New Hartlepool fostering agency aims to help meet 'massive' need in region

A new Hartlepool fostering agency is ready to change the lives of local children and help meet the ‘massive’ need.

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 7:00 am

Hartlepool-based family charity Changing Futures North East is launching its new independent fostering agency Changing Futures Fostering on Monday, September 7.

It says the numbers of children living in care has spiked during the Covid-19 pandemic and in recent years due to a shortage of foster carers.

Fostering manager Sarah Richardson said at any one time there are hundreds of children in need of foster placements due to a combination of reasons.

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Changing Futures North East is launching a new fostering agency led by Sarah Richardson (top left).

She said: "Fostering is a massive area of need in the Tees Valley.

“There are lots of looked after children (local authority care) who aren’t in stable places and homes with families.

"A lot of children aren't in placements that could meet their needs because there just isn’t the foster carers around.

”In the North East one of the issues is with children who have quite complex needs, large sibling groups and younger young children.”

Changing Futures North East in Abbey Street, Hartlepool

The number of young children living in residential homes has also increased in recent years added Sarah.

Changing Futures North East, who are based on the Headland, began looking into setting up the fostering agency a couple of years ago.

Sarah, who spent eight years with another independent agency in the North East, said it was a natural progression from the charity's work which includes therapy and mediation for couples going through tough times and mentoring for children.

The new agency will be run on a strictly not-for-profit basis and according to its beliefs that positive and healthy relationships are essential to growth, development, happiness.

Changing Futures Fostering manager Sarah Richardson.

Sarah added: “I’m proud to be a part of this new chapter in fostering for our area. We are a community organisation, started by an experienced charity, that really cares about children and young people.

“Foster parents who join our agency will be helping to build a new ethical fostering agency that wants to better support children and foster parents.”

Anyone interested in being a foster carer or transferring from another agency is urged to get in touch with Changing Futures Fostering by phone on (01429) 363127, email [email protected] or see their website

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