, in rented accommodation or unemployed. Don’t rule yourself out, come and talk to us first.

“All that we ask is that you are over the age of 21 and have a spare room in your home – or even two! That way we can keep brothers and sisters together.”

– Recruitment Officer Andy Jones

Anyone wishing to find out more about becoming a foster carer go to www.cumbria.gov.uk/fostering

Everyone asked to consider providing foster care

More than 600 children in Cumbria are currently in care and badly need a safe home. But at the moment there are just 200 households that are involved in fostering.

Nearly a third of people wrongly think they wouldn't be considered suitable.

Cumbria County Council is asking everyone to think about whether they could look after a child and this year it's emphasising the need for employers to support staff who want to take on the role.

Tim Backshall reports:

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Potential foster carers fear rejection

People have been urged not to rule themselves out of fostering children after a poll found nearly a third of adults believed they would not be accepted as foster carers if they applied.

Some 28% of 4,818 UK adults questioned by YouGov said they would expect to be turned down if they applied in the next two years.

Many under 25 and over 55 believed their age would count them out, while others cited their living arrangement as the reason they feared they would be turned down.

There are 52,500 foster families looking after 63,000 children across the UK Credit: PA

Fostering Network chief executive Robert Tapsfield said: "It doesn't matter if you are single or living as a couple, how old you are, or whether you have children, a job or own your own house.

"What matters is that you have the skills and experience to look after children separated from their own families, who have often been abused or neglected."

The Fostering Network estimates 8,600 families are needed this year alone, particularly to look after teenagers and children with disabilities.

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