Opening Doors to Fostering

Posted by: Press Team on 12 December 2023 11:55

South Tyneside Council is joining a UK-wide campaign to recruit more foster carers in the run-up to Christmas.

The campaign is a response to recent figures published by Ofsted, highlighting the urgent need to recruit new foster carers.

The 'Opening Doors to Fostering' campaign is an online advent-style campaign highlighting how foster carers go all-out to make the festive season extra-special for the children they care for.

It is aimed at encouraging more people to consider fostering with their local council and highlighting the impact this can have on children and young people who are in need of a safe and warm place to live.

The annual Fostering in England statistics brings to light the pressures currently facing foster care,  where the numbers of carers are continuing to decline against a backdrop of record numbers of children in need of fostering families.

The figures show a downward trend in the number of foster carer applications over the last five years. The number of applications received from prospective fostering households in 2022 to 2023 was the lowest number in several years and 18 per cent lower than 2018 to 2019.

Councillor Adam Ellison, Leader Member for Children and Families' Social Care, said: "This time of the year can be an especially difficult time for looked after children who are distant from the people and places they know.

"The campaign will showcase the positive impact carers can make in children's lives, creating memories which can be cherished forever. We hope the campaign will encourage more people to put themselves forward for this rewarding role."

South Tyneside foster carer Lesley Thompson said: "We love Christmas and having fostered for 14 years it is great to have the excitement of a young person in your house and seeing the joy on their faces. It is the one time of year that families come together. Young people who have moved out come back to spend Christmas with us. 

"It is lovely to give children and young people new memories of Christmas. You see a glow in the children.  I love seeing the children's faces when they see the presents round the Christmas tree, seeing the little faces, seeing them feeling loved. 

"This year as a South Tyneside foster carer, I have joined the Mockingbird scheme  and we have done lots of festive things together. All the families are going for a lovely meal and between Christmas and New Year the hub carer is taking all the children to an ice cream parlour.  In this new virtual world Mockingbird has provided face-to-face support and an extended family which plays a key role in helping fostering families enjoy time together."

The Opening Doors to Fostering Campaign can be viewed on Facebook @fosterwithsouthtyneside

Anyone interested in fostering is asked to call the regional support hub for foster carers on 0800 917 7771 or visit


Last modified: 01 March 2024 16:09