Help change a child’s future
Have you ever considered becoming a foster carer? If you have a spare room in your house and love in your heart, then Darlington’s foster children need you.
13 - 26 May is Foster Care Fortnight – could you make time to help a child?
There is no such thing as an ideal foster carer. No matter what your background, relationship status or religious beliefs, or how much time you can commit – whether it’s a few days a month or long term care – babies and children are in need of your help and Darlington Borough Council’s fostering team would love to hear from you.
As a foster carer with the council; following your initial enquiry, a member of the fostering team will arrange a visit at your home to discuss all aspects of fostering. If you wish to progress with an application, background checks will be carried out and an assessment will be presented to the fostering panel. The whole process should take around six to eight months.
Fostering with the council ensures you work with a local team who know the child who will be matched and placed with you; training is given before and after a baby or child is placed with you and you will have access to ongoing training and support at all times; along with access to other foster carers for any tips and advice. Payment is also provided to help meet the needs of the children in your care and you will be paid a fee for the work you do.
Mark and Maria Ware and their family who have been fostering with the council for over two years would urge people who are thinking about fostering to make the move:
“Being a foster family is so rewarding and far outweighs the challenges it can entail. Fostering enables me to be home for my own children, meet their needs and meet the needs of the child in our care. Watching a child bond with our family has to be the most heart-warming and happiest times of being foster carers.
Mark and I have two children of our own and they both love us fostering - they feel proud to know they are involved in making a child feel loved and secure.
We really do feel part of a team fostering with the council and have received great support and training.
Bronwen Smith, the council’s service manager for foster care placements and adoptions, said: “We have a number of foster carers in Darlington and they do an amazing job of caring for our looked after children, however we desperately need more who can provide a safe and secure home and help a child achieve their potential in life. We are keen to talk to people from all walks of life and all backgrounds who have a spare bedroom, and who are interested in learning more about fostering and finding out what the rewards are for them. Pop along to one of our information evenings, or give us a call and start your journey towards changing the life of a child.”
If you are interested in fostering and would like to learn more, then please pop along to one of our information sessions. The next one is on 13 May from 6-7pm at Central House Annex, Gladstone Street DL3 6JX.
More information is available at www.darlington.gov.uk/fostering or call the council’s fostering team on 406222 and choose option 3. You can email the team at [email protected].
Please make the move to change a child’s future.