l0j2xxkec74-bonnie-kittleThe number of foster carers in County Durham continues to rise – but more prospective parents are needed to help provide a loving home for looked after children.

Councillors will next week hear how Durham County Council’s fostering service has seen an increase in the number of potential foster placements – but that the number of children in care continues to outstrip that supply.

A report to Cabinet, on December 14, will set out four main priorities for the service over the next year, including recruiting more foster carers to ensure that children remain in County Durham communities; and developing its Foster Xtra scheme that supports children with some of the most complex needs.

Margaret Whellans, the council’s corporate director of children and young people’s services, said: “The majority of our looked after children are placed within our fostering service, but it is increasingly challenging to manage the growing demand for placements.

“Our foster carers tell us that nothing gives the same feeling of love and warmth as fostering and by working with us you could make an enormous difference to a child’s life.

“We know that there are many myths that surround fostering and so we would encourage people to find out the facts before they rule themselves out.

“You don’t need any special qualifications – just a genuine interest in caring for young people, patience, understanding and a sense of humour – and we can offer you training and specialised support along the way.”

For more information about fostering with Durham County Council visit www.durham.gov.uk/fostering.

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