A new campaign calling for more Derbyshire foster carers has hit the road with two local bus services rolling out the recruitment message.
In the North East of Derbyshire a Stagecoach bus has been transformed into a huge, moving advert that will travel the roads of Chesterfield, Wingerworth, Tupton, Clay Cross, Pilsley, Stonebroom, Alfreton and beyond.
While an Arriva 61 bus will travel the south of the county from Derby to Swadlincote, covering Allenton, Chellaston, Melbourne, Ticknall and Woodville along the way.
The mobile adverts, featuring young people and their future ambitions will be appearing for a full year.
The move is part of Derbyshire County Council’s on-going fostering recruitment campaign, which includes new TV, radio and newspaper adverts.
Councillor Barry Lewis, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Young People, said: “Foster carers help us to make sure that vulnerable children have safe, supportive homes.
“We need a wide range of carers, in locations throughout Derbyshire so we don’t have to use expensive emergency agency placements.
“Having enough foster carers also means we can keep local children in local homes near their schools and friends.”
The authority currently has around 420 foster homes to support 690 children in care across the county but still needs more foster carers.
Foster carers can offer short or long-term homes, ranging from single night emergency stays to placements which last for years.
Councillor Lewis said: “We’re hoping these buses help draw people’s attention to fostering so that we can carry on recruiting the best carers to our excellent team.
“Carers come from all walks of life - they can be married or single, working or not, they may have their own children or they may have experience caring for other people’s.
“The main thing is that they have the time, dedication and patience needed to look after a child who may not have had the best start in life.”
Ongoing training and mentoring is provided for all approved foster carers as well as membership of the council’s Workforce Extra discount scheme, computer, broadband access and free leisure card for the whole family.
Allowances, travelling expenses and bonus payments are also available on top of basic fees dependant on the type of care and length of service.
To find out more Call Derbyshire on the new free fostering and adoption hotline 0800 083 7744, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/adoptionandfostering