Urgent call for emergency foster carers in Cambridgeshire
- Credit: CAMBS COUNTY COUNCIL
A Cambridgeshire foster carer is calling for more people to join the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fostering Service as emergency foster carers due to a shortage.
As the 'Real Faces of Fostering’ campaign continues, Cambridgeshire County Council is sharing the experiences and achievements of foster carers, social workers, and the children and young people in their care.
Emergency foster carers can be needed at any time of day or night, with foster carers providing a safe space for the child or young person to stay.
This is usually for a period of seven days before a more permanent placement can be found for them.
Jo, who is a foster carer, offered her skills to the emergency fostering service after she had primarily fostered primary ages children with them for nine years.
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The 50-year-old, who currently provides emergency care for children aged 10 and under, said: “I always have a supply of clothes and equipment, baby bottles and milk, teddies and blankets.
"Though I often have to go out the following day to buy clothes, shoes and coats.”
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“The children may have been asked difficult questions about the people they love.
“They are scared, tired, hungry, and often in need of a bath. I take everything at their pace and go with what they are happy to do or say.”
“I have a room full of toys and games and a supply of teddies to try and encourage them to feel safe and secure.
"No matter what time of night they come in, I will always offer them something to eat and drink.”
Jo feels that her role as an emergency foster carer fits alongside her regular carer role.
“It gives me a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment that I am there for these children,” she added.
“I am glad to be playing a vital role in the life of a young person and their future.”
However, Jo says that more emergency foster carers are urgently needed.
Councillor Bryony Goodliffe, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, said: “Children and young people who are suddenly without a home need people like Jo to give them a safe space.
"It is important that we have more emergency foster carers so that we can support children and young people to remain local and keep those local support networks in place.
"I urge people in the community to consider joining our service so we can continue to provide this level of care.”