A family is today sharing its story to highlight the need for more foster carers in Sunderland.
Currently more than 400 children are in foster care in Sunderland with Together for Children and looked after by around 270 foster carers.
But more families are needed to provide temporary homes for young people in the city.
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, Elaine Ellis-Smith, 61, who has been a foster carer in Sunderland for six years with her husband Dave, spoke of her experience.
She currently fosters a 12-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy as well as a three month-old girl.
Elaine recognises the challenges of fostering but says that the positives outweigh any negatives
“I find being a foster carer extremely rewarding.
“When my current foster children arrived, I remember how lost looking and frightened they were – I’ve now seen them grow into confident, happy children and there’s no better feeling knowing you’ve contributed towards that.
Together for Children, which works on behalf of Sunderland City Council to deliver children’s services, is currently looking to recruit a number of new foster carers, particularly for older children and sibling groups.
The next foster care event takes place on Tuesday, May 22, at Bede Tower, in Burdon Road, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
The event is open to anyone wanting to find out more.
For more information visit www.togetherforchildren.org.uk/families/fostering or call Together for Children’s fostering team on 0191 520 5553.