Almost 1,000 new foster carers are needed across the West Midlands to cope with demand for placements, particularly for sibling groups and for older children displaying challenging behaviours.
Priory Fostering Services is launching a recruitment drive in Rugeley, Stafford, Burntwood, Cannock and Tamworth for foster carers to help meet Government recommendations that children are placed within 20 miles of their home, but ideally within 10 miles.
More than 60,000 children in the UK live in foster families, however, local authorities say they need at least 9,000 more foster families to meet the needs of the young people. Because of this shortage one in five children in foster care across the country are forced to change school twice or more due to a change of placement and brothers and sisters are often placed with different carers.
Priory Fostering Services provides high quality, stable foster care placements for children and young people up to the age of 18, who may have emotional and behavioural difficulties alongside sibling group and parent and child placements.
Foster carer Mandie Yilmaz, who has cared for over 40 children, said: “Being a foster carer can be challenging but it is also incredibly rewarding. To provide a child with a stable family home, helping them to thrive, and giving them the best possible chance of achieving their full potential, is very satisfying.
“The support my husband and I receive from the team at Priory Fostering Services is vitally important in enabling us to do our very best for the vulnerable children in our care.”
Tony Brooks, Priory Fostering Services, said: “Foster care provides children with a safe, secure and nurturing family environment, and allows them to maintain contact with their own families where it is possible to do so.
“Many local authorities are actively seeking placements that can genuinely meet the needs of the young person. This is often difficult because suitable carers are not always available.
“Our foster carers are at the centre of a team of dedicated professionals, who provide comprehensive support and ongoing training to help achieve positive outcomes for children and young people.
“Priory Fostering Services also provides ongoing support to enable the young person to make a successful transition from care to more independent living.”
Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer, click here.
For more details on Priory Education and Children's Services, please call 0118 970 8068 or click here to make an enquiry.