Every day 55,000 foster families across the UK are offering 65,000 fostered children and young people a loving, secure and stable home, and this commitment from foster families is ongoing during the coronavirus outbreak.
The UK’s leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network, is using this year’s Foster Care FortnightTM to raise awareness of the extraordinary dedication and work of foster carers at this time, while calling for more people to come forward to foster.
The charity’s annual campaign to raise the profile of foster carers and the vital role they play in society is the largest of its kind in the UK and runs from 11-24 May.
Foster carers accomplish incredible things every day, even in the face of a global crisis that has affected every one of us and impacted all aspects of our society. Despite the practical and emotional challenges that the coronavirus is bringing, foster carers continue to provide day-to-day support, love and stability to children and young people who can’t live with their birth families. They support children and young people’s education, health, and social wellbeing, and also help to maintain the children’s relationships with the people who are important to them but who they cannot currently see in person.
Every year thousands more foster families are needed across the UK to make sure fostered children can live with the right foster carer for them. So, anyone who thinks they might have the skills and experience to become a foster carer is urged to contact their local fostering services.
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: ‘Foster care transforms the lives of children and young people as well as those of foster carers and their families. This has never been more important. Foster carers help children and young people flourish and fulfil their potential, as well as provide a vital service to our society. Because this happens mainly in the privacy of their own homes – especially at the moment – their contributions too often go unnoticed.
‘Foster Care Fortnight is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the work of foster families as well as recognising how transformational foster care can be for the children and young people who need it.’
Walt started fostering four years ago. Fostering had been on his mind for a long time but he was worried he wouldn’t be approved as a single male carer who doesn’t own his own home and is part of the LGBTQ community: ‘Only when I did more research I found out that none of this matters as long as you can offer a safe and loving home to children.’ Walt is now looking after teenagers and wouldn’t change it for the world: ‘To witness a teenager in your care connect with you, open up and put your trust in you is the most rewarding feeling and biggest compliment you can get.’