With this years’ foster care fortnight starting on the 13th – 26th May we reflect on the fact that 9000 more foster carers are required nationwide.
The Fostering Network works tirelessly to highlight the need for more foster carers and this year is no different. This year promises to be the biggest drive ever involving fostering charities such as the fostering network, fostering agencies and local authorities.
So what does Foster Care fortnight 2013 mean to us?
For UK Fostering it is clear that with ‘The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act’ which requires all remanded young people to become ‘Looked After Children’, that more foster carers who can care for children involved in offending are urgently needed.
The use of the word ‘urgent’ and ‘foster carer’ are so often heard together that perhaps the impact on the average person diminishes. But for the many children out there who find themselves victims of their circumstances, victims of their parental neglect and abuse or victims of their youthful mistakes, there are very few opportunities to be supported in a loving family home.
In the UK (and perhaps somewhat exacerbated by the media), the demonising of young people and the push to seek criminal accountability in many ways had lead to people making sweeping assumptions about the youth of today and their confidence (or lack of) in their ability to provide a home to children who have been involved with the criminal justice system. But is society making sweeping judgements? Are we… you…. us – all being too cold? We so often see assumptions made of young people for the things that they do, but how often do we look into why they may have done it. All children who are remanded into local authority care are, at least to an extent, victims themselves in some way or other. They are influenced heavily by their upbringing, opportunities and experiences. They many never have had the chance to live in a loving home. When a high number of children end up having to be placed in residential establishments that will not meet their needs, we have a problem that exists now for those children and in the future for society as a whole.
At UK Fostering we have fantastic foster carers who do not judge, but who passionately work to change the lives of these children, not judging but supporting change and providing opportunity.
On the 11th May in Croydon, UK Fostering hosts its next training for foster carers who want to know more about the legal considerations and care requirements for these children and ultimately how they can help provide a chance to them when many people would turn their backs.
If you are interested in finding about more about fostering children remanded and helping them realise they can have a positive future or if you are interested in caring for teenagers in general and you live in London & the South East then please get in touch, contact details of which are on this website.