Published: February 14, 2013
New foster carers being sought in the Burnham-On-Sea area

Foster carers are being sought in the Burnham-On-Sea area as part of an initiative to find up to 150 across Somerset this year.

Somerset County Council currently has around 250 foster carers and will need another 100 to 150 in the next year to keep up with the rising number of children coming into care and to replace the foster carers that have retired.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, told "It is our responsibility to make sure children and young people in Somerset are safe. Children who have come into our care have often experienced trauma and neglect. We have a duty to give them a loving and stable home, where they can thrive and begin to reach their potential."

The number of children in care in Somerset has risen from around 370 to more than 500 in just four years. These figures reflect a national rise in the number of children in care which is strongly linked to the Baby Peter Connelly case, as more people now report signs of abuse or neglect.

Cllr Nicholson continued: "When we haven't enough foster carers in general, and in particular foster carers with the right specialist skills, children in care are placed with private agency foster carers or in children’s homes. This means that children sometimes end up living further away from their home, school and family than is ideal, or in a children’s home when a family setting where the foster carers have the right specialist skills would be better."

"We need more people to become foster carers. All you need is a spare room in your home, a willingness to help a child, bucket loads of patience and a willingness to learn.
We welcome people from all walks of life to apply to foster. It doesn’t matter if you are single, married or in a same sex relationship, own or rent your home, have children of your own or not."

To find out more about becoming a foster carer and the different types of foster care, click here or call 0800 587 9900 for an information pack.


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