Somerset volunteers encouraged to consider fostering

The Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s (AONB) volunteer service is joining forces with Somerset County Council’s Fostering Team to help the search for more foster carers in Somerset.

This year’s ‘Foster Care Fortnight’ campaign (14 – 27 May) will not only focus on the urgent need for Somerset based foster carers, but also reach out to those who volunteer to encourage them to consider fostering.

Foster Care Fortnight launches with a Fostering and Quantock Hills AONB team joint litter pick at Cothelstone Hill, Saturday 12 May, 10am – 12pm, giving volunteers the opportunity to talk to the fostering service and foster carers and find out more about fostering, whilst helping to clean up a popular local beauty spot.

Somerset County Council has also launched a ‘Proud to foster’ and ‘Support fostering’ social media campaign to encourage people to either consider fostering or to help spread the word about the urgent need for more foster carers across our County.

Foster carers are ordinary people, with all sorts of backgrounds and life experiences, who have an interest in helping children who can’t live with their own families  If you have time to spare and room in your home, you could foster.

Councillor Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, explained that it is personal qualities and support that are important.  “Our carers do a wonderful job and are an invaluable part of the team of people offering services to children and their families in Somerset.  Often people hear about fostering by recommendation from those who have experienced the satisfaction of helping young people to turn their lives around. As well as the personal rewards, we also offer a competitive fee, great support and training, plus extra discounts on everyday expenditure such as shopping and holidays.”

Around 500 children or young people are being cared for in Somerset. If you can provide a safe and loving home for a child or young person we would love to hear from you. If you are a business that is happy to support fostering by getting involved in our social media campaign, display a fostering poster or our fostering banner, please get in touch.

There are information events taking place across the county in Foster Care Fortnight and beyond, where you can turn up and talk to our friendly team to find out more.

Saturday 12 May Cothelstone Hill, Quantocks, 10am – 12pm Fostering and Volunteers, litter pick and fostering chat.

Find out more about Fostering from our team and foster carers:

Wednesday 16 May, Costa Coffee Yeovil, Middle Street, BA20 1LE – 7-9pm

Tuesday 22 May Holiday Inn, off J25 of M5 Taunton 7-9pm

Wednesday 13 June Cordero Lounge, Frome 7-9pm

 Find all future information event dates, details on how to support fostering on social media and more information on how to become a foster carer at www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk or call our friendly team on 0800 587 9900.

Support Fostering on Facebook: The campaign is very simple: Download a ‘Proud to support Fostering’ or ‘Proud to Foster’ placard from fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk, take a photo of yourself holding it and share your picture on social media with the hashtags #SupportFostering. You can tag in ‘fosteringinsomerset’ on Facebook or @fostersomerset on twitter

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Pat CEO fost heart

Patrick Flaherty, CEO of Somerset County Council

You can also email the photo to communications@somerset.gov.uk.

Photos will be shared on our website and on our Fostering and Somerset County Council social media pages.

If you are interested in volunteering, there are plenty of opportunities available in a wide range of Somerset County Council services – from volunteer driving to looking after rights of way paths, from children services to adult social care. Check out www.somersetvolunteer.co.uk or www.somerset.gov.uk/volunteering for more details on all Somerset County Council’s volunteering opportunities.