FIVE councils in the Tees Valley have launched a joint appeal for more foster carers because the demand from children is outstripping the supply of homes.

Although more than 1,300 children from the Tees Valley are already being looked after, the high demand means the five councils need more potential foster carers to come forward.

That’s why the Tees Valley Fostering campaign has been launched this week by Stockton, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Hartlepool, and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councils in a drive to find more foster carers.

The five councils want to recruit more foster carers who are interested in fostering sets of brothers and sisters, and children aged over ten years old on a ‘long-term’ basis, which is over two years and usually until the young person no longer requires the placement, and is able to live independently.

Having more of those types of foster carers means that more sibling groups can stay together and fewer children will be placed outside the Tees Valley.

The campaign began with a series of information events and advertising on local buses.

It aims to dispel the myths that often prevent people from coming forward to foster.

The support provided by each Tees Valley council to people who foster will also be highlighted.

Foster carers Carol and Andrew Dixon, from Darlington said: “We decided to foster, as we have children of our own and have also worked with children in our jobs so it seemed like a logical step forward.

"We take pleasure in knowing that we’re giving a home and a family to children who need our help. We’d recommend fostering to anyone, it’s the best thing you’ll ever do.”

Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Ann McCoy, a spokesperson for Tees Valley Fostering, said: “We are looking for people from all age groups and backgrounds who have a spare bedroom and can offer a child a loving, stable home, and make them feel a part of their family."

For more information visit or visit the Tees Valley Fostering stand at the Cleveland Show this Saturday, July 26 at Stewart Park in Marton, Middlesbrough.