Foster care fortnight

Northumberland foster carers share their stories to inspire more people to join them

Read more about Kath and Alan’s journey and other real fostering stories here:    

More foster families to give children a loving caring home are urgently needed in Northumberland.  

As part of the national Fostering Fortnight campaign, the county’s foster carers are sharing their experiences to celebrate the life-changing opportunities fostering can bring.  

Events are also taking place online and in community venues to give people the chance to find out more.   

Every 15 minutes another child comes into care needing a foster family in the UK.  

Currently there is a shortage of at least 6,500 foster families across the country, with over 370 needed in the North East alone.  

This is the reason for the annual Foster Care Fortnight national campaign lead by charity The Fostering Network – 13th to 26th May 2024 – to help raise awareness of children needing families to foster them for short- and long-term periods.  

Northumberland County Council are now part of the 12-council strong regional hub – Foster With North East, and are calling for single people, couples and anyone over the age of 25 with a spare room and an affinity with children and young people to come forward to see the difference they could make to one or many children’s lives.  

Cllr Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet member for Inspiring Young People, said: “We have a fantastic community of foster carers in Northumberland who are transforming the lives of the children and young people in their care – but we need more.  

“We hope that the events taking place over the next two weeks week both in person and online will shine a spotlight on the life-changing role of fostering and encourage more people from all walks of life to join our team.”  

Hoping to inspire others to follow in their footsteps are Kath and Alan from Northumberland who have shared their home and lives with young people of all ages, and have shared their #FosteringMoments to help encourage people to consider becoming a part or full-time foster carer.  

After 16 years, the couple, haven't lost any of the motivation or drive for their roles as foster carers, which at first seem a world away from their previous careers in law and the RAF.  

Right now, their house is called home by a nine-year-old boy who has been with them for five years and two teenage girls, aged 13.   

As an experienced foster carer, Kath is keen to share lots of tips and advice for new and prospective foster carers.  

The mum-of-two explained that her route to becoming a foster carer had not been direct but rather a series of career steps over the years, brought about by her desire to help those around her.  

Kath started her career as a secretary for a family law solicitor, but decided she wanted to do more to help the families she met with the problems they faced and trained to become a lawyer herself.   

She then felt she wanted to be more directly involved in making a difference by giving children a safe home, support and hope.  

Alan, who was leaving the Air Force after 22 year was also supportive of the idea and the couple became foster carers.  

Kath said: “Fostering is rewarding, but can be challenging too. It is about the child, and you must understand that when you go into fostering. There are some lovely, lovely memories I wouldn't have had if I hadn't fostered.” 

Kath also speaks about how rewarding it is to see children progress.   

She shares the leaps and bounds the small boy who came to them aged just four has made in their care.   

She said: "Now, he's in the best place he's ever been. He's absolutely adorable and funny. We can see his personality coming out, and we're proud that he believes it's his home." 

Would you like to know more about working as a foster carer for children and young people?  

Read more about Kath and Alan’s journey and other real fostering stories here: 





Is Fostering for me? Tuesday 14th May online 6pm 

This Foster Care Fortnight - join us online to chat with our foster carers and learn how you can help local children and young people, including: 

- the different foster care roles to suit you 
- what fostering is really all about 
- the application and training process 
- the support, pay and resources we offer 
- the positive effects for both you and the children you care for 

There is no pressure to sign up to start the application process - we aim to answer your initial questions and help you look at your options moving forward. 

If you can let us know in advance to book your place - we will be in touch with a reminder link to join the virtual session via Microsoft Teams nearer the event date. 

The event link can be found here:     

We look forward to meeting you. 

If you have any questions in the meantime, contact our friendly regional hub – Foster With North East 0800 917 7771 or you can follow / like our #NorthumberlandFostering page 



Pop up events 10am till 1pm:  

 Come and see us and chat to members of our friendly team: 


  • Tues 21st May – Waitrose, Hexham  

  • Wed 22nd May – Morrisons, Berwick-upon-Tweed 

  • Thurs 23rd May – Sainsburys Alnwick  

  • Fri 24th May – Manor Walks (Sainsburys end), Cramlington

Read more about Kath and Alan’s journey and other real fostering stories here:    

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