TWO foster carers from Merseyside have pledged their support to Barnado's campaign to recruit more families.

Sandra, 54, and her husband Simon live in Liverpool and have had three birth children and foster 12-year-old Ellie who has been part of their family for four years.

It wasn't until Sandra was 50 that she started to consider fostering.

Sandra explained: "I started to think about what I liked doing and I love being a mum and really enjoy looking after children.

“We had started to visit Ellie at her previous foster carer’s house before she moved in and took her out to the park.

"After a few visits as we got to know each other better, she’d start to get upset when we took her back, and so did we. We realised there was a bond between us.

“When Ellie first moved in with us, it felt similar to when we brought our kids home from hospital after they were born, even though Ellie was eight. Now she’s part of the family.”

"If anyone is considering fostering, I would say call Barnardo’s.

"We now have another little girl in our family and my kids just think of Ellie as their youngest sister, they treat her how they’ve treated each other growing up.

"Barnardo’s has supported us all the way and their commitment has been, and continues to be, fantastic. There’s always someone to go to for advice should you need it.”

Since Barnardo's first fostering campaign ten years ago, the charity has found foster families to care for vulnerable children more than 8,200 times.

The number of children in care across Merseyside has risen by 15% in the last four years, with around 500 more children in care in the country in 2018 compared to 2014.

Barnardo’s head of fostering and adoption Brenda Farrell said: “Every child deserves a safe and happy childhood. We urgently need more foster carers to ensure that children in care have just this.

“We know that being a foster carer can be challenging, but we also know how incredibly rewarding it is and have seen first-hand the positive difference it can make to a child’s life.

“Barnardo’s is with carers every step of the way providing training and support throughout the whole fostering journey, from the first enquiry, through the approval process, to when carers meet their first foster child and beyond.”

Foster carers are needed across the region and to be available when a vulnerable child needs a loving family and have the right training and skills.

It is important for the needs of every child must be met and they need to be given the chance to continue their religious or cultural beliefs with foster carers who are able to support this.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer call Barnardo’s North West Fostering Service on 0151 488 0822 or visit