Achieving for Children in Richmond has sent out a plea to increase the number of foster carers in the borough.

The aim is to double the current figure of 40.

Although the council and AfC are looking for foster carers for children of all ages, they are particularly in need of those who can look after young people over the age of 12.

Ruth, a local who has been fostering for the last seven years, said she “loves it”.

She added: “We have three boys of our own at home and have space and capacity to look after one or two more little ones when needed.

“We began fostering wanting to be able to offer care and stability to those in need, knowing that there are always many children who need looking after for short or long periods of time, when their families are unable to.

“The level of need is huge, and fostering agencies always need more families so that they can make the best match of children needing to be looked after to fostering families.

“Several of our friends and family initially asked why we would consider fostering and also worried about the impact on our own children, but actually it's been a great thing for all of us including our boys, and they love having our ‘extras’ around.

“They are keen to share their home and family with whoever is placed with us.”

Rob Henderson, director of children’s services said: “We are looking for foster carers from a wide range of backgrounds, all we ask is a commitment to caring for and supporting a vulnerable child.

“Whether you’re already a parent or have no children of your own, are a homeowner or a renter, so long as you live within an easy commute of the borough, and are over 21 years old, you can apply to become a foster carer.

“Achieving for Children provides training as part of you becoming an approved carer, which enables care for the fostered child and support for the family they are living with.

“As part of that process the fostering team organise outings for children of foster carers to help them adapt to the new situation, feel a part of the process and bond with their foster siblings.”

If you are interested, contact the fostering team here