Foster Care Fortnight in Birmingham

By on 08/05/2014 in News

This year's Foster Care Fortnight launches at 10.30am on Monday 12 May at the Library of Birmingham.  Throughout the following two weeks* staff will be on hand in the Book Rotunda on the second floor of the Library of Birmingham to answer questions from anyone considering fostering as a career.

This year's campaign asks 'Guess who fosters?' and will highlight some career changes that many will consider unusual.  Denise Slater used to be a lorry driver, Dipak Shelat is a director at the Chamber of Commerce and Sarah Kumar used to be an actress.  All of them are passionate about giving children a good start in life through fostering and they're keen to tell people that anyone with experience of caring for children and who has a spare bedroom can join them in this rewarding career.

The Fostering Network estimates that nationally a child comes into care every 22 minutes.  In Birmingham we estimate that a child comes into care every 12 hours, 50 minutes and 40 seconds and there are currently 258 children waiting for long term foster placements.  Birmingham particularly needs to recruit carers who can look after siblings, older children and children with additional needs and disabilities.

For further information visit the information stand in the Book Rotunda at the Library of Birmingham *from 14 - 21 May, 12 noon - 6pm, Monday to Friday, 11am - 5pm on Saturday and 12 noon - 4pm on Sunday.  There will also be an information stand at the Children's Hospital on 20 May.  Visit fosteringbirmingham.com for further information.

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For more media information contact Debbie Harrison on 0121 303 4476 / 078801 80385

Notes to editors

The following foster carers are available for interview -

Denise Slater used to drive a lorry and manage a haulage company and her partner Phil Raey used to be a fork lift truck driver.  Both of them decided to become foster carers and they are both available for interview.  Denise specializes in fostering children with disabilities and teenagers.

Dipak Shelat is a director at the Chamber of Commerce.  Both Dipak and his wife Meena are foster carers and both are available for interview.

Sarah Kumar used to be an actress and is now an emergency carer.  Her partner, Ash, is also a foster carer.  Both are available for photos but only Sarah is available for interview.

In Birmingham we particularly need to recruit carers who can look after -

  • Older children - people are keen to look after babies and young children but we often find it difficult to recruit carers for older children and teenagers who are just as vulnerable and in need of stability and security
  • Children with additional needs and disabilities - many have mild disabilities and needs such as attachment disorder, autism of varying degrees.  A small proportion needs highly specialist care like tube-feeding.
  • Sibling groups - approximately half of the children waiting are in sibling groups of two or three and we try to keep them together. 

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