Councillor Val Gibson, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We are fortunate that here in Wolverhampton we already have more than 200 people who are fostering local children, but we are looking to recruit at least 30 more carers this year.
“The Fostering for Wolverhampton team will be at various locations in and around the city over the next two weeks and are looking forward to meeting people who are interested in becoming foster carers and want to find out how to go about it, or just want a little more information about what being a foster carer entails.”
The drop-in sessions are as follows:
· Monday 16 May: Queen Square, Wolverhampton, 10am-3pm, Molineux Stadium information evening, 6.30pm-8pm
· Tuesday 17 May: Wolverhampton Central Library, 10am-3pm, Wolverhampton Market, 9am-3pm
· Wednesday 18 May: Molineux Stadium coffee morning, 10am-11.30am, WV Active Bilston Bert-Williams, 12.30pm-4pm
· Thursday 19 May: Aldi, Birmingham New Road, 9.30am-4pm, WV Active Aldersley, 3pm-7pm
· Friday 20 May: Waitrose, Penn Road, 9.30am-4pm
· Saturday 21 May: Bentley Bridge Retail Park, 8.30am-4pm
· Monday 23 May: Bilston Market, 9am-3pm, Tettenhall Upper Green, 9.30am-3pm
· Tuesday 24 May: Wednesfield Market, 9am-2pm, Shree Krishan Mandir, 7pm-9.30pm
· Wednesday 25 May: Sainsbury’s, Raglan Street, 8.30am-4pm, Wolverhampton Central Library, 4pm-7pm
· Thursday 26 May: Asda Wolverhampton, 9.30am-4pm, WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams, 9.30am-4pm
· Friday 27 May: Bentley Bridge Retail Park, 9am-3.30pm, Civic Centre, Wolverhampton, 10am-3pm
· Saturday 28 May: Birmingham Pride, 10am-5pm.
Foster carers can be single, married or in a relationship and help and support is available 24 hours a day. Placements can be anything from a few days to a number of years, and they receive a regular, tax exempt allowance to cover the cost of bringing up the child.
The council’s foster carers receive six months’ support from experienced foster carers who will guide them through the system, while supervising social workers provide intensive support for the first six weeks of a placement and then every month thereafter.
Councillor Gibson added: “It’s true that fostering involves taking on a tremendous responsibility and will change the carer’s life, but our foster families say it is the best thing they have ever done.”
Elizabeth Padmore, who with her husband Richard are currently fostering two children, said: “I’d encourage anyone thinking about fostering to follow their heart. There is a child out there who needs you and you will be a blessing to them.”