Face to face information session are back for anyone who wants to know more about the rewarding role of fostering.
Foster carers work alongside the council supporting cared for children to achieve their full potential in safe and secure environments; providing the stable and loving homes that children need.
The council needs more people from all parts of the borough to come forward to foster.
The information event is being held at the Royal Toby Hotel in Castleton on Monday, 11 October 2021. Residents can drop-in between 4pm–8pm, where anyone interested in fostering can find out more about it and hear from current foster carers and council staff about the approval process and what the role involves.
The team can also discuss with you the role of supported lodgings fostering. This is where you look after an older teen, who has a level of independence, so you're providing more support with a home, food and essentials rather than day to day care.
'Our foster carers are truly tremendous in the support, stability and love they give to our cared for children, we are so grateful to them'
Councillor Rachel Massey, cabinet member for children's services and education, said: "Our foster carers are truly tremendous in the support, stability and love they give to our cared for children, we are so grateful to them. However, we always need more foster carers, so if you've been thinking it over come and chat to our team at this information session. We understand that it is a huge decision to be a foster carer that's why events like this are invaluable, our friendly team will chat through any questions you have."
Foster carers Keiron and Tracey began their fostering journey at a Royal Toby information event 3 years ago. They attended in September, applied in October, and became approved foster carers in June. They opened up their home to 2 siblings 2 years ago and they are going strong.
'We were nervous not knowing what to expect but the team made us feel welcome and at ease'
Keiron said: "We went to the event on a whim after thinking about fostering on and off for years. We had been to other events in the past but didn't feel ready for the next step. We were nervous not knowing what to expect but the team made us feel welcome and at ease, explaining what the event was about and answered all our queries and concerns."
'The opportunity to speak with existing carers was a real bonus and made all the difference'
Tracey is encouraging others who have been considering fostering to come along and find out more, she said: "The opportunity to speak with existing carers was a real bonus and made all the difference. In fact it was this which gave us the courage to see the process through. Seeing real people and hearing their stories made us see that we could make a real difference to children in care. It just seemed all the stars aligned at just the right time."
There's no typical profile of a foster carer – they come from a diverse range of backgrounds regardless of sexuality, ethnicity, religion or marital status. The council has worked with a wide range of people; providing homes for children with heterosexual couples, same sex couples, families who already have children and single foster carers.
'Whether you have just started to think about fostering or are ready to get going on your fostering journey, we can't wait to meet you'
Tracey Johnson, fostering manager at Rochdale Borough Council, is delighted to be back, she said: "It's so exciting to be able to meet with people again, sit down together, have a cuppa and chat about all things fostering. Whether you have just started to think about fostering or are ready to get going on your fostering journey, we can't wait to meet you."
If you're over 21 and have a spare room then the fostering team would love to see you at the information event.