ADOPTION bosses have warned that 65 new foster families will be needed in Staffordshire in the next three years.
The prediction comes as care bosses at Staffordshire County Council launch their first fostering charter as part of National Fostering Fortnight.
A police officer from Stafford, who was brought up by foster parents, is also sharing her story to encourage more families to come forward.
PC Rosie Jones, now 25, has praised Stafford couple Carol and Adrian Key for the difference they have made in her life.
Mr and Mrs Key have fostered more than 50 children and took in Ms Jones, who had been in care since the age of four, 15 years ago.
She has now graduated with a 2:1 sports development degree and a masters in community practice.
She became a constable with West Midlands Police in 2010 and was recently awarded the Sharon Lovett Trophy for outstanding contributions to charity work.
She said: “I wanted to give something back and make a difference.
"I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had.
“My mum Carol and dad Adrian have been my rock throughout the last 15 years and have always been there to guide me.
“They and their family accepted me into their lives and treated me as their own. I will forever be grateful for all they have done.”
Mrs Key said: “Fostering children was the best move I’ve ever made, for myself and my family, and it’s really rewarding and satisfying to help children in such a life-changing way.”
“Rosie’s achievements are phenomenal and she’s an inspiration to looked after children.
“She worked really hard at school and got herself into university. She’s also travelled to Africa volunteering in orphanages and has done a huge amount of charity work.”
Mike Lawrence, cabinet member for children’s well-being, said: “We recognise the enormous contribution carers make and this is one of the ways we’re showing this.
“The charter is all about trust and our pledge is to be open and honest and demonstrate a high standard of care towards all our foster carers.
“We acknowledge the highly-skilled and challenging role they do and we’ll ensure we’re putting the right information, advice and support in place for them.
“We’ll give our carers training and personal development opportunities, the opportunity to talk to someone when they need to and will ensure they receive the financial rewards that enable them to provide for the child they are caring for.”
More information is available by visiting www.care4child.org, or calling 0800 169 2061.