Today sees the start of Foster Care Fortnight and the hunt is on for people who think they could provide a loving home for a child or young person in need.
The council has set itself a target of recruiting an additional 40 foster carers this year and is particularly keen to hear from people who’ve had previous experience of working with or looking after children or young people.
Although the likes of childminders, teaching assistants, youth club leaders, nursery nurses, or teachers are top of the council's wish-list as potential foster carers, we'd also love to hear from anyone else who likes children and who is interested in fostering.
Foster carers come from all sorts of backgrounds - married or unmarried, living with a partner or on their own, working or not working. They can be home owners or living in rented accommodation and of any sexuality or ethnicity.
The main requirement is to be over 21, to have a spare bedroom, to love children and want to make a difference to them.
Events are being held across the city during Foster Care Fortnight to give people a chance to find out more.
Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member for Children's Services Manchester City Council, said:"We know from young people what a difference good foster carers make to them at an often very difficult time in their lives.
"We want to hear from anyone who thinks they've got what it takes to be there for a vulnerable young person who, through no fault of their own needs some help.”
One young person with direct experience of foster care is Zayne. He said: "Being in a foster family made a massive difference to me. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Before I went into care I rarely went to school, missing out on five years of education. By the time I went to high school I somehow managed to catch up with my peers and realised I was one of the smartest in the class. This is thanks to my foster carers persistently pushing me to do my best and showing me how much they cared. My foster parents and their family are my second family. They brought out the best in me and I’ll cherish that for the rest of my life."
Fostering information events are being held across the next fortnight as follows:
Newton Heath Library – Tuesday 9 May, 2 pm – 4 pm
Withington Library – Wednesday 10 May, 4 pm – 7:30 pm
Arndale Market – Thursday 11 May, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Woodhouse Park Leisure Centre – Friday 12 May, 11 am – 2 pm
Benchill Community Centre – Tuesday 16 May, 9 am – 12 noon
Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre – Wednesday 17 May, 4 pm – 7:30 pm
Gorton Market – Thursday 18 May, 11 am – 2 pm
Newton Heath Library – Friday 19 May, 10 am – 12 noon
For full details of information events being held and to find out more about fostering, visit manchester.gov.uk/foster