Families in Lichfield and Burntwood are being urged to consider fostering.

The appeal comes as a new initiative – The Big Fostering Project – is launched to help support children in care across the region.

Staffordshire County Council has teamed up with the National Fostering Group, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Big Issue Invest in a bid to secure long-term foster carers for youngsters aged between seven and 16.

Helen Riley, deputy chief executive and director for families and communities at Staffordshire County Council, said:

Helen Riley

“We have built up a wonderful network of foster carers who can provide stable homes for the majority of children who come into our care.

“However, we do have a need for more specialist foster families who can support those children with additional needs through the most challenging periods of their lives. 

“This partnership provides another option to help us meet the needs of the children in our care.

“Research shows that the stability of a family environment can help children to reach their full potential. While residential care is absolutely the right place for some children, we also know that for others, a foster family will better meet their needs now and into the future.

“Working with our partners allows us to share our strengths and experiences to help get these children into the right family as quickly as possible. 

“Having access to a larger pool of foster carers means we can often match a young person with a family, where we have previously been unable to in the past.”

Helen Riley, Staffordshire County Council

Richard Woodward, Director of Strategy, National Fostering Group, said:

“We are proud to be the founding delivery partner to The Big Fostering Partnership.

“It’s been fantastic to work in such a collaborative way, drawing on each organisation’s experience and strengths to develop this innovative approach. 

“Having already, in its pilot phase, managed to support young people to move into nurturing fostering families, we are excited for all that we will achieve together for young people in care, in the months and years to come. ” 

Richard Woodward, National Fostering Group

To find out more about becoming a foster carer for The Big Fostering Partnership visit www.bigfosteringpartnership.co.uk or call 0330 0229135.

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