As the UK begins to welcome unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people, The Fostering Network is re-issuing its call for more people with the right skills and experience to come forward to foster.
Chief executive, Kevin Williams, said: ‘Children who have experienced significant trauma, whether that be in other countries or here in the UK, require specialist input, security and stability. Foster care can help provide these things, and many of the children and young people arriving from overseas under the Dubs and Dublin amendments will, in the short term at least, be looked after by foster carers.
‘Foster carers are already looking after refugee children and young people, and we are very confident that the fostering sector will be able to cope with this increased demand by taking a creative and flexible approach to finding the right homes for these children and young people. However, this will require the right level of financial investment and leadership from the UK's governments and robust support from social care and the wider community.
‘We thank all those fostering services and foster carers who have already expressed a willingness to welcome unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people into their communities and homes, and would call on anyone who believes they have the relevant skills and experience to look after traumatised young people to consider applying to be a foster carer. This includes those who have experience of working in the development sector, teachers, police officers and so on. We would also encourage people from the same countries as many of these unaccompanied young people, such as Eritrea, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria, to consider fostering. Even if you don’t fall into one of these categories, but have been fostering, please visit thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/could-you-foster to find out more.
‘The Fostering Network will continue to work with our fostering service members and advise governments and others on this challenge for foster care, as well as providing the expert advice and training needed to ensure foster carers are best placed to be able to care for this group of children and young people.’