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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Help halt tragic childhoods of packed bags and goodbyes

BARNARDO’S is looking for new Copeland foster parents.

A current shortfall means vulnerable youngsters growing up in foster care need to move several times a year. Around 250 foster carers are now needed in the North West area.

A spokesperson for Barnardo’s said: “Alongside a childhood filled with memories of packed bags and goodbyes, this results in gross instability for children with nowhere to call home or a family of their own.

“Understandably this can have a lasting effect on their adult lives. Care leavers are more likely to become homeless, suffer from a mental health disorder, be unemployed and spend time in prison.

“Barnardo’s believes every child has the right to a stable home. As a fostering agency we strive to recruit foster carers for the children who are often deemed ‘harder to place’ due to either their age, being part of a sibling group, their ethnicity or a disability.

“Not enough people are coming forward to foster and meet the needs of these children, but there is a particular urgent need for more foster carers from Cumbria.”

Anyone interested in fostering can attend an event, organised by Barnardo’s, held at West Allerdale Sure Start Children’s Centre, Flimby, on Saturday, February 1, from 1pm to 3pm.

Cumbrian mother Mandy Major, 49, is fostering a 16-year-old girl.

She said: “I had thought about fostering for about 20 years but I always thought the process would be too complicated.

“Once I had decided to go for it with Barnardo’s I was nervous and would have a little panic inside at the thought of being responsible for somebody else’s child but that soon eased and we have learnt to take life as it comes.”

Mandy’s foster daughter has settled in “amazingly well”, is attending sixth form college and enjoying activities with new friends.

“Having her as part of our family has added so much to us and I feel it is a real privilege to help her progress through life,’’ Mandy added.

“She is amazing and it has really enriched me as a person having her as part of the family.”

For more information contact 0845 8949 509.

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