Welcome to Foster Care FortnightTM 2019 – the UK’s biggest annual fostering awareness campaign, developed and delivered by The Fostering Network.
The theme this year is #changeafuture and with that in mind I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you involved in fostering for the love, support and stability they offer children and young people in foster care. Your actions ensure children growing up in foster care can go on to fulfill their potential, make a successful transition into adulthood and continue to thrive throughout their lives.
I would also like to recognise the significant, positive impact those children and young people have on the families they join. The vast majority of foster carers cite the rewarding nature of the job and the relationships they build with the children and young people in their care as the reason for continuing.
We want these positive foundations to be available for every child and young person in foster care which is why we run Foster Care Fortnight. We hope by raising its profile we can correct the common misconceptions about fostering, remove the stigma which still surrounds children and young people in foster care and encourage more people, who feel they have the right skills and experience, to come forward to foster. We also see Foster Care Fortnight as a great opportunity for fostering services to say thank you to their existing foster carers and to take stock of what they can do to recognise the work of those carers all year round.
We estimate that there is a need for 8,600 more foster families over the next 12 months in order to ensure all fostered children can live with the right family for them. There is a particular need for families to look after sibling groups, teenagers and children with additional physical and educational needs.
If you are not a foster carer, I hope that over the next two weeks we, in conjunction with our network of thousands of generous, hard-working members, we are able to inform and inspire you to support our work, support fostering and support the children and young people in foster care.
If you would like to find out more about becoming a foster carer please visit the Could You Foster section of our website.
Thank you again for all you do on behalf of fostered children and young people.
Chief Executive, The Fostering Network.