Nottingham churches are coming together on Sunday (13 May) to spread the message about fostering in the City.
Ahead of national Foster Care Fortnight, which begins on Monday, church leaders will take the opportunity to promote fostering to their congregations during a raft of Sunday services taking place across Nottingham.
Nottingham churches have pledged to provide 100 new foster homes for City children over the next three years.
More than 100 churches across the City have now been given videos, sermons, prayers and children’s activities to help them highlight the need for foster carers and how Christians can respond. This means that the subject of fostering will potentially be discussed with thousands of local people in one day.
The aim will be to explain the numerous advantages of becoming a foster parent, both to the child and the carer themselves. These include:
- Providing a secure and loving environment
- Giving a platform for academic stability
- Experience of family life
- Satisfaction of helping a vulnerable child
- Developing a relationship that can last a lifetime
Nottingham currently has around 600 children in the care system and the City Council is constantly looking for more foster carers in order to provide stable homes.
There are around 160 fostering households at present which provide support in a number of different ways, from emergency and respite placements right though to long-term care or parent-and-baby fostering.
Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, said: “We are delighted that Nottingham churches are supporting our on-going drive to find new foster carers. They have terrific reach into their local communities and we really value their support – the Fostering Sunday event is a great way to spread the message of fostering.
“With ever-increasing pressure on our services and greater strain on families, we are aware that we can’t meet this demand alone. We need the support of the voluntary sector and faith communities to help us.
“Opening your home and your life to vulnerable child is one of the greatest gifts that someone can give back to our City and I’d urge people in Nottingham to consider whether this is something they could offer or support.”
Michael Lyden, a foster carer and member of the Nottingham City Prayer team behind this weekend’s event, said: “Fostering Sunday is a great way for us, as the Church, to seriously consider the care needs of the City.
“Our prayer is that it will result in many more Christians coming forward to foster as we seek to find 100 foster homes from Nottingham church communities over the next three years.
“The past seven months that I have been fostering have not been easy, but I can sincerely say that it is one of the very best things I have done.”
To find out more about becoming a foster carer with Nottingham City Council, visit www.fosteringnottingham.com. Details are online about dates and times for monthly information evenings, which anyone is welcome to attend.