Hartlepool fostering agency celebrates first year of making a difference and campaigns to raise awareness and debunk myths

Hartlepool’s first independent fostering agency is celebrating its first anniversary.

By Mark Payne
Monday, 6th September 2021, 12:00 am

Changing Futures Fostering launched in the middle of the pandemic last September when demand for caring and stable homes increased.

To mark their first milestone, the service is running a number of information sessions and a new radio and TV campaign throughout September.

It is with the aim of raising awareness of the need for more foster parents in Hartlepool and debunking the myths around who can foster.

(Left to right) Sarah Richardson, Martin Todd and Jess Tones from Changing Futures. Picture by FRANK REID.

The agency was started by Changing Futures North East, a well established family support charity based on the Headland.

Fostering manager Sarah Richardson said: “What we have learned so far in this past year is that there are wonderful people in Hartlepool with the right skills to make fantastic foster parents and give children a safe home.

"Foster parents come form various backgrounds and we want to continue to support the very demand for homes for children who can’t live in their family network.

"We would welcome hearing from people who have been thinking about fostering for a while or even if it’s something more recent.”

Changing Futures Fostering manager Sarah Richardson interviews a potential foster carer. Picture by FRANK REID.

Changing Futures says it can help people who may be thinking about fostering but are unsure how to go about it.

They welcome inquiries from anyone over 21 who lives in the North East and is passionate about children and young people living in a supportive and nurturing home.

Foster carers can be single or in relationship, LGBTQ+, a homeowner or tenant, from diverse backgrounds, and have an available bedroom that a child or young person could have as their own.

Changing Futures North East is holding two upcoming online information sessions when people can learn more about fostering in an informal way.

They are on Monday, September 6, at 7.15pm and another on Wednesday, September 22, at 12.15pm.

People can join in by phone, tablet or on a laptop.

To join, contact the agency and leave an email address. Call (01429) 363127, email: [email protected] or visit www.changingfuturesfostering.co.uk

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