One of the country's largest independent fostering organisations is calling on people across Cornwall to consider a career in fostering.

In Cornwall, there are currently 325 children in foster care. An additional 540 foster carers are needed across the South West to meet demand and help to support vulnerable children and young adults.

Foster Care Fortnight (May 13 to May 26) is an awareness campaign aiming to support fostering services by highlighting the life-changing role foster carers play on a daily basis and by signposting the available career opportunities.

An ageing population of foster carers and the increasing number of children and young people entering the care system is increasing pressure on the fostering industry, something Five Rivers Child Care (an independent fostering organisation) is keen to address.

It is calling on people interested in fostering in Cornwall to get in touch with the organisation's Truro office to further explore local fostering opportunities.

A report commissioned by Five Rivers Child Care last year revealed that there is a distinct lack of awareness of the different types of people eligible to foster, with 60 per cent of respondents unaware that those without children are eligible.

A spokesperson from Five Rivers said that although there are many misconceptions about who is eligible, people from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age.

This includes grandparents, single people, cohabiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation. The only requirement is a spare room for each foster child.

There are many ways in which a person can have a career in fostering, tailored to their needs and lifestyle. People can work flexibly as respite or short-term carers, or they can make it a full-time career with one or more placements.

Five Rivers Child Care's report also highlighted that 64 per cent of the British public are not aware that foster carers are paid.

Martin Leitch, head of fostering operations at Five Rivers Child Care, said: "It's really important that we use Foster Care Fortnight 2019 to increase awareness of the wide variety of career opportunities available across fostering and to tackle some of the stereotypes currently hindering foster carer recruitment.

"Being a foster carer in any capacity is a hugely rewarding career and the impact it can have on local communities is massive. We’re keen to hear from anyone in Cornwall who is interested in becoming a foster carer, whether they’re considering it for the first time or already have fostering experience.”

For more information on Five Rivers Child Care, visit, call the enquiries team on 0345 266 0272 or email