Veronica has been a foster carer for almost 12 years. Together with her husband, she currently cares for two young women, one of which is an asylum seeking teenager who arrived in the UK all by herself when she was 16.
becoming a foster carer
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The theme for this year's campaign was This Is Fostering to convey a varied and authentic picture of the contributions of the people involved in fostering and how foster care transforms the lives of children and young people across the country.
We want wider society to understand and value fostering and the positive difference it can make to young people’s lives and we hope this increased awareness will build support for fostering, challenge stigma surrounding children in foster care and encourage more people to consider fostering.
Just as there is diversity in fostered children, foster carers need to come from a variety of backgrounds and have different life experiences, skills and qualities to help meet the needs of children and young people in foster care. There are, however, some common criteria that most fostering services need from you:
Every 20 minutes another child comes into care needing a foster family in the UK.
The reasons children come into care varies widely, including a parent’s short-term illness or another temporary problem within the family. Some children may have witnessed domestic violence or a parent’s depression or drug or alcohol abuse. Others may have been abused or neglected. Each child’s circumstances and needs are unique.
Every year, tens of thousands of children across the UK need foster carers while they can’t live with their own families.
Like other jobs working with children, fostering isn’t easy but is very rewarding and makes a huge difference to children’s lives.
So, you’ve made the decision that you’d like to become a foster carer. You think you have the right skills and experience, you have the desire to offer a safe and caring home to a child or young person…and, of course, you have a spare room. Now what happens?
The local authority will be required to evidence that each staying put arrangement meets ‘basic standards’. It is the local authority’s responsibility to provide (whether directly or through commissioned services) support to both the young person and to the former foster carers. This includes foster carers approved and supported by independent fostering providers. The levels of support to be provided should take account of the individual circumstances and needs.
Debbie Douglas is a foster carer and the Westminster Government's fostering ambassador. Here she talks about the multiple roles a foster carer takes on - and how proud she is to say that she is a foster carer.
I’m misleading you a little this week because I’m not going to be blogging about the cinema. Though what I’m attempting to describe was at times as surreal to me as something you might glimpse on the big screen.