A city centre church is hosting an event tomorrow to try to recruit more foster carers for Nottingham City Council.

Heart Church, based on Talbot Street, is inviting people along on Wednesday (13) evening to learn more about fostering.

It is the latest part of a pledge from Nottingham churches to provide 100 new foster homes for local children over the next few years, and follows a successful Fostering Sunday event last month.

Sections of the sermon at numerous churches across the city featured information about fostering and the benefits to children and their foster families – heard by hundreds of church-goers. This included:

  • Providing a loving environment and a secure home to support their learning
  • Experience of family life
  • Satisfaction of helping a vulnerable child
  • Developing a relationship that can last a lifetime

The event at Heart Church on Wednesday starts at 7.30pm and runs until 9pm. Current foster carers will discuss their experiences and answer questions about the role.

Nottingham currently has more than 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.

The link with local churches comes at a time when the City Council has also forged relationships with local mosques, schools and the police and fire service to encourage more people to consider becoming foster carers.

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, said: “We really value the support that we have received from the church community in Nottingham and I saw for myself how successful the Fostering Sunday services were last month. We have already made contact with a number of potential new fostering households off the back of it.

“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.

“Becoming a foster carer is, of course, challenging at times but the rewards – both for the child and the parents – are enormous. I’d urge anyone interested in finding out more to come along to Heart Church this week.”

Michael Lyden, a foster carer and member of the Nottingham City Prayer team behind tomorrow’s event, said: “Our event at Heart is another way for us, as the Church, to think about how we can support 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 also online about dates and times for the City Council’s monthly information evenings, which anyone is welcome to attend.