Can you help a young person in an emergency?

Warwickshire County Council’s fostering service is looking for foster carers to care for young people in a crisis. Emergency duty carers are part of a small, dedicated team of experienced foster carers providing support and stability at very short notice. They provide emergency cover outside of office hours for children and young people who need a home for the night but are unable to stay with friends or relatives.

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The young people in care can be any age from babies up to 18 years. Carers need to be a two adult household and have no children aged under 18 living with them. At least one carer needs to be able to be at home full time to support any placements made on an emergency basis.

Becoming an emergency carer allows carers to make a regular short term commitment to fostering, whilst still having time for themselves and their family when not on duty. The role may suit retired people who have more time to support a young person or foster carers looking to retire from full-time fostering placements. Foster carers will receive support from a dedicated Fostering Social Worker and Social Care Worker, monthly support groups and specialist training programmes.

Fiona, an emergency foster carer said “Working as part of the Emergency Duty Team, to help young people and their families at times of crisis, is a rewarding challenge for the right kind of people. You are welcoming into your house young people who are in a time of crisis and you need to relax them and provide a listening ear and show you care about them. You never know what you are going to get when you are on the rota and that’s part of the challenge we like.”

Cllr Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Health said “Emergency duty carers are vital in supporting our looked after children in Warwickshire. I encourage anyone interested in becoming an emergency carer to call the fostering team and find out more.”

Cllr Dave Parsons, Chair of the Children & Young People Overview & Scrutiny Committee said “We urgently need more foster carers in Warwickshire who can provide a home, food and support at short notice. I hope more foster carers come forward as a result of this campaign.”

To read or view a video about the experiences of emergency duty foster carers visit the Warwickshire Fostering Service website (www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fostering) or Facebook page (Warwickshire-County-Council-Fostering). For direct enquiries please contact Central Fostering on Freephone 0800 408 1556 or complete the online enquiry form at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fostering.