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Wiltshire foster bus aims to find families
Wiltshire Council will take to the road to recruit 50 more foster families in 2014, using a fleet of vans to make sure the message reaches more people.
Currently, Wiltshire has 434 children in its care, with 77 per cent of those being looked after by fosterers. But the council is aiming to have an additional 50 families by the end of next year.
It has a large number of foster carers, with 225 families housing 226 of the authority’s looked after children, but there is a need for ones to take in teenagers or children with disabilities.
Six vans will go on the road, asking people to come forward.
Cabinet member for children services Laura Mayes said: “There may be people out there who have thought about fostering, but haven’t taken that next step. We want them to come forward, contact us and help us care for our local children.
“There is no such thing as a typical foster carer; we need all sorts of people from different backgrounds, including religious and cultural backgrounds.
“There are all sorts of children who need care on a short or longer term basis, from newborn babies to teenagers.
“We want to have enough foster carers so that we can find the right family for every child.”
David Griffin, of Melksham, has been a foster carer for three years and has taken care of nine children in that time.
He said: “I thought on and off for five or six years and then my circumstances changed and it allowed me to do this, so I made the phone call.
“It’s a much busier life, but I’m glad I took that step. I would advise anyone thinking of fostering to make the phone call. There’s no pressure and you can change your mind if you want.”
Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer can call 0800 1696321 or email fostering@ wiltshire.gov.uk. More details are at wiltshire.gov.uk/fostering.
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