FOSTER carers are urgently needed in Durham and the surrounding area to make up for a shortfall in the number of families available to look after children.

Five Rivers Child Care, a social enterprise group, is trying to recruit people for four different fostering roles to cater for the different needs of children it looks after.

Fostering manager Colette Abbiss said: “A career in foster care can be extremely rewarding, as well as offering a competitive salary, generous holiday allowance, health cover, a contributory pension scheme, and vouchers for childcare. You could make a huge difference to the life of a child.

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“People from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age, including single people, co-habiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation. The only requirement is a spare room for each foster child.”

The organisation is looking for people to take on children for long term foster placement, short respite breaks, for parent and child assessments and people who can give specialist care to children with specific requirements.

Short breaks can involve taking on children for a single evening, day, weekend, week or more to help support parents and carers by giving them a break.

In other situations foster carers are asked to temporarily share their home with new families to give them the opportunity to experience every day life in a safe and encouraging atmosphere.

For more information about a career in fostering call Five Rivers on 01722 622492 or visit www.five-rivers.org/fostering.