The annual awareness raising campaign will highlight how foster carers are helping to transform the lives of young people in care by providing them with a home and how more people coming forward will help to boost that support.
The campaign is organised by The Fostering Network whose theme this year is #WhyWeCare.
A special Foster Care Fortnight Coffee Morning is being held on Thursday, May 20 so people can find out more about what’s involved.
An approved foster carer as well as members of the council’s team will be available to talk about what it’s like to be a foster carer, to answer any questions and to explore some of the myths associated with becoming a carer.
Councillor Robert Benham, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families, said: “We have a real shortage of foster carers in Havering and we need more people to come forward to care.
“Children come into care for many different reasons and because of different circumstances, so it is important for us to have people ready and able to provide the love and support that they need.”
He added: “We’re looking for individuals, couples and families from all backgrounds who are willing to nurture, support and mentor children and young people, especially young people over the age of 10.
“All we ask is that they are open-minded, empathetic, and have the time and an interest in committing to young people who are in need of a loving home.
“We have some amazing foster carers who have been making a massive contribution and we need more like them.”
As a child, Julie Ragan had foster children growing up in her home, and decided she wanted to become a foster carer too. She has been a foster carer for more than 15 years and is currently looking after a 14-year-old boy.
She said: “I had a positive childhood and I wanted to pass that on to someone else to give them love and care and help to nurture them.
“It’s hard work and it can be very frustrating at times because children come from all sorts of backgrounds that we don’t know much about.
“On the other hand, it is so rewarding when you see that one little glimpse of difference. Sometimes they are enthralled when they see a packed lunch or a stocking at Christmas and realise it’s for them.”
Foster carer Richard Gale, 65, began fostering two years ago and told us why he cared: “Like many people, we wanted to foster a younger, but school age, child. We didn’t have an easy start. However, we are now fostering a 15-year-old and it is an excellent match. Our ideas of children in care went out the window. We treat her like she is ours.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about fostering can register in advance for the Coffee Morning.
More information about fostering is available at https://www.havering.gov.uk/fostering