THE important role foster carers play in ensuring the best outcomes for care leavers across the county are being highlighted during National Care Leavers’ Week.
The theme of this year’s awareness week, which runs until Friday, is ‘togetherness’ and focuses on how foster carers, working alongside our Care Leavers’ Service, can have a huge impact on the lives and futures of care leavers.
Cumbria County Council is responsible for 275 care leavers aged 16 to 25 in Cumbria who receive ongoing help and support as they leave children’s services and prepare to make the transition to independent living.
The foster carers are an integral part of this support, with 95 per cent of young people who are fostered in the county choosing to remain with their carers when they turn 18, as part of the ‘staying put’ arrangements that enable care leavers to remain with their former foster carers if they are in further education, training or employment.
Barrow’s Liam Murphy, 17, who has Asperger’s syndrome, has lived with foster carer Alexandra Finnie since he was 10 and will stay with her while he pursues his dream of becoming a professional musician.
Mrs Finnie said: “When Liam came to live with me it was thought that his autism was so severe that he would never manage mainstream school and now he is at Kendal College studying music.
“He is a wonderfully polite young man and always strives to do his best. He has come a long way from the quiet, shy boy who wore his disability like a badge. I am so proud of him.”
Read more at: http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/barrow/Foster-carers-are-making-a-huge-difference-to-the-lives-of-care-leavers-in-Cumbria-8cf0c612-990d-4dd5-b96c-5a6865916e5c-ds