AN urgent appeal for foster parents is being made by Durham County Council which has record numbers of children seeking new homes.

The council’s recruitment drive stems from an urgent need to find at least 50 new foster families.

The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading charity for foster care, estimates that a further 450 more foster families are needed in the North-East.

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Florence Coulter, team manager for fostering with the council, said: “We’d like to encourage anyone thinking about fostering to come forward and find out more.

“Foster families come in all shapes and sizes but they all have one thing in common and that is that they have the right skills to care for children.”

The council also offers financial support to foster families and there is a training scheme to help develop parents’ skills.

The council also offers a dedicated therapeutic service for the children including a consultant clinical psychologist and therapists.

Details on fostering can be obtained by calling 0300-0269-400, emailing fostering@durham.gov.uk or on-line at www.durham.gov.uk/fostering.