As all Nottingham City Council Foster Carers are entitled to two weeks paid respite they will sometimes arrange for the children in their care to stay with another carer for a short break. This ranges from overnight stays, weekends or longer breaks lasting up to a fortnight. This not only gives carers a break or just time to spend with their own family, it provides children in their care a holiday and a chance to have a different experience and meet new people.
To meet the demand of respite requests for the summer months ahead, Nottingham City Council is looking to recruit more foster carers who can accommodate children for short stays during this busy period.*
Carol and her husband were approved as foster carers over five years ago after making an initial enquiry at one of the City Council’s summer events. They had been thinking about fostering for some time and with their three children having flown the nest they felt it was time to “help someone else and make a difference.”
Carol and her husband are approved to do short term fostering up to the age of 18 and normally care for two children at a time. They also take emergency placements and provide respite for other carers. “We want to be there for any child or young person who needs us.”
Most placements are planned which is ideal for families, couples or single people who already have a job but still want to make a difference to a child’s life. In some cases there are placements which can’t be planned for, and so people with flexible working arrangements make ideal carers when children need to be placed in an emergency.
The City Council needs more carers like Carol, who can step in at these times. For Carol it was a complete career change that allowed her to start fostering but people who work full time or have other commitments can still make a difference to a child or young person in care just by giving up a few weekends or time in the summer holidays.
The City Council is looking for people aged 21 or over from all ethnicities and backgrounds who:
- Can offer a safe, stable, loving and happy environment to a child or young person
- Can give our children an active, fun and positive experience
- Can help maintain a child’s normal routine
- Are flexible to respond to the needs of the child being looked after, if circumstances change
- Are willing to undertake training and work with us to ensure our children thrive and succeed
- Have a spare bedroom
Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “Nottingham City Council’s Foster Carers do a great job looking after Children in Care on behalf of the council and welcoming these children into their homes. We need people who can look after foster children on a short term basis to give them and their carers a break and a chance to do new things and meet new people. This can be at weekends or during the schools holidays – it’s a great way to give something back and make a difference to the lives of others without being a full time commitment.”
Nottingham City Council provides full training to potential foster carers to ensure they are well equipped for the role along with competitive rates of pay and a full package of ongoing support. The assessment takes around six months.
To find out more visit www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/foster or speak to one of our dedicated Customer Service Officers on 0115 915 1234.
The City Council holds monthly information evenings which include talks from existing carers and the team who support them; it’s a great chance to find out more about fostering and ask questions in a friendly and welcoming space. The next event takes place on Wednesday 11 February, 7-9pm at Loxley House.Get to know us for more details.