SOLIHULL Council has offered its support for Foster Care Fortnight as new figures show 900 families are needed in the region.
The Fostering Network, a national children’s care charity, has predicted around 890 more foster families will be essential if the number of children in care in the region are to find suitable homes in the coming year.
The charity says there is a particular need for families who can foster teenagers and groups of brothers and sisters.
The figures, which have been published on the first day of The Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight (May 14-27), show 8,100 families are needed across the UK.
Solihull council says foster carers of all ages, cultures and backgrounds are needed in the borough to look after children for short and longer periods of time.
It added applicants do not need to be a homeowner but do need a spare bedroom for a child.
Without more foster families in the West Midlands coming forward this year, the Fostering Network has warned that some children will find themselves living a long way from their family, school and friends, being split up from brothers and sisters.
The charity says more foster families mean that a fostering service can match the needs of each child more closely with the skills and experience that each foster carer brings.
This allows them to find the right home for each child, first time, and to improve stability for fostered children.
Councillor Ken Meeson, cabinet member for children, education and skills, said: “Fostering is an incredibly rewarding thing to be involved with. Not only does it transform the lives of children who are fostered, it also has the power to change the lives of foster carers, and all those who are involved in the fostering process.
“Solihull is always looking for new foster carers to provide a stable family life for children and in return, we provide financial support, guidance and training for the invaluable job you do.
“I encourage anyone who has ever considered fostering, even on a part-time basis, to look into it and go to the council’s website.”
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network said: “Foster carers do something amazing on behalf of our society, opening their hearts and homes to fostered children, often offering them their first experience of a stable, secure and caring home.
“Looking after fostered children, many of whom who have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect, can be challenging.
“But it is that challenge, along with the reward of seeing these children and young people flourish, that many foster carers across the West Midlands say makes them proud to foster.”
For more information go to: www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/couldyoufoster.
For more information on fostering, visit: www.solihull.gov.uk/fostering.