KIND-HEARTED people in the district are being urged to consider becoming foster carers.

No fewer than 150 foster families are currently providing loving, secure and stable homes for children and young people across Northumberland.

Now as part of Foster Care Fortnight, which will conclude on Sunday, awareness is being raised of this vital role in local communities. Northumberland County Council has teamed up with the Fostering Network, the UK’s leading charity of its kind, to call for more people to come forward.

Coun. Wayne Daley, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services at the council, said the role was as important as ever, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He explained: “Foster carers accomplish amazing things every day, and continue to do so in the face of this global crisis that has impacted on all aspects of our society.

“Despite the practical and emotional challenges that coronavirus is bringing, foster carers continue to provide day-to-day support, love and stability to children and young people who can’t live with their birth families.”

Coun. Daley said that with 400 children in care across Northumberland, there was an urgent need for more people to offer their services.

Prudhoe’s Diane Clark has been a foster carer for nine years. After initially providing respite and short term care, she moved into offering long term foster care for two siblings, alongside her own son.

She said: “I had a very loving and happy childhood and have felt the benefit of this through my life. I was able to give this to my son, and then still felt that I had more to give to other children who possibly haven’t had a similar experience.”

Diane said fostering could be a rewarding experience for all involved, even during a global pandemic.

“Lockdown is actually bringing a lot of positives for the children,” she added. “We have some tricky days, but we just keep reminding each other that we’re all in this together. We’ve been on bike rides, made dens, baked cakes, and learned some karate moves.

Diane said she is often asked about the benefits of fostering. She added: “Seeing children start to relax and feel safe gives you such a sense of achievement, and then to see them go on to thrive and benefit from the care that you give provides you with the drive to keep going.”

Kevin Williams, chief executive of the Fostering Network, said: “Foster carers help children and young people flourish and fulfil their potential. Because this happens mainly in the privacy of their own homes, their contributions too often go unnoticed.”

For more information call Caroline Matthews on (01670) 62 62 62, email or read more at