Appeal for foster parents to come forward

Cecilia and her husband Neil have been fostering for more than 30 years.

Cecilia and her husband Neil have been fostering for more than 30 years. - Credit: CAMBS COUNTY COUNCIL

A campaign to find foster homes for brothers and sisters and children aged over 10 has been launched in Cambridgeshire.

The county’s Huntingdon-based fostering and adoption services is urging new foster carers to join the team supporting the community with homes for children and young people.

It is particularly keen to find people prepared to offer a home to sibling groups and older youngsters.

A campaign, The Real Faces of Fostering, which covers the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough areas, tells the stories of foster carers, young people in care and social workers.

One couple Cecilia, 60, and Neil, 62, have fostered around 200 children during their 30-year fostering career.

Celia said: “The relationship with siblings is incredibly precious and is the longest that most of us will have in our lives. We need more foster carers so that siblings can remain together.

“Many of our children have experienced trauma in their pasts, and we receive excellent support from our supervising social worker, who always has a good listening ear and provides a good sounding board for helping with some of the challenges.

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“We try to build a positive relationship with the child and young person’s parents and the extended families of the young people we foster, even when that relationship can be difficult.

“If we work together, that’s very helpful for the young person. My 14-year-old foster child says that they mostly just want to be loved.”

Celia said: “We have had several young people go on to university and college. 
“We prepare them to manage their own money, do their own washing and ironing and understand how to eat healthily – but we like them to know they can still come back to us in the university holidays, or for Christmas or Sunday lunch anytime.”

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, who chairs Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, said: “We are so grateful to carers like Cecilia who dedicate so much of their life to supporting young people as they begin theirs. 

“We hope that our campaign will encourage more and more local people to come forward to become a foster carer so that they can provide a supportive and loving fostering household, like Cecilia’s, to our children and young people in care.”

Further information is available from 0800 052 0078 or Cambridgeshire and Peterborough City fostering websites.