Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Christmas ecard message this year focuses on one of the area’s most vulnerable group of people – children and young people in need of a foster home.
Its message is simple; more foster carers are needed to provide children and young people in west Cheshire with a loving and caring home.
Whilst some children will be asking Father Christmas for a list of presents, others just want a place to call home and a foster family to believe in them.
Cheshire West and Chester Council believes that every child deserves the best start in life and is encouraging people that have been considering fostering to make the first step to find out more.
With over 250 children in the Council’s care, and only 126 approved foster carers, it’s so important to recruit more carers so that children can remain in the local area, close to their school and community where appropriate.
Councillor Nicole Meardon, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Every year our Communications team produces a Christmas ecard for staff and members to send out to their contacts, rather than a traditional paper Christmas card. This year we’ve taken the opportunity to create an ecard that shares the important message that we need to recruit more foster families to help care for some of our most vulnerable children and young people.
“If you think you could foster please get in touch. Or, if you know someone who you think would be an ideal foster parent, please send them this ecard so they can find out more about fostering. You could be the person to help change a child’s future and find them the stable home they need.”
Adapted versions of the ecard are being used as part of a wider communication campaign to recruit more foster carers in the borough, with adverts being targeted at audiences on Sky TV, social media and through local radio station Dee 106.3.
Leeann Taylor and her family have been fostering with the Council for four years, she said: “Last year was the first year a foster child was with us over the Christmas period. We got them involved in all of the build-up, preparing for the big day including going to pick our Christmas tree and decorating the house. Although it was a bit overwhelming for them at first, as they’d not experienced it before, it was lovely seeing them starting to get excited about Christmas and for them to be included in our big family get together on the day.
“For anyone thinking about fostering I would say give it serious consideration and make that first enquiry to get some more information about what’s involved and how you will be supported. There is no better feeling than helping a child to come out of their shell and be their true self – it is really heart-warming to see.”
If you are over 21, fit and well enough to care for children, have a spare bedroom and can provide a stable home for a local child – you could foster. The Council will provide you and your family with support every step of the way and provide ongoing training and advice, along with a competitive financial package – fees plus allowances of up to £422 per week per foster child.
For more information about fostering with Cheshire West and Chester Council, or to apply online today, visit: www.fosteringwestcheshire.co.uk or call: 01244 972 222.