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Author Jacqueline Wilson and TV presenter Davina McCall have pledged their support to this year’s Foster Care Fortnight, the UK-wide campaign to highlight the shortage of foster carers, which began yesterday.

Nationally 8,000 more carers are needed and Ealing Council would like to find another eighty carers – the shortage can mean that some fostered children don’t get to live with their brothers and sisters or live a long way from friends, family and school. A wider pool of carers would improve the lives of children, whether they need fostering for a few weeks, a few months, or a few years.

In the next fortnight posters and information about fostering will be displayed in local libraries and council buildings and a banner and display in central Ealing. Ealing Fostering & Adoption Connections, Ealing Council’s fostering & adoption service will be attending the Acton Food Festival on Churchfield Rd. Acton, on Saturday 15th May. Anyone interested in fostering should come along as staff will be on hand to answer any questions and provide information.

Many people don’t think they will be eligible to foster, but no–one should rule themselves out without finding out a little more. Anyone can apply to be a foster carer as long as they have what it takes to care for children. Older people can foster, as can single people, married couples, or couples who live together.

Foster carers receive a realistic allowance, all the support they need and lots of opportunities for training, including nationally recognised NVQs in childcare. But most importantly they have the chance to make a real difference to a child’s life.

May 12, 2004