New Hartlepool fostering agency issues 'call to arms' for more carers as children feel effects of pandemic
A new Hartlepool based fostering agency has issued a call to arms for more carers to meet growing pressure in the system.
Charity Changing Futures North East, based on the Headland, launched its new fostering agency in September.
It is appealing for more potential foster carers in Hartlepool and the Tees Valley to contact them after Covid has seen more children in need of safe, stable and loving homes.
The agency is also encouraging people who may have lost their jobs due to the pandemic to consider a career move.
Sarah Richardson, Changing Futures North East fostering manager, said: “Covid has been very unkind on looked after children and families are in crisis so we want to support that both in the charity but also the fostering agency.
"There has been a significant increase in children in care of all ages and siblings. Local authorities are reporting a rise in all areas across the North East.
"They are staying in care for longer which puts more pressure on the local authorities.
"Since launching in September we’ve had a great first couple of months and been really busy but we need to keep that momentum going.
"We need more foster carers. There are children in care who need families.”
Sarah said Covid, including the financial impact, has made problems worse for families already in crisis before the lockdowns happened and support networks sch as schools have not been as available.
Sadly, many people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. But Changing Futures North East says fostering could be a new option.
"It could be that you have got lots of transferable skills and fostering could be a career move for somebody,” said Sarah.
"If so we want to talk to you to help make that decision.”
The agency is looking to recruit a number of different types of carers such as for long and short term care and also short breaks.
Changing Futures Fostering is Hartlepool’s first independent fostering agency.
Potential foster carers must be over 21 and a UK resident. You don’t need to own your own home but you do need to have at least one spare bedroom.
To learn more visit www.changingfuturesfostering.co.uk or call (01429) 363127