Help make a difference this Foster Care Fortnight and join our amazing foster care community
Those who can offer a Shropshire child a loving and safe home in the county are being asked to come forward and join our foster care community.
The call out from Shropshire Council’s fostering team marks the annual Foster Care Fortnight (today until Sunday 28 May 2023) by the The Fostering Network, which aims to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.
This year’s theme is fostering communities, and throughout the fortnight we’ll be sharing stories from some of our incredible foster carers and teams about why they support fostering, whilst encouraging others to join Shropshire’s foster care community.
Fostering, for many children, can be their first positive experience of family life, and our carers do an incredible job of providing them with the stability and confidence they need. By committing their time and their love, carers give children – and often whole families – the time and the space to rebuild their lives.
Currently there are 188 members of Shropshire’s fostering community, comprising of both foster carers and connected carers.
What is a fostering?
Fostering is often used to provide temporary care for children and young people, while parents get help sorting out problems or to help children or young people through a difficult period in their lives. Often children will return home once the problems that caused them to come into foster care have been resolved and it is clear that their parents are able to look after them safely.
Others may stay in long-term foster care, some may be adopted, and others will move on to live independently.
There are many types of fostering, ranging from short to long term as well as short breaks or respite.
What is a foster carer, and can I foster?
The role of the foster carer is to provide a safe and secure home to a child or young person.
Potentially, anyone over the age of 21 can foster, providing they are able to give a child a secure and caring home. You don’t need to be rich. You don’t need to be working. You don’t need to have children of your own. You can be married, single or in a same sex relationship.
There are, obviously, certain criteria – for example, you will need to have a spare room, and be able to offer consistent care for children under five, but all of this will be discussed with you during your initial questionnaire.
Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:-
“To mark Foster Care Fortnight, we’re asking Shropshire people to help make a positive difference to the life of a Shropshire child.
“Foster carers can literally change the future for the children they care for, by giving them a chance to rebuild their lives from what can be very difficult circumstances.
“But every year, as the number of children needing a home rises, some carers drop out of the system: so we constantly need to grow the pool so that children and young people coming into care are able to live with a carer whose skills and experience meet their individual needs.
“Nationally, there is a particular need for carers to come forward to foster teenagers, sibling groups and children with complex needs – and Shropshire is no different.
“Our priority is to recruit enough local carers to avoid Shropshire children having to go out of the county to be looked after.
“We are extremely pleased that we have recently been awarded Fostering Friendly employer status, by The Fostering Network, which will bring even more benefits to our foster carers.
“So please, if you feel you could foster a Shropshire child, do get in touch and become one of the 188 fantastic members of our fostering community.”
What we can offer?
As a foster carer with Shropshire Fostering, you will become a valued member of our team, working with and caring for local children to offer them the best support and care to make a difference to their life. We can offer:
- Full training and ongoing support from an experienced team of qualified social workers, family support workers and therapists, all of whom are committed to supporting our carers to care.
- Peer support from other foster carers.
- Extremely competitive allowance with plenty of added benefits. How much you receive depends on the type of care you provide and the age of the child in your care. Our foster carers receive between £15,368and £44,026 allowance per year for one child. You would get more for fostering older children and children with complex needs or disabilities. Suitable carers can also foster more than one child.
If fostering sounds like something you could do, then why not get in touch on 0800 783 8798 or visit shropshire.gov.uk/fostering and ask for a fostering information pack.
You can also register on our Virtual Fostering Information Event on Wednesday 17 May at 6pm. To find out more visit https://www.shropshirefostering.co.uk/info-events/.