Every 20 minutes a young person comes into care and needs to be placed with a foster family in the UK and here in Cornwall that equates to nearly 500 children and young people being in care at any given time. Cornwall Council’s Together for Families works tirelessly to find the best routes forward for every single child in its care to enable them to thrive and reach their full potential, whether that be working with birth families, fostering or adoption.
There are many reasons why children need foster care; it could simply be an illness in the family which means the child can’t be looked after at home for a short while, or it could be a longer term issue that means they need care in a stable and nurturing environment for an extended period of time.
Across the country there is a shortage of foster carers and adopters and the situation is no different in Cornwall, as the Council’s Together for Families fostering service manager Julie Goodwin explains: “We have truly amazing carers in Cornwall but the national trend suggests there are fewer new carers coming forward, so if you’ve got the time and want to make a difference, we’d love to hear from you.”
A new support service recently launched in Cornwall gives unparalleled support to foster carers and the children they look after. The new Specialist Support team is made up of social workers, family supporter workers, youth workers, family therapists and educational psychologists from Cornwall Council’s Together for Families.
Liaising with enhanced social work teams in the east and west of Cornwall the team delivers planned preventative and therapeutic support where and when it is most needed, as well as offering training and development strategies for existing foster carers by providing regular group work and learning opportunities for them.
As Cabinet Member for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health, Sally Hawken, adds: “Our aim is not only to have the best support network in the country, but to also have the best trained, skilled and informed foster carers to bring about the most positive change for all children and young people in care.”
If you’ve ever thought about adopting, Cornwall Council’s Family Plus team will also be there to hold your hand every step of the way once you’ve been matched with a child or children, offering expert insights and advice on different types of parenting, access to professional therapeutic support, mentoring and the latest ideas and thinking about how to help a child that has experienced trauma or abuse in their young lives.
So, if you want to make a difference to a child’s life, now’s the time to act. Find out more about adoption or fostering at one of Cornwall Council’s monthly information sessions and take along any questions you might have.
For more information about adopting and to find out about special National Adoption Week activities, visit www.adoptincornwall.co.uk or call 01872 322 200.
For fostering, call 01872 323 638 or go to www.fosterincornwall.co.uk to book your info session.
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