The Wokingham Paper

Foster families needed in Wokingham borough

MORE than 10 foster families are urgently needed in Wokingham Borough, with demand on services set to increase due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The lockdown has seen an increase in domestic abuse, with charity ‘Refuge’ seeing a 700% increase in visits to its website and a 25% increase in the number of calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline.

With the annual Foster Care fortnight campaign still going ahead (11-24 May), foster carers are needed for children including teenagers, siblings, asylum seekers and children with disabilities. 

The council has continued to support theses families during lockdown by doubling their efforts to keep in touch with foster carers by phone and Skype calls. Regular news emails for foster carers to share ideas and general Covid-19 news updates are being sent out as well as a free yoga session. 

Additional financial assistance in the form of council tax exemption is offered as part of a wide range of benefits and incentives. 

“We have 64 foster carer households who do vital work providing a loving and nurturing home for young people in our borough,” said Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member fr children’s services. 

“We know coronavirus has caused people to lose their jobs and some could be looking for a new way to earn a living. Fostering changes lives and keeps young people close to their friends and families, to talk to our team about it. 

“As a career, our foster carers also find it enormously rewarding. Children go into foster care for all sorts of reasons, though no fault of their own, but the work our foster carers do gives youngsters a happier and more supported life. We are really grateful to them and value them enormously. Please give some thought as to whether you could be one of these special people.”

The council is still actively recruiting new foster enquiries and applications by phone calls and virtual visits. To find out more, contact Jackie Ross, recruitment and marketing officer on 0118 974 6204 or email: fostering@wokingham.gov.uk and visit fostering.wokingham.gov.uk 

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