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Havering Council steps up campaign to find more foster carers for teens

PUBLISHED: 15:30 13 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:53 13 March 2014

Cllr Paul Rochford

Cllr Paul Rochford

Archant

A campaign to sign up more Havering foster carers is ­being stepped up by the council.

It wants to get away from the idea that only a certain sector of society can take children into their home.

It also hopes to encourage more ­potential fosterers for teenagers, who make up more than two-thirds of the borough’s foster children.

Cllr Paul Rochford, cabinet member for children and learning, said they were trying to change perceptions.

He said: “We want to change feelings about who can foster.

“Let’s get away from the belief that it’s only white, middle-class families.

“It doesn’t matter about sexuality, if you’re married or single, ethnicity and age – provided you’re over 21.

“We want fostering to be as accesible as possible for everyone. All that’s important is that you’re caring and motivated to help out a child.”

Havering Council is putting on an information evening on Wednesday.

“We have 80 or so fosterers, who are all outstanding, but you can always create a bigger pool,” Cllr Rochford explained.

“It’s not as if the numbers have suddenly risen but we need to get as many good foster carers as possible.

“The majority of our kids are in the 13 to 17 range and that’s an area we want to focus on.” The information evening starts at 6.30pm at Romford Town Hall in Main Road.

The council has 28 foster children on its books aged from birth to four; 49 from five to 10; 62 from 11 to 15 and 62 from 16 to 18.

Cllr Rochford said: “It can be incredibly rewarding as any relationship with a young person can be.

“It’s a big responsibility but putting someone on the right track can be quite a satisfying experience.

“This will not be the last time we do a drive such as this.

“We want fostering to be as accessible as possible. You can get so much satisfaction.

“Come along to the presentation if you have any questions, and if you think it’s for you, then that’s great.”

For more details visit www.havering.gov.uk.

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