Tower Hamlets Council has today (Monday, March 2) launched a high-profile campaign to find more foster carers for children. For the next two weeks the council will be advertising across eight boroughs in East London. The adverts focus on the fun side of raising foster children. They feature images of Tower Hamlets foster carers in fancy dress with the tagline, ‘Filling Children’s Lives With Love and Laughter’.
The council has a strong track record of recruiting foster carers and is continually looking for more. The council currently has 115 fostering households on its books and is hoping to attract approximately another 25 this year. In particular it needs carers who are able to offer homes to children aged three and over, siblings, children with disabilities and teenagers.
Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “Foster carers are often the unsung heroes of our community. Without them, children who have not had the best start in life might miss out on the warmth and support of a loving family environment. “Our foster carers tell us how richly rewarding fostering can be, and how their lives have been transformed by opening their home up to a vulnerable child.”
Cllr Gulam Robbani, cabinet member for education and children’s services, said: “We hope this campaign will encourage anyone who has ever considered fostering to pick up the phone and contact our friendly experts to find out more.”
Some of the Tower Hamlets foster carers who feature in the adverts encouraged others to follow their example. Gertrude and Keith Tummings have been fostering for 18 years. During this time they have cared for 25 children, nine of whom have disabilities. Mrs Tummings said: “I have been told that I don’t give up on my foster children and to hear that makes me feel so happy and proud. I just want to see these children
happy and reaching their potential.”
Afia Choudhury has cared for 25 foster children in nine years. She said: “The best thing about fostering is seeing the children grow in confidence. “Some of my children have been so anxious and tearful when they first came to live with us, but with lots of patience, reassurance and kindness, you see them transform. It really makes me feel proud to know that I have made a difference.”