FAMILIES whose children have departed for university are being encouraged to foster.

Trying to recruit enough carers is a problem nationally, and in Hillingdon there are currently 40 children looking for new homes.

The fostering programme encourages anyone with the capacity to provide safe and responsible childcare. There is training, support and a fortnightly allowance of between £327.60 and £388.64 per child.

Cllr David Simmonds, spokesman for education and children's services, said: “Fostering is extremely rewarding. Not only is this a great way of extending your family, but it also offers experienced parents the opportunity to use their parenting skills to help shape a child’s future for the better.”

There are information sessions at the Civic Centre from 6.30-8.30pm on October 9, November 13 and December 11.  

For more information, call 0800 783 1298 or visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/fostering