A couple from Silloth are backing a new campaign that has been launched across Cumbria to encourage more potential foster carers to come forward in 2022.

The pandemic, along with more children coming into care each month, means there is an urgent demand for foster carers for children and young people of all ages across the county.

There are more than 700 children and young people in care across Cumbria and while the council supports around 275 foster carers already, they continue to look for more potential foster carers.

In Cumbria there is a demand for more carers for slightly older children and siblings who need permanent or long-term placements.

Malcolm and Wendy Wise live in Silloth and are long term foster carers for two siblings. Malcolm said: “Long term fostering gives the children some security and stability and it means we can plan for their future and plan our lives around it. This is their home for as long as they want it to be.”

While fostering can be challenging, Malcolm adds that they’ve had great support from the council: “We had two different support social workers and they’ve both been fantastic. If we need anything, they are just at the end of the phone.”

Wendy finishes: “It’s very rewarding to see what a difference we can make to the children’s lives. Just seeing how happy they are and giving them the same opportunities we’ve given to our children and to see them thrive. It’s been lovely.”

Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We need long term foster carers who can provide love, security and commitment to a vulnerable child and support them into adulthood. This is ‘fostering without having to say goodbye’ to the child, as they remain in your family. I would encourage anyone curious about fostering, to come forward and find out how they can make a difference.”

The Council will hold an information event on Saturday 29 January. It takes place in the Regency Conference room of the George Hotel, Penrith from 10am-12pm.

For further information, visit www.cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call 0303 333 1216.