Every year thousands of new foster carers are needed to help young people to flourish in life. Perhaps you could be one of them?
More than 65,000 children currently live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK. This equates to nearly 80% of the 83,000 children in care away from home on any one day in the UK.
The Fostering Network estimates that fostering services need to recruit a further 6,800 foster families in the next 12 months. Foster Care Fortnight™ is the charity’s annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and help recruit families.
Ilse who has been a foster carer for more than 10 years thought being single would exclude her, but she says all you need is to be patient, open and have fun. Her children are as involved and act as role models for the foster children she helps. She says: “The benefits are seeing them grow into confident children. They will ask for things and they shine, lift their chins up and become confident little people.”
Thousands of new foster families are needed every year to care for children, with the greatest need being for foster carers for older children, sibling groups, disabled children and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. All are welcome as potential foster carers – all that matters is that you can provide a stable and caring environment for a foster child. You don’t need to be married or in a relationship, or to own your own home, and your sexual orientation or any disability should not hinder your application. Whichever route you choose to go down, you should rest assured that there is a support network to help anyone who is committed and willing to foster a child.
Hannah and Kojo Ntow have been foster carers since 2008, and last year they won a Fostering Excellence Award from The Fostering Network. Initially, they started out as respite carers before eventually progressing to full-time. For the last three years, they have been caring for a four-year-old boy who has a very rare life-limiting condition. Meeting all of his daily needs can be challenging – it can take over an hour to feed him a meal – meaning Hannah’s background as a nurse (Kojo is a bus driver) is particularly useful. Hannah and Kojo’s supervising social worker, Susan Harrisi says: “The Ntows have radically changed their lives for the little boy in their care and have looked beyond his disabilities to care for the child within.”