A FOSTERING agency is hoping to recruit up to 20 families in and around Tunbridge Wells who may be considering helping care for a child or children as a New Year’s resolution.
With over 70,000 children in care in England, and around 13 per cent of the foster carer workforce retiring or leaving every year, it is estimated that a further 9,300 foster families are needed over the next year alone.
The Kent-based Diagrama Foundation trains and supports carers in Kent, South London, Sussex and Surrey, and says it offers additional payments, holiday cover and free training and appraisal to develop new skills.
Kate Patel, Head of Fostering and Adoption, said: “It’s more challenging than it has ever been to find foster carers, especially now with the cost-of-living crisis making it very tough for everyone.
“Fostering isn’t going to make carers millions but foster carers’ primary motivator isn’t the money. It’s a 365-day a year job and there isn’t a limitless supply of people who can do it well.”
Fostering and Adoption Manager Margaret Gardiner added: “While there are no restrictions on the numbers of new foster carers we need, we would be delighted if we could find 20 quality carers in the Tunbridge Wells area who can meet the needs of the children.”
There is a particular need for foster carers to look after teenagers and sibling groups.
Ms Patel added: “The role goes above and beyond normal parenting and we want to work with extra special people and it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be a parent to be a foster parent and you can be single or married, of any faith or ethnicity or age.”
Interested potential carers can find out more at: diagramafoundation.org.uk