There are around 2,096 children in the Lancashire area currently in need of a safe and loving home.Advertisement
Whilst this shows the urgent need for foster carers in your area at the moment, this figure is also set to dramatically increase over the next few years. The SMF (Social Marketing Foundation) predicts that there will be a national shortage of around 25,000 fostering families by 2026. This is a frightening statistic when we consider that each of those numbers represents a child. Here are some FAQs about becoming a foster carer.
Why do children end up in foster care?
There are a huge range of reasons a child may need a foster home, far too many to list; but the spectrum can range from parental illness or bereavement right through to child neglect.
Why is fostering sometimes referred to as a career?
Becoming a foster carer IS a career choice for many. Foster carers open their hearts to children in their care, but they also receive ongoing professional training and are continually learning new skills to help them to support the children they are looking after. It is so much more than offering a roof and food. A foster carer has the potential to literally change a child’s future. Here is an amazing example of just that.
How would I pay my bills and support another person living in my house?
As a foster carer, you will receive a weekly fostering allowance, or foster care pay, per child or young person in their care. How much foster carers are paid per week varies on a number of factors.
Do I have the right skills/knowledge/experience to help a child?
This is something that is explored in detail during the application process however, you may be surprised at the skills and knowledge that you have just simply through your own life experience. Key qualities you will need are an open mind, patience, and a willingness to learn.
Will I grow attached to a child and then have to say goodbye?
This may be your biggest fear! There are different types of fostering, ranging from respite (very short stays) through to long-term and staying put arrangements (more permanent placements). You choose the types of placements that you will feel comfortable with and that will suit your own family/household.
Unequivocally, our foster carers agree that the feeling of having been able to make a positive difference to a child’s life, even if only for a short time, is worth every minute. Many foster carers remain part of a foster child’s life into adulthood and beyond.
How do I find out more?
Whether you feel just slightly curious for now, or inspired to make an application, the first step is to get in touch for an informal chat.
If during your lifetime, you are able to help just one child through fostering, you might not have changed the whole world, but you will have changed the world of that one child. Give us a call on 01253 712734 to find out more, or visit www.excelfostering.com where there is a wealth of information about fostering.
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