Plea for foster families

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For many Christmas is a time for family and being with loved ones. This year 476 children and young people in Cambridgeshire will spend Christmas away from their families.

Cambridgeshire County Council needs more foster families to help transform lives and meet the needs of local children and young people this festive season. Although the service has seen an increase in enquiries during the last three months, more are still needed.

Chris Strang, a foster carer from St Neots said: “We became foster carers because we wanted to give children a home for as long as they needed it. We enjoy looking after children and it has certainly kept us young, and we love seeing the positive changes that our love and commitment has made. We would recommend it to anyone who has a caring nature - it really is rewarding.”

Jill Blose, Fostering Service Manager for Cambridgeshire County Council, added: “Foster carers help to give children and young people a safe place to call home and this is something that every child deserves. For many children and young people Christmas can be a very unsettling time - especially when they do not have their families around them. Without the help of foster carers we cannot provide local foster placements for Cambridgeshire children and young people.”

Every child is different so the Council needs different foster carers. Anyone who has a spare room and can offer stability, security and the positive experience of a loving family is invited to apply.

Foster carers could be:

* Married, in a civil partnership, single or living with a partner

* From an ethnic background

* In work, unemployed or retired

Recruiting local people will mean that children and young people can live in their own community, continue to attend the same school and maintain contact with their family and friends.

In return the County Council can offer generous allowances including a start up package, 24 hour support and full training.