This year’s Foster Care Fortnight might be nearly over but the year round search to find new foster carers to look after some of Manchester’s most vulnerable children and young people is still very much on.
The Council has set itself a target of recruiting an additional 40 foster carers by the end of 2021 and is particularly keen to hear from people who’ve had previous experience of working with or looking after children or young people.
Although the likes of childminders, teaching assistants, youth club leaders, nursery nurses, or teachers might be top of its wish-list as potential foster carers, the council wants to hear from anyone else who likes children and who is interested in fostering.
Foster carers come from all sorts of backgrounds – married or unmarried, living with a partner or on their own, working or not working. They can be home owners or living in rented accommodation, and of any sexuality or ethnicity.
The main requirement is to be over 21, to have a spare bedroom, to love children and want to make a difference to them.
The fostering team is looking for people to foster a wide range of children, but particularly wants to hear from people who have the space and would be interested in caring for older teenagers, and sibling groups of three or four children from the same family so they can all live together.
They would also like to hear from people who are from a BAME background – Black Caribbean, Black British, South Asian, and from the East Asian Vietnamese community.
Being a foster carer isn’t about qualifications or whether you own your own home, it’s about being able to provide a stable and loving family environment so that children and young people can reach their full potential with confidence.
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children’s Services Manchester City Council, said: “We know from young people themselves what a difference good foster carers make to them at an often very difficult time in their lives.
“We’re lucky enough to already have some great foster carers here in Manchester but we need more.
“We want to hear from anyone who thinks they’ve got what it takes to be there for a vulnerable young person and help them reach their full potential in life.
“So if you love children and young people, and you’re someone who is flexible, has empathy, excellent communication and listening skills, is flexible and adaptable, perseveres when things get tough, is patient and has a good sense of humour – get in touch!”
To find out more about becoming a foster carer call 0800 988 8931 (9am to 4.30pm week days) or go to manchester.gov.uk/fostering