•  and 

Type of content:


10 January 2020

Council marks launch of foster carer campaign with information stand at Carlisle Hospital

Cumbria County Council launches its latest foster carer recruitment campaign with an information stand at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary on Friday (January 17) from 11am to 1pm.

The campaign, which starts today and runs until the end of the month, is appealing for people in Carlisle and Eden who wish to ‘make a difference’ to the lives of children in care to find out more about becoming foster carers.

The start of a new year is the perfect time for families and individuals to reflect on their life and whether this year they could provide a fresh start for a vulnerable child in Cumbria.

If you have a spare bedroom, are great with children and young people and want to really make a difference to local children, Cumbria County Council’s fostering service want to hear from you.

There are different kinds of fostering, from emergency and short term, right through to long term and specialist fostering, and also a family-based short breaks scheme for disabled children.

The council’s fostering service will help find the right ‘fit’ for you and your family - and will be with you on every step of your fostering journey, offering locally-based support, excellent training plus tax free allowances and opportunities for development.

Helen Cole and Dave Elliott, from Carlisle, are long-term foster carers for a little boy aged 8.

Dave said: “I used to be a firefighter and was approaching retirement and thought I’d have all this time on my hands - what am I going to do with it? So I put the question to Helen ‘how about we foster?’ and she welled up, so I just knew it was the right decision because we’ve both got loads of love to give.”

The couple applied to foster in August 2017 and were approved just eight months later. Helen said: “Dave was still working at that stage but our social worker was brilliant and made the whole process very seamless.”

Early on in the process the couple decided a long term fostering placement would work best for them. Helen explained: “One of the key benefits of having a foster child on a permanent basis is that it gives them the opportunity to know they are in a stable environment and that they are not going anywhere. He is here forever and we are here to support him through to university and beyond - he is definitely part of the 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.

“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.”

Find out more at an information event

If you would you like to know more about fostering opportunities in your area, come along to an upcoming information event in your area:

  • Friday 17 January - Information stand, Cumberland Infirmary - from 11am to 1pm
  • Saturday 25 January - Information event at George Hotel, Penrith -doors open 10am, presentation starts 10.30am, events finishes at 12pm
  • Saturday 1 February - Information event Crown and Mitre Hotel,Carlisle - doors open at 1pm, presentation starts at 1.30pm and evening finishes at 3pm

For more information visit cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call 0303 333 1216 

Helen and Dave with their foster child

Cumbria County Council launches its latest foster carer recruitment campaign with an information stand at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary on Friday (January 17) from 11am to 1pm.