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22 January 2019

Campaign launched across Carlisle and Eden to find foster carers for siblings in Cumbria

Cumbria County Council launches a new campaign today across Carlisle and Eden to try and find more foster carers who can offer homes to siblings groups and help brothers and sisters in care to stay together.

There is a need for all types of carers in the region, but especially for foster cares who can offer a permanent, long-term home to sibling groups. At the moment there are 22 brothers and sisters across the county waiting for long term, permanent foster placements together.

Without more foster carers coming forward during 2018 some children may find themselves living a long way from family, school and friends or being split up from brothers and sisters.

Kath and Graham Lamb, from Carlisle, have been fostering for six years and are currently long term carers for a sibling group of three children (aged 7, 8 and 10).

Kath, who used to work with children in care, said: “While I was working with looked after children, a group of six siblings came into care and had to be split into three groups of two, with placements all over the county, which meant it was very difficult for them to see each other.

“They felt as though they were being punished for things their parents were responsible for. That wasn’t the case but there just wasn’t the carers there to take siblings groups at that time.”

She added that caring for siblings can be less challenging than caring for a single child:  “We’ve done single placements, as well as sibling groups, and find siblings a lot easier as they are able to create their own little support network, while receiving the love and care that they need from us.

“Fostering siblings has been an amazing experience for us and I would recommend it to anybody considering the process. The local authority offer fantastic support and advice. It been great for us, the children and our family.”

 Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:

“We believe that there are many people in our community who have the right skills and qualities to foster. We need you to come forward and help us change a child's life for good. We particularly need more foster families for sibling groups.

“Opening your home and your life to vulnerable children and helping brothers and sisters to stay together, is one of the most selfless and rewarding things you can do.

“I’d urge anyone interested in finding out more to attend one of our information evenings. There’s no pressure or expectation; just the chance to find out about the support we can offer and to ask questions in a private and informal setting.”

The council currently supports 35 fostering households in Carlisle but needs more to come forward this year, in order to offer a safe, secure and loving home to some of the county’s most vulnerable children.

If you think you have what it takes and would like to find out more come to one of our upcoming information events and speak to our team and foster carers:

  • Saturday 9 February - Crown and Mitre Hotel, Carlisle - Tea and coffee from 2pm, presentation starts 2.30pm.
  • Saturday 23 February - George Hotel, Penrith - Tea and coffee from 2pm, presentation starts 2.30pm

If you can’t make an event go to www.cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call 0303 333 1216 to find out more. 


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Cumbria County Council launches a new campaign today across Carlisle and Eden to try and find more foster carers who can offer homes to siblings groups and help brothers and sisters in care to stay together.