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10 September 2020

Carlisle fostering family backs campaign to find more carers for vulnerable children

A fostering family from Carlisle are urging local people to attend an upcoming information event and find out more about fostering, as part of Cumbria County Council’s latest campaign to find more foster carers for vulnerable children.

The council’s network of 200 carers provide an essential service keeping children safe, loved and care for. They are ordinary people, doing something extraordinary - ensuring children have the best possible childhood and are able to reach their potential.

But with around 750 children in care across the county, the council urgently needs more people to join Cumbria’s biggest family. If your circumstances have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic or you feel ready for a change of career and would like to help change children’s lives, then we’d love to hear from you.

Ann-Marie Mutter, from Carlisle, has been a foster carer for four years, along with her husband Dave and two sons Thomas and George.

Ann-Marie, who is a short term carer for children up to the age of four, says: “I have always worked in childcare right from leaving college. When I moved to Carlisle, after meeting Dave, I continued to work in nurseries but when I had the two boys I decided to stay at home and bring them up.

“After the boys started school I went for an interview for a job in a nursery and realised that actually I didn’t want to go back to that kind of role. Then I saw an advert for foster carers and thought it could work really well for me, allowing me to work from home but still doing what I love, caring for children, the best of both worlds!

“I mentioned the idea to Dave and he agreed that fostering ticked all the boxes for us as a family, as he loves children too and we had plenty of room in our home. I called Cumbria County Council Fostering Service in June and we started out training in October and we qualified in December - so it all went very smoothly for us.

“Since then we have fostered four children and it has been even more rewarding than we expected it to be; just to see the huge difference you can make in such a short time.

“We have a lovely social worker who is just on the end of the phone and my also mum lives nearby and is an amazing support - I think it is her support that has really helped us to be such a good fostering family.

“I would definitely encourage anyone who has been thinking about fostering to get in touch; it is lovely to know that you can make such a difference to children’s lives and to give them the start in life they deserve.”

While there is a need for foster carers for children of all ages, we would particularly like to hear from those who could offer long term homes for slightly older children and teenagers. In return we offer excellent training and a full package of support to foster carers, including initial Skills to Foster Training, generous allowances, regular support groups, peer mentors for new carers and a dedicated support social worker.

Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Our amazing foster carers come from all kinds of backgrounds, and have had varied life experiences, but they all wish to make a difference to children’s lives. It only takes one carer to change a child’s life and we are asking local people, could that be you?”

Anyone interested in finding out more can attend an upcomingVirtual Information event on Tuesday 29 September from 7pm to 8.30pm.

For details of how to join the session and for any further information please visit  cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call us on 0303 333 1216.




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A fostering family from Carlisle are urging local people to attend an upcoming information event and find out more about fostering, as part of Cumbria County Council’s latest campaign to find more foster carers for vulnerable children.