Family Care also has a significant presence in the Midlands, supporting fostering families from our sub-office based in Wolverhampton where there is a huge shortage of foster carers available to support teenage youths.
The Fostering Network released figures in April highlighting a shortage of over 1,200 foster carers for the East and West Midlands combined…that is just to support children over the next 12-months!
According to the DfE, 5,400 children are currently being cared for by local authorities in East Midlands compared to 9,500 in West Midlands – that is a total of 14,900 children in care, 21% of the total LAC population in the UK.
Many of the referral’s we receive from our local authority colleagues are for young people aged between 12-16 years old who often face challenges relating to alcohol abuse, substance abuse and sexual exploitation. We’ve previously reported on the funding gap facing social services, although last month the DCMS pledged £16m in Social Impact Bonds to tackle drug dependency and support vulnerable young people in care.
Whilst this is far from a solution to the growing care crisis, it will certainly provide some support to vulnerable children who need it the most. Hopefully these types of measures will support a growing understanding of fostering in public spheres, which could lead to an increase in fostering enquiries.
Making an enquiry about fostering is painless, and if your interest leads to approval as a foster parent the rewards are substantial. As reported yesterday in Barrhead News, Lynda Webb – previously a civil servant for 20 years – decided to express an interest in 2014.
“I saw adverts that foster carers were needed and it played on my mind…my twin boys were only 14 when we started so they were a huge consideration. We spoke about it as a family, involved them in the process and decided to go for it.
“It really has been one of the best decisions we ever made…it’s so rewarding being a foster carer and having a teen with the family is different. There are no dirty nappies or dealing with the terrible twos, instead you provide stability and support them with things like education, money management, transport, job searches and the like.”
“I would say to anyone thinking about fostering to just find out more and then you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for you…ask yourself - why couldn’t you foster?”
This is a good example of the thought process for many applicants we hear from. Almost everyone who expresses an interest in fostering is driven by a burning desire to help those less advantaged than themselves, or because they want to #givesomethingback.
Very often it’s something that has been on their mind for some time, so if you’ve been thinking about fostering, why not give us a call or submit an enquiry on our website now and see where it takes you?
Matt Holmes – Referrals and Recruitment Coordiantor at Family Care Group
0800 5 677 677