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Monday, 22 January 2018

Stars share family photos to support Barnardo's foster carers appeal

Written by Julia Hunt

Paloma Faith and Fay Ripley are among a group of celebrities sharing family photos to support an urgent appeal for foster carers.

Former Towie stars Lydia Bright and Debbie Douglas, Love Island's Marcel Somerville, Gogglebox vicar Kate Bottley and gold medallist sprinter Jamie Baulch are also backing the Barnardo's campaign to highlight the importance of having someone to support you.

They are using the hashtag #wesupportfostering to share personal images of their families and the people who have supported them for Barnardo's Fostering week, which is being launched on Monday.

The charity is calling for more people to consider fostering, as there is a pressing need to find more than 7,000 foster carers in the next 12 months.

Mother-of-one Faith (pictured) shared an image of her and her mother as a toddler.

The singer said: "Raising a child is so rewarding but it can also be a challenge, so knowing you have someone to help you when you need it makes such a difference.

"Barnardo's is special because they provide their foster carers with continual support and advice, no matter how big or small the problem."

Barnardo's ambassador Douglas has fostered more than 200 children over 25 years and said "is one of the most rewarding things you can do".

Cold Feet star Ripley said parents and carers need to know they are not alone.

"Caring for a child is wonderful yet all parents know it can also be challenging at times," she said.

"No matter if you're a parent or a carer, everyone needs someone to turn to when things get tough. That's why the continuous support Barnardo's provide to carers is essential during a foster carer's journey - it gives them the tools to help children achieve the best possible outcomes."

The drive comes as new YouGov research for the charity reveals nearly half (46%) of people think a lack of support from fostering agencies is likely to put people off fostering.

While 62% say they think people may not be confident they can look after a foster child, 45% believe not having any training on how to be a foster carer could be an issue.

However, a poll by Barnardo's of their own foster carers revealed that more than eight in 10 carers (82%) are happy with the level of support and advice they receive from the organisation's fostering service.

Barnardo's chief executive Javed Khan said: "Children who have been taken into care have sometimes experienced trauma or difficult circumstances making everyday challenges more difficult to overcome.

"Having a foster carer to support them through the difficult times can help enormously but our carers can only do this if they're properly supported too.

"That's why we ensure they have everything they need whether that's advice, training or peer support, to feel confident they can help transform a young life."

For information, visit www.barnardos.org.uk/fostering.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Barnardo's / PA Wire.