Over 65,000 children live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK each day. This is nearly 80% of the 83,000 children in care away from home on any one day in the UK.
Around 30,000 more children will come into care over the course of the next 12 months, with similar numbers leaving the care system to return home, move in with another family member, live with new adoptive families, become subject to a special guardianship or residence order or move on to adult life.
In England 55,200 children were living with foster families on 31st March 2018 – that’s nearly four-fifths (78%) of the 70,720 children in care looked after away from home.
There are around 43,500 foster families in England, so The Fostering Network estimates that fostering services need to recruit a further 6,800 foster families in the next 12 months. That’s a lot of families!
Here at the Acorns, we are constantly recruiting new foster families as the number of children and young people referred to us continues to grow. As an established child-care provider based in Darlington, we offer a range of services for looked-after children of all ages from all over the North East. As a local employer, we are keen to work with families that wish to foster, especially those who have experience of working with looked-after children. Our Foster Carers are rewarded well, including financially, so this is a real opportunity to work from home in a job that can make a real difference to a child’s life and your own.
In the North East currently there is a particular need for Foster Carers who are willing to look after children over 10 or those who can offer a home to brothers and sisters. It is a sad fact that siblings are often separated when they enter the care system due to the lack of foster families who have space to accommodate them. Experience shows that if siblings can be kept together, their trauma at being removed from their parents is eased and you will be especially valuable if you have room for more than one child.
Children that come into care have inevitably suffered trauma, grief and loss and consequently, their behaviours can be challenging. They often have an insecure attachment style and do not trust the adults in their lives to treat them fairly or to be reliable. It is the role of a Foster Carer to provide security and stability and to model a different family life to our children and young people in the hope that when they become parents themselves, they have learned a different way to parent. Too often, children who have been through the care system end up having their own children removed from their care and it is this cycle that needs to be broken by those of us who work with them. Yes, that’s a tall order, but with the right support and training, it can be done and you can really make a difference to these children’s lives.
There are lots of statistics we can give you, but the bottom line is if you could offer a loving, supportive home to a young person then we’d like to talk to you. All you need is a spare room at home and the ability to be a positive influence in the life of a looked-after young person. If you think you’ve got what it takes, get in touch today.