A capital celebration of foster care
A Celebration of Fostering took place in London last night, with guests including foster carers, care leavers, celebrities, the children's minister and others involved in fostering throughout the UK.
The evening, hosted by the Fostering Network at the Royal Festival Hall, brought people together during Foster Care Fortnight 2012 to hear music and speeches from inspirational young people and foster carers. In addition to foster carers, care leavers and fostering services, the event was also attended by children's minister in England, Tim Loughton, Lorraine Pascale, a supporter of Foster Care Fortnight and Fatima Whitbread, who grew up in the care system.
Tim Loughton, children's minister in England, said: "Foster carers do an incredible job, providing stability and care to the children who need it most, in the most difficult of circumstances. More than anyone, they can help children recover from the experiences which have brought them into care, and give them an opportunity to make a fresh start.
"But I want to do more than simply celebrate foster carers. I want to recruit more, and more varied, people to the role. I want to ensure that they all get the practical support they need. And I want to empower foster carers to provide the best possible care to children."
The entertainment for the evening was provided by Kay-Jay Simmons, who grew up in foster care, and Laura Hocking, a fundraiser for the Fostering Network.
The event also showcased the Fostering Network's 22 Minute campaign, which has been highlighting the fact that a child comes into care in the UK and needs a foster family every 22 minutes. The campaign uses traditional and social media to spread this message and encourage people to explore inspirational foster carer films and blogs.
Visit www.22minutes.org.uk to find out more about 22 Minutes and becoming a foster carer.