Councils call for more people to consider fostering

Gosport MP welcomes plans on homelessness but admits ‘it’s a significant problem’

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COUNCILS are urging more people to sign up as foster carers.

Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council both need more families to foster children who are in need of caring homes.

The city council is looking to recruit a further 35 families by March 2015 to help with the children in its fostering service.

Currently, it has 137 families caring for 157 children, but they are hoping to increase this number to ensure families are ready and waiting when children need fostering.

Foster Portsmouth, which runs the service on behalf of the council, is looking for families willing to look after any aged children, whether it be long-term or short-term.

Pauline Pearce from the city council’s foster care service said: ‘We’d urge anyone who thinks they could offer a caring, stable home to a child in care to get in touch with us.

‘We’re recruiting foster carers from within Portsmouth and across the wider region as some children need to live outside the city.

‘Fostering a child could improve their life chances and is a rewarding experience for foster carers, who receive training and a support service which is second to none.’

But Portsmouth isn’t the only area in need of more carers.

The county council is urging people in Gosport, Havant and Fareham to look into helping.

It especially needs people who can care for teenagers or siblings.

Councillor Keith Mans, executive member for children’s services, said: ‘We always need all kinds of foster carers.

‘Right now, we especially need carers who can look after older children and teenagers, children with disabilities or special needs, and sibling groups.

‘I’d urge anyone who is considering fostering to talk to our Fostercare team.’

For Hampshire County Council, anyone aged 21 or older can become a foster carer.

The age is 24 or above for Portsmouth City Council.

Marital and sexual status of fosterers are not taken into consideration nor is employment, whether you own your home or if you have other children.