The Arctic Race of Norway created a large increase in the number of requests to become foster families.
September 24 th 2019 - 15:05
The partnership between Arctic Race of Norway and Bufetat (The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs) Region North successfully highlighted the need for foster homes.
Bufetat, Region North, has an average of 7.4 inquiries per week of becoming a foster home. During the week of the event and the following week, Region North had a total of 37 inquiries. For Northern Norway, the number of inquiries increased by 153%. If the number is broken down into the municipalities where the race took place, the outcome is even better; for the municipality of Sortland the increase was 400% and Bodø saw an increase of 212.5%.
-"This shows that the contribution from all the people who are engaged in recruiting foster families, including using purple t-shirts during the Arctic Race of Norway, have an effect", says Pål Christian Bergstrøm, regional director in Bufetat, Region North.
Breaking down prejudice
Bufetat has been a social responsibility partner of the Arctic Race of Norway since 2015, and the bicycle race helps to highlight the need for foster homes in Northern Norway as well as the fantastic work foster families already perform.
"Every year we need to recruit around 150 new foster families to help those children who cannot live with their parents. The need for foster care is greatest for teenagers. We know that the time it takes to become a foster family can vary from months to years. Most people wait a long time before contacting them. ARN has obviously become an open and safe arena for contacting us. The partnership with Arctic Race of Norway also contributes to breaking down prejudices around the theme of foster care and child welfare, and contributes to greater transparency. It can help make everyday life easier for children in care", says Bergstrøm.
More than just a race
Knut-Eirik Dybdal, CEO of the Arctic Race of Norway, is pleased that the race is helping to increase interest in foster homes.
"From the start, we had an ambition that the Arctic Race of Norway should be much more than just a race. It is therefore great to see that Bufetat manages to use the event to recruit foster homes for the children who need it, and we look forward to developing our partnership with this important mission in the years to come", says Dybdal.
A foster home is a private home that takes care of children and young people who, for various reasons, cannot live with their parents. Nine out of ten children and adolescents placed outside the home move to a foster home. Around 1250 children live in foster homes in Northern Norway, and about 150 new foster families are recruited annually. There are now about 30 children waiting for a foster home in Northern Norway.