North West charity, the Together Trust, is supporting this year’s Foster Care Fortnight (16th – 29th May), the UK’s biggest foster care awareness campaign.
Led by The Fostering Network, the two week Foster Care Fortnight campaign showcases the commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers.
The Together Trust was established in 1870 and provides specialist education, residential care, community services and fostering to over 2,300 young people, adults and families with learning difficulties, physical disabilities and complex needs each year.
This year’s Time to Foster, Time to Care theme shows that every 20 minutes across the UK a child comes into care in need of a foster family.
With over 400 referrals for young people needing homes coming through to the charity every month, the Together Trust’s fostering agency – which has been established for over 18 years – is helping to spread the message that now is the time to foster.
Lynn Fletcher has been a foster carer with the Together Trust for around six years and fosters with her long term partner, Martin. Lynn said, “I spent over 15 years as a primary school teacher, mainly in the inner city and came across lots of children in the care system.
“I always felt that the care and support I could offer these children couldn’t fully meet their needs and felt stifled. Becoming a carer allowed me to extend that role to looking after the ‘whole child’. Martin and I were fortunate to have good educations and support at home, we wanted to share that with other children in need.”
Lynn and Martin currently foster a teenage boy and have done for the past four years, she added, “I was not prepared for that huge sense of pride and the odd tear shed when your child makes a step forward in their journey.”
Jill Sheldrake, Service Director at the Together Trust, said, “The role that a foster carer plays in a young person’s life is invaluable. By providing care and a home in a secure, stable family setting, carers can make the most profound difference to the life of a child.
“There is a shortage of foster carers across the UK, with 1,200 needed in the North West alone, here at the Together Trust we want to help tackle this with the help of local communities.”
Foster carers from the Together Trust are paid a generous allowance; this can range from £336-£477 per week, to cover the costs of looking after a child and includes a weekly fee for the foster carer’s time and skills.
The charity’s fostering agency is currently looking for carers who can look after a range of children, young people and sibling groups.
For more information on fostering with the Together Trust visit the website or call 0161 286 4242.