If you have been thinking about fostering, there has never been a better time to take your first step. During Foster Care Fortnight (13 to 26 May) Cumbria Fostering is running information sessions around the county.

The annual awareness fortnight, organised by the Fostering Network charity, aims to celebrate foster carers and raise awareness of the need for more carers. This year the theme of the fortnight is ‘fostering moments’, which celebrates the moments that define fostering journeys, big and small.

For our foster carer Ian Nancollis, who has fostered for more than two decades, the special moments sometimes come after a young person has left his care. He explained: “We are still in touch with one young lady who stayed with us and she is now in the process of starting her own family. It was a really nice moment was when she chose to tell us, as one of the first people, that she was pregnant - that was lovely.”

Whitehaven News:

Just as there is diversity in children who are fostered, foster carers need to come from a variety of backgrounds and have different skills and qualities to help meet the needs of children and young people in foster care. There are, however, some common criteria that we are looking for:

  • to be at least 21 years old

  • to have a spare bedroom big enough for a young person to live in

  • to be a full-time resident in the UK or have leave to remain

  • to be able to give the time to care for a child or young person, often on a full-time basis.

If you think you might have what it takes to foster, you can speak to our friendly team and carers at a virtual or face to face information session during the fortnight:

  • Wednesday 15 May - Visit our fostering information stand at the Atrium of West Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle from 12pm to 2pm

  • Monday 20 May -  Join our virtual information event between 6pm and 7pm and watch a short presentation on fostering and speak to our friendly team and carers. To book a place on our event please email claire.crisp@cumberland.gov.uk before 12pm on Friday 17 May

  • Friday 24 May - Come along to our fostering information drop-in at Costa Coffee, Elephant Yard, Kendal from 1pm to 2pm

Whitehaven News:

The sessions are an opportunity to find out more about the children who need loving homes and also the excellent package of training, support and payments we offer.

Find out more about fostering at cumbriafostering.org.uk