To mark Foster Care Fortnight, Essex County Council is asking local people to help them to name their Bear in Care and highlight the need for more foster carers across the county.
The Bear in Care has been the mascot for the council’s Fostering Recruitment Team since May 2017 and is part of a wider campaign for Foster Care Fortnight, which this year is from Monday 14 May to Sunday 27 May.
The campaign has seen the bear attending the popular Essex Parkruns to raise the profile of fostering.
Foster carers across the county have also joined in by actively posting stories on social media of how their own teddy bears have adapted to life with their foster family.
Councillor Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Families, said: “With around 100 new foster families needed across the county, we’re delighted to once again join in the Fostering Network’s annual national campaign to raise awareness. If you are considering becoming a Foster carer, Essex County Council should be your first port of call. With us you will receive local training, support and become part of our amazing fostering community and you will receive a competitive financial package.
“There are no special qualifications required for being a foster carer; we are looking for people who are supportive and caring and willing to go the extra mile to provide a secure home environment for a child.
“We also have the largest number of children in Essex which enables us to make the best possible match for our foster carers and their families. I would urge anyone who is interested to come along to one of our information events and speak to one of our existing foster carers and our fostering team to find out more.”
To put forward a suggestion for the bear’s name, entrants should email their ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit their idea on social media by liking @essexadoptandfoster on Facebook and essex_CC on Twitter #namethebearincare.
The deadline for suggestions is 5pm on Friday 18 May and the winning idea will be announced on Facebook and Twitter on Monday 21 May.
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer you can find out more by calling the Fostering team on 0800 801 530 or enquire via our website.
Notes to editors
- Foster Care Fortnight is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, delivered by The Fostering Network. The campaign showcases the commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers. It also supports fostering services to highlight the need for more foster carers.
- Over 7,000 new foster families are needed in the next 12 months in the UK to care for a range of children.
- A high proportion of children who come into care in Essex are aged ten and over so there is also a particular need for foster carers who can provide homes for older children, as well as those who can accommodate sibling groups and children with disabilities.