Children with adult playing

Kids gone back to school? You could foster

As Northumberland’s children and young people get back to school, and college or university, the County Council is asking if residents have room in their home and life to help children and young people.                    
Becoming a foster carer is a natural transition for many parents once their children have moved to secondary school, college or university.
A lot of mums and dads turn the common occurrence of ‘empty nest syndrome’ into a positive experience by training to help children and young people in their community.
Northumberland County Council is keen to hear from experienced parents who have at least one spare bedroom that is not being used by another child.  
Louise started working as a foster carer when her son went to high school.
 Louise said, “The seed to foster children was planted years ago when I worked with some fostered children as a primary school teacher.  Then when my son was moving up to high school, I started to think about it again.  At the same time, I had the opportunity of voluntary redundancy from my college role so I got in touch with Northumberland Fostering to ask if I could foster and also run my online upcycling crafts business too.  
“It’s been a strange year starting this role during the pandemic, but the team and my family have been good support. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the children I have cared for so far.  I helped move my last children on to their new adoptive family, so I am looking forward to meeting the next ones.”
Providing a stable and secure environment for children and young people who need it can be such a rewarding experience for all involved.  
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services, said, “Although some parents view their children leaving home or moving to secondary school as a liberating time, many miss having children at home who need their care full time.  
“This year the council are seeking to recruit at least twenty new carers, and so we are calling on the caring residents of Northumberland to consider working as a foster carer.”
As part of the application process, you receive training and preparation for the whole household, so you feel ready for the first child coming to live with you.
Great care is taken to match children with the right family and home, and we stay in regular contact with foster families throughout the child’s stay. Social workers are only ever a phone call away and additional assistance out of hours is also available.
A lot of agencies only pay when you have a child staying with you, Northumberland offers a retainer style fee every week, so you have a steady income.
Support for foster carers also includes ongoing training, access to carer support groups, activity discount schemes and organised family activities.
If you are good with children and want to have a positive impact on the life of child who needs your help please call 01670 62 62 62 or go online to find out how you can use your current skills to help children in your community.
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