Surrey looks to younger parents fo fill foster carer gap

Surrey Council has launched a foster carer recruitment drive in schools to address a shortage of placements in the area.

Carers from some of the council’s 260 fostering households are giving talks to parents at school assemblies and other events to present the case for fostering.

Mary Angell, the council’s cabinet member for children and families, said Surrey was targeting this group because many of the council’s foster carers have school age children.

“We hope that hearing the views of foster carers will make their minds up to take on the role,” she said. “We really do need more people to come forward who think they have the skills and ability to help children who haven’t had the best start look forward to a brighter future.”

Last year 130 children were sent to homes outside Surrey because the county does not have enough foster carers. The council says an additional 320 carers are needed.

Petrina Foster has been a foster carer for six years and presented the council’s first fostering talk last week.

“This is an excellent audience to target because once your children get into junior school, your life settles down,” she said. “Your children are a little older and independent, so it’s a great time to consider taking on new and exciting responsibility by fostering.”

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