Student Journalist, Snow Zapreva from Preston University came along to our event at St Georges Centre last week and wrote this lovely article for us about fostering with Caritas Care. Picture above is our Social Worker Steph and Recruitment Officer Ashleigh at the centre last week.
Foster Care Fortnight 2017 has started on Monday 8th May with events across the country promoting fostering. The Fostering Network’s annual event will run from 8 May to Sunday 21 May highlighting the need for more foster carers.
Caritas Care, a charity fostering service, has marked locally the beginning of the event in St George’s Shopping Centre, Preston, earlier today.
There will be information events in Lytham, Fulwood and Preston.
Under the motto, `foster care transforms lives` campaigners aim to create `buzz` among the community as they seek to raise the profile of fostering.
Lucy Doughty, a social worker at Caritas Care said: “What we are doing in Caritas Care is be heart out and about the next two weeks to try to get our name out there and to highlight the need of foster carers across the country.“
Thousands of new foster families are needed every year to care for children. There is a great call for foster carers for older children, sibling groups, disabled children and unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
North West fostering services seek to recruit 1300 foster carers. In Lancashire, 558 children came into care for the past year.
Lucy Doughty said: “We do need to have more foster carers who are able to support children with disabilities, where that would be physical or emotional.“
According to Fostering Network Charity, nearly 64,000 children live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK each day. This is nearly 80% of the 81,000 children in care away from home on any one day in the UK.
Steph Stavert, a social worker at Caritas Care said: “ There is a shortage of about 5,000 in the whole country. That is not just in the North West, that’s all over the country and the plan is that we need to recruit more and end that shortage, so that children have got somewhere safe to be.“
The purpose of the two weeks long campaign is to encourage more people to come forward and become foster parent/s. Foster carers are paid allowances in order to be able to provide the right things for a child. Many carers complain about the amount of money given, believing that the allowances paid are not enough.
Lucy Doughty said: “It`s important for people to be aware that they cannot be financial dependent upon the fact that the money that is provided for fostering because there may be times when you don’t have placement and so you need to be financially aware.“
The foster carers don’t need to have a permanent job. They can be single, married or co-habiting, heterosexual, lesbian or gay.
Anyone interested can phone up 0800 652 6955 and speak to fostering team for more information or talk to the local council. Another way to get involved with foster care is to go in fundraising efforts. Those who want to show their support for the fostering can turn to social media and popularise the campaign using #ProudtoFoster and #FCF17.
Steph Stavert said: “Foster care offer stability and care and it helps people who often come from problematic chaotic background and foster carers just offers them the warmth of the home and the care they need to settle and become adults who can take their place in society“
Sandra Fritt, a foster carer said:“I never ever regreted a single minute of the children!“
“I decided to foster 28 years ago. I was a childminder and was asked to childmind some children for social services. This was to prevent a break down of the family and stop their children coming into care. I then decided I would like to foster. “
“I have had all ages of children for different reasons and different time scales .. ranging from 1 day to 10 and a half years including asylum seeking `children`.“
“I am still in contact with a few children incuding my asylum seekers who are succesfully living in their own homes now.“