Local Authorities across the country are facing a growing pressure on their fostering services, as the number of children in care has increased.
With a child or young person needing a foster placement every 22 minutes according to recent figures, it is more important than ever that fostering agencies find a way to attract those interested in potentially becoming foster carers.
UK Fostering wants to help raise awareness of how important fostering a child or young person is by ensuring that information on the process, the many different types of fostering, and the support that’s provided is easily accessible and straightforward.
Children needing placements come from very different backgrounds, and their reason for needing a foster home varies greatly. Because of this, there are a large number of different types of fostering – from long term to emergency.
- Short term fostering provides a home to those who need somewhere to stay until they can return home, or find they need a more permanent placement.
- Often , a placement is needed at very short notice, often within a few hours. Emergency foster carers help in this instance: and placements can last a single night to a few weeks. Sometimes an Emergency Placement can turn into a long tern arrangement.
Parent and Child fostering is where mother or father are placed in a foster home together with their baby. Often this occurs when the parent has become a parent at a very young age.
- Long term fostering can last for several years, and sometimes allows the child to stay in contact with their birth family while living in a safe, loving environment.
- Children or young people who are remanded by the Courts are offered Remand fostering – providing an alternative to being in custody.
- Disabilities: Foster carers offer a family environment to a child or young person with a disability. Specialist training is provided where necessary and appropriate.
- For those who have undergone significant trauma in their lives, Therapeutic fostering is available. Carers are provided with additional support and training to help.
- Children whose foster carers who need a break for any reason are placed in a Respite fostering placement, until their carers return.
What do you need?
Many people who’ve thought about fostering may have discarded the idea, because they feel they are not qualified. However, to be considered as a foster carer all you need is lots of love for children and young people, a spare bedroom, time and stamina and the willingness to help a child. Support and guidance is provided by UK Fostering, training is given to all, and whether you have children of your own already or are a single person are no barriers to fostering.
You can find out more about who can foster through UK Fostering: call or email them, or visit their website at www.ukfostering.org.uk
Shortage of carers
Throughout the UK, there are currently over 44,000 children and young people who are in need of a foster placement and a shortage of carers to help. UK Fostering wants to help fill the gap, and is encouraging those who are interested to get in contact and find out more.
The services that are provided to foster carers by UK Fostering include 24/7 support, a fostering allowance, social events and support groups, discount scheme with high street retailers, legal advisor and accountant access, and ongoing training.
Please get in contact with us if you have any questions about fostering, are interested in becoming a carer or want to see how you can help.