Sandwell Council’s children's services is backing the National Foster Care Fortnight campaign to raise awareness of the urgent need for more people to step forward and become foster carers.
The Fostering Network’s national survey, covering more than 1,600 fostered children and young people, has been released to mark Foster Care Fortnight (1-14 June). It reveals there is still a need for more foster carers across England & Wales.
In Sandwell, a new publicity drive has been launched this week, backed by the Fostering Network, with 50 new eye-catching posters being put up all over Sandwell, as part of the national campaign.
Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children's services, said: "We are always looking for good, caring people who can offer a safe and secure home to a child or young person.
"This campaign is important as it highlights the need for all of us to ask if we can do more to help a child or young person.
"Whether you are in a position to offer to become a foster carer or not at the moment, I would urge everyone to spread the word and tell your family, your friends and your colleagues – Sandwell needs good caring people."
Councillor Hackett said the national campaign highlighted the need to find more people who were willing and able to foster teenagers.
He added: "We know that is also the case in Sandwell. So anyone interested in fostering, or who needs to find out more before making a decision, should call us before they rule themselves out."
Jackie Sanders, director of The Fostering Network, said: "As each year passes, we see more and more children coming into care. We need people who can open their heart, and their homes, to vulnerable children and young people and use their skills to help support them to reach their full potential.
"In particular we need people who have the skills, patience and passion to look after teenagers who may have had a really tough time and be facing some real challenges, and to offer them love, stability and security."
Sandwell's fostering service runs a dedicated fostering recruitment line (0800 358 0899) and holds 'open door' information sessions every Friday – known as Fostering Friday.
The team also runs regular information events across Sandwell.
The next Become A Foster Carer event will be on Saturday 20 June, 11am, at Oldbury Library.
Find out more about fostering in Sandwell at www.sandwell.gov.uk/fostering
For more information about Foster Care Fortnight visit www.fostering.net