Pupils at Peterborough primary schools will be taking it
in turns to care for a bear called Peter as part of a new
initiative launched by Peterborough City Council's fostering team to
recruit more foster carers.
Children at Brewster Avenue Primary School in
Woodston will be the first to spend a week caring for Peter. The
children will foster the bear and learn that like Peter, some
children are not able to live with their parents, but are looked
after by other caring people. As a result it is hoped the children
will take this message home to their families which will encourage
conversation about fostering.
During the week the bear spends at a school
there will be drop-in events for families to find out more about
fostering. Parents will also be sent information about the
initiative in their child’s book bags. At Brewster Avenue Primary
School there will be drop in sessions on Wednesday 9 November 2011
between 3.30pm and 6pm and on Thursday 10 November 2011 between
4.30pm and 7pm.
Councillor Sheila Scott, Cabinet Member for
Children's Services, said: "There is a constant need to recruit
more foster carers in Peterborough, as there is nationally.
Brewster Avenue Primary will be the first school to look after
Peter and we hope every other primary school in Peterborough will
offer to and in turn help us spread the fostering message.
“Recruiting one new fostering household per
school would result in between 40 and 50 new carers who would be
able to provide a temporary home for children who need one.
Fostering can be the most fulfilling and rewarding addition to
family life and is well suited to the lifestyle of parents with
school age children.
"This initiative is also a great way for
schools to develop the caring role in children and promote the
reality which is that not all children live with their birth
Alison Smith, headteacher at Brewster Avenue
Primary School, said: "This is a really good opportunity for the
school to celebrate different family arrangements and to promote
foster carers and looked after children positively. At Brewster
Avenue we believe that every child should feel positive about their
own family living arrangement and children from a young age should
be taught to respect and value variations to what they know and
Carers from all walks of life are needed,
regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion or disability.
Training and support is provided on an ongoing basis by the
team. Foster carers also receive an allowance for each
child they foster which goes towards the care of the child.
For more information, or to apply to become a
foster carer, call the council's fostering duty line on (01733)