New fostering service launches in Northampton to help 400 vulnerable children in 'urgent need'

People from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age. This includes single people, cohabiting couples, same-sex couples and people living in rented accommodation  the only requirement is a private bedroom for each foster child. (File picture).
People from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age. This includes single people, cohabiting couples, same-sex couples and people living in rented accommodation the only requirement is a private bedroom for each foster child. (File picture).

A social enterprise has expanded its fostering services to Northampton to stem the shortfall of 400 foster carers.

Five Rivers Child Care is aiming to increase the number of foster carers in the county over the next 12 months following an increase in the number of young people entering the care system.

There is particularly high demand for carers able to take on parent and child placements, bosses say. These are designed to accommodate new parents and their biological children who are in need of support from foster families to accommodate them so their parenting skills can be assessed.

Gordon Chinchen, fostering operations manager for Five Rivers across the East Midlands said: “There is an urgent need for Northampton residents to step up to the challenge of foster care. Hundreds of children’s lives could be changed for the better by a loving, supporting home and foster family.

“By no means are we suggesting foster care is an easy choice to make. We understand that there are concerns and misconceptions around what it entails. We are here to bring clarity to the people of Northampton, and help them understand the difference they could make to the life of a young person.

“We are holding information events around town over the coming weeks. These are great opportunities to come down for an informal, no strings attached conversation about opportunities in foster care.”

Five Rivers is also looking to recruit carers to take on long-term placements or short-term placements for children in need of urgent or respite care.

A series of information events throughout the next two months across Northampton will be held for information and advice:

Saturday 21 April, Quaker Meeting House, NN1 3AS - 13.00hrs – 22.00hrs

Friday 4 May, Weston Favell Shopping Centre, NN3 8JZ - 9.00hrs – 17.30hrs

Saturday 12 May, Quaker Meeting House, NN1 3AS - 10.00hrs – 22.00hrs

Friday 1 June, Weston Favell Shopping Centre, NN3 8JZ - 9.00hrs – 17.30hrs

For more information on the events email Peter.Meehan@five-rivers.org.