Could you foster a child and change a life?

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The new year is a time for setting goals, making changes and starting afresh.

But what if in 2014 your New Year’s resolution could help change the life of a child in need?

There are around 670 children in care in Derbyshire who need secure, happy homes – sometimes for a short time and sometimes permanently.

If you’ve ever thought about fostering or adoption then why not make this January the time to make the first step?

Chesterfield carer Carol Miller grew up seeing the rewards that being a foster carer can bring and she is the latest member of her family to open her home to a child in need.

Carol, aged 48, started fostering for Derbyshire County Council in 2008 after seeing her mum and sister take on a caring role.

She said: “I work with children in care so I know that there is a shortage of homes for children, especially for children with ethnic minority backgrounds.”

Carol knew that she wanted to foster long term but until that happened she carried out short, respite placements.

“You need lots of love and patience to foster” she said. It also takes time to make it work, to let a child settle and to establish a routine.

“You also need a sense of humour and lots of empathy.”

In 2010 Carol was matched with a little girl who has been with her ever since. When she arrived with Carol she was unsettled and anxious. But now she is confident, happy and says that she feels lucky to have lots of different families.

Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for Children and Young People Cllr Kevin Gillott said: “We’ve got a fantastic team of carers but we always need more to come forward. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a foster carer or adoptive parent then why not get in touch? This could be the year that you do something amazing for a child in Derbyshire.”

The council is particularly keen to find homes for children in sibling groups and children with additional needs.

To find out more about fostering for Derbyshire County Council call 0800 083 77 44 or visit