Good fostering can transform lives
This May sees the start of Foster Care Fortnight, the UK’s biggest awareness raising campaign for foster care.
In the UK, it is estimated that over 8000 additional fostering families are needed .
“In the East of England alone, we need over 600 additional carers to allow us to provide well matched foster carers to the children who need them,” says Eleanor Vanner of Eastern Fostering Services, an agency who look after children across Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. “Every 20 minutes in the UK another child comes into care needing a fostering family; it’s vital that we have a good pool of carers for these children.”
Fostering offers children and young people the opportunity for secure, safe and nurturing homes when they are unable to live with their birth families. Indeed good foster care can help transform the lives of children who have experienced loss and trauma in their early lives.
So what makes a good foster carer?
“There are several things that we look for in potential foster carers,” says Lucy Stevens who recruits carers for Eastern Fostering Services. “Foster carers are expected to support, listen to and advocate for children. They need to be empathetic, good communicators, patient, kind, warm, nurturing, strong and determined. They need to be able to work with a wide range of individuals and professionals. They need to be resilient and perhaps most importantly of all be in possession of a good sense of humour!”
All foster carers need to fulfil some basic criteria. They must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have a spare bedroom big enough for a young person to live in
- Be a full time resident in the UK or have leave to remain
- Be able to commit in terms of time to the child they are looking after
Think you could #changeafuture? What do you do next?
If you think you meet the basic criteria required to foster and that you have many of the qualities that foster carers need to have; and if you live in Essex, Suffolk or Cambridgeshire contact Eastern Fostering Services at firstname.lastname@example.org We have lots of useful resources both on our website; try https://easternfosteringservices.com/faqs/ and on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EasternFosteringServices.
We also hold regular local drop-in information mornings, details of which can be found at www.facebook.com/EasternFosteringServices/events
Our next event is at Falafel and More in Colchester on 18th May between 11 and 2. We hope to see you there!