Foster care must remain in the spotlight for as long as possible following the success of The Fostering Network’s recent annual campaign – #changeafuture. this aimed to specifically highlight the positive results foster care can have in shaping the futures of fostered children and young people.
The leading charity has just published its most recent figures for the number of fostering families needed. This figure stands at 8,500 for the UK. Every year the fostering charity calculates recruitment targets. These factor in a number of considerations. Included is the percentage of foster carers giving up fostering each year – as well as the numbers of children run the care system. For 2019 the figures are now 7,220 new foster families for England, 580 for Scotland, 250 in Northern Ireland and 550 in Wales.
This year, Foster Care Fortnight was energetically supported by the media presenter and DJ Pandora Christie, who we profiled during Foster Care Fortnight. Pandora was herself raised by carers so knows something about the subject:
“It’s really key to have a secure family unit around you that loves you and helps you navigate and understand yourself and the world around you. That is why carers are so important to children who, like me, haven’t had the best start in life. Fostering changed my life and by becoming a foster carer you could change a future.”
It’s particularly important that more foster carers are recruited who are prepared to look after sibling groups and teenagers. Without these carers, more young people will have to live a long way from their birth family, friends and school. For siblings, this can result in them being separated from their brothers and sisters. Shortages of carers in these areas also have the effect of children ending up being with foster parents whom they may not be ideally matched with. This has the highly undesirable result of affecting the stability of placements. Following the campaign, the chief executive of The Fostering Network, Kevin Williams, stated –
“Fostering is life-changing for both the child or young person being fostered and for the family that cares for them. Foster carers do something amazing on behalf of our society – making a real difference to a child’s life. Across the UK a child comes into care in need of a fostering family every 20 minutes. On any given day, there are around 65,000 children living in foster care with thousands of foster families who are working tirelessly to ensure that these children and young people experience the stability and security of a nurturing, loving home.”
You can change the future and the prospects of a young person just by making a phone call. The difference to their lives could be simply amazing. There are far too many children who have had a disadvantaged start to their lives. But things can be put right for them. Carers do this every day. Fostering is not a small step. This we understand. And that’s why we take the greatest care of our carers from the moment they apply through to their first fostering placement and beyond.
“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be.” Rita F. Pierson.
This is a very succinct way of expressing what is fundamental to fostering. Giving a child or young person a foundation for their life in which they can place absolute trust. If you call us, one of our friendly recruitment advisors will take all the time you need to get a better understanding of fostering. 020 8427 3355 or 0330 311 2845 are the numbers to call. It’s a good idea to look at our website page on Frequently Asked Questions. We have compiled this – and add to it – from the questions we have received over the 21 years we have been finding and training carers.
The website also has a blog section which covers many topics connected with fostering. Our goal is to inform and educate our carers so they can be the best that they can be. Just one suggestion: –http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/psychotherapies-foster-care-setting-2/
Learning doesn’t just happen at school!
One of the joys of caring for a child is to give them the kinds experiences their more fortunate peers have. We encourage and support our cares to make sure their children lead stimulating and interesting lives. Childhood is precious time and the world is full of wonder. Encouraging children to develop interests is key to supporting their education and enabling them to have ambition for and enthusiasm for life. We need more looked after children to go on to higher education. Think how rewarding it is to know you have helped a child to attain such a goal.
So we encourage all our carers to regularly take children to galleries and museums – as well as cinema trips. Whatever will fire up a young imagination. Rainbow also have activities for children at various points through the year. Remember, it might be just one day out for a child that sparks a life changing interest. Rainbow recommends…