We are asked many questions by people interested in fostering children. One of the most frequently asked is “if I am fostering children, can I smoke?” At this point, it’s worth referring to smoking and the law: in July 2007, smoking in public places such as restaurants, bars and people’s workplaces became illegal. This was to protect non-smokers from health risks that are associated with passive smoking. The current situation nationally for fostering children, is that there is no official policy position relating to smoking and foster care. If you are fostering children, there can be serious consequences of exposing them to smoke. Remember, children coming into foster care are amongst the most vulnerable individuals in society. Life for them has already been unfair: the statistics reveal that they are more likely to suffer health inequalities as well as reduced life chances. Another disturbing fact is that two-thirds of looked after children smoke – a figure significantly above the national average. Many children now come into care having suffered some form of abuse or neglect – sadly experiencing mental and emotional trauma as a child, is one of the predictors for taking up smoking in later life.
If you are planning on fostering children, they are at a disadvantage developmentally where smoking is concerned. They are more at risk from being affected by the damage inhaling second hand smoke can cause as their organs are immature. And, remember always that exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to or certainly exacerbate a range of conditions. These include bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia as well as sudden infant death syndrome. The risk of MenIngitis also increases as well as for coughs and colds and otitis media – a middle ear infection – which can result in hearing loss. If you are fostering children, be aware that youngsters are also more likely to have to be admitted to hospital suffering from serious respiratory conditions if they are exposed to smoke.
research exists showing that when children are exposed to second hand smoke, they tend to have to take more days off from school. And; of particular significance, parental smoking is known to be linked with their children who go on to smoke as adults.
Fostering children means being aware of their environment…
Consider this: when anyone smokes a cigarette, the smoke that is exhaled can remain present in the air for two and half hours – this even if a window is left open. So smoke can still be present even when it is no longer possible to see or smell it. These effects use even more of a risk in confined places such as cars. This is unsurprising when it is realised that secondhand smoke has within it more than four thousand chemicals. Many of these are known to be highly toxic able to cause cancer – as well as increasing the risks of coronary heart disease, heart attack, angina as well as stroke.
When people express an interest in fostering children, this information as to the hazards of exposure to smoke, makes it clear why foster agencies have to consider very carefully the circumstances of a household where there is a smoker. And obviously, this person does not have to be the foster carer. Passive smoking presents a particularly high risk for toddlers and young children because they tend to be confined for long periods within the home environment.
If you are serious about fostering children, please remember the evidence points to the fact that it is not a advisable to bring a foster child into a house where someone smokes. Individuals who smoke and wish to foster babies will discover that agencies and local authorities will not permit this. As a general guide, the age limit for a child is usually around five for them to even be considered for placement in a household where there is a smoker(s).
‘Rainbow Rewards’ for people fostering children.
Giving serious consideration to fostering children? We have an urgent need to find homes for sibling groups and teenagers and we are one of the leading fostering agencies to consider as we have been established for twenty years.
We provide high quality training and support twenty four hours a day. Currently we will out £500 if you can refer someone to our agency: the bonus will be paid once that person has been approved, and then gone on to receive their first placement from us.
Fostering a child uk means that you will inevitably have questions about fostering allowances and benefits, the rules for fostering a child as well as what is involved in fostering child. Special foster carer requirements are laid down and, if you call us you will quickly learn that there are many different types of fostering to consider. We are keen to meet with people interested in receiving additional training so they can become therapeutic foster carers. We have an information pack available which provides excellent guidance on all the issues pertainsing to fostering children.
Transfer to Rainbow and you may qualify for a bonus!
If you are currently fostering children as an approved foster carer but are considering transferring, ring us for details as you could be eligible for a generous bonus under our scheme (terms and conditions apply) Call our ‘Team Rainbow’ recruitment team on 020 8427 3355, or our National Line on 0330 311 2845 to discuss the benefits of working for Rainbow Fostering Services.
Keep in touch with Rainbow Fostering!
Some people consider fostering children and then return to the idea later in life, that’s fine – we are keen to accept people onto our files who may be interested in fostering but not yet be in a position to do so. You can keep in touch with us on our website and find more information/views and opinions via social media via #fostering as well as #fostercare
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