It is coming up to two years since we started our weekly blogs. In that time there have been many new issues to cover. Foster care has been in the news a lot this year. The rights of foster carers have been discussed in the media. This is also a year of a national foster care stocktake. It will produce its results next year. There are likely to be a lot of changes made in fostering provision because of this stocktake.
There is still a shortage of carers in the UK. As the year ends, in England 5,900 new foster families are still needed. Over 65,000 youngsters live with around 55,000 families in the UK each day. The number of children coming into care has been rising over the past 7 years. This is thought to be linked to household issues such as poor housing, poverty and substance misuse. Experts say problems have got worse because of financial cuts.
Campaigners have said the rise in the figures means there is a need for more spending. They have urged the Chancellor to end the £2 billion funding gap facing children’s services by 2020.
In August it was reported as many as 140,000 vulnerable children might not be getting help because local authorities were short of money. Things have got more difficult as more children are coming into care with complex needs. This means they can be harder to place in foster homes. Their behaviour can be very difficult to cope with. Carers need to have a lot of training and support because of this. Children who have experienced trauma and abuse can place a great strain on a foster care placement. Sadly, multiple placement breakdowns have increased. This is very bad for the child and the carers.
Therapeutic foster care
Because so many children coming into care have had bad experiences, it is becoming clear carers need more training. Without this, there is a risk people will give up being foster carers. This is at a time when it is hard to attract people into fostering. There is now a move for more people to be trained in therapeutic foster care. With this training, a carer can deal more easily with a child who has suffered abuse and neglect. Carers will also receive support for a child from clinical psychologists when it is necessary.
A programme will be put together to meet the individual needs of a child. Such children are often withdrawn. They find it hard to trust people. This means they cannot make relationships. They often, because of their experiences, have a lot of anger in them. This can make them aggressive and hard to look after.
When carers are trained in therapeutic foster care, they are much better at supporting a child’s emotional needs. It takes special people to be trained as therapeutic foster carers. It is often best if they have had experience of working with children. This means people who have been teachers, or been in the police or been youth workers can be good therapeutic foster carers. Often they have experience of helping children to build trust and self-esteem. This is very important for children to make progress. Most importantly the placement is less likely to break down.
So next year, your country will need you more than ever before! Contact us on the number provided below to take your first steps as a carer.
Looking for a career in therapeutic foster care
Please contact us if you are interested in being trained to be a therapeutic carer. We provide all the specialist training and support needed. Trained carers can expect to receive higher rates of pay. We can help you get a certificate in therapeutic fostering. We can help you find out about therapeutic fostering courses. We can even help you with therapeutic foster care training online.
If you have more questions on what is therapeutic fostering, we can answer them. Simply call 020 8427 3355. We also want to find people who want to train to foster teenagers and sibling groups. There is another kind of foster care placement called parent and child. This means looking after a young mother or father and their baby. Please contact us if you are interested in this kind of foster care.
Visit Rainbow’s news page:
Call for foster care ‘Christmas Fairness’
22nd December, 2017
In the run up to Christmas there have been calls to make sure that every carer is given the same amount of money to spend on their foster children over the Christmas (more) http://bit.ly/2e8PrIK
And the good news at the end of this December Rainbow…this year we have had a high number of applications to join our Rainbow community of carers
Picture credits Unsplash: Brandon Wong and Ashton Bingham