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Veteran fostering couple back drive for older carers
3:27pm Friday 11th October 2013 in News
A COUPLE have marked their 30th anniversary of fostering children by appealing to older people in a county with a rising elderly population to consider providing a home for youngsters.
Melvyn and Hilary Aubin, of Sowerby, Thirsk, who are both in their 60s and have fostered more than 200 children, said while fostering presents challenges, older people can often offer more time and life experience.
Last month, foster care provider Action for Children said misconceptions about who is eligible to foster were threatening to cause a fostering crisis after research revealed many people in the region incorrectly believed over 55s were barred from fostering.
The elderly population of North Yorkshire is expected to rise by nearly 150 per cent in the next 20 years and the Aubins believe older people could help North Yorkshire County Council’s drive to recruit 50 carers to meet demand.
The authority said 360 children are in foster homes in North Yorkshire and it had a particular shortage of carers willing to take on siblings and teenagers and those with special needs.
After receiving a long-service award from North Yorkshire County Council, the couple, who take on children with physical and mental disabilities and emotional dificulties said they had no intention of giving up fostering.
Mrs Aubin said: “People also think you can never be a foster carer when you are older, but you have more time, more patience and more understanding to help these young people through.”
“We still play cricket and build sandcastles and go to the beach with our foster children and young people because we can see how much pleasure they get from the smallest things of our daily life.”
Carers receive support and training and a weekly allowance.
For details, visit northyorks.gov.uk/fostering
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