Nottingham City Council is encouraging potential foster carers to come forward so that children and teenagers waiting for a foster home can experience next Christmas in a loving family home.

Nottingham City Council cares for over 600 children who can’t live with their parents – many of these children are in temporary accommodation and don’t know where they will grow up.

The process of applying to become a foster carer takes around six months, so by this time next year new carers could have a child or teenager settled in with them. More of our children in care will then have a local, loving home in 2018.

The City Council is running a Facebook campaign throughout December which encourages potential foster carers to imagine that this time next year, with their foster child they could be getting the Christmas tree down from the loft, putting on Santa hats and making Christmas decorations.

The campaign will encourage those who are interested to visit or call the City Council’s Fostering Team on 0115 876 3335 to find out more. The Facebook page can be seen by searching ‘Fostering Nottingham’.

Many people can foster from all different walks of life – the most important thing is they can provide a loving home, are over the age of 21 and have a spare bedroom.

Fosters carers simply need to be warm, good at listening, supportive and able to offer advice.

Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, Councillor David Mellen, said: “We are encouraging people to think about doing something amazing next year by fostering a child. Our foster carers tell us that fostering is an extremely rewarding experience that could significantly turn a vulnerable child’s life around.

Councillor Mellen added: “It’s easy to take Christmas for granted, especially if you have a loving and supportive family around you. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for every child in Nottingham for a variety of reasons.

“We have youngsters who are desperate to experience the joy that comes from having a stable family environment where they can grow and thrive.

“If you’ve ever considered becoming a foster carer, please come and talk to us. Next December it might be you decorating the Christmas tree with your new foster child.”