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Sons and Daughters Month – An interview with a foster carer and her children

It is The Fostering Network Sons and Daughters Month. Throughout the month of October, The Fostering network aims to shine a light on the children of foster carers and show appreciation for the role they play in helping looked after children to feel at home and happy in their foster family.

Being the child of a foster carer is not always easy. Children are asked to share not only their parents, but their home, their toys, their family and their lives with someone they have never met before. Happy foster families need all family members to be willing and eager participants in the fostering journey. Children of foster carers can play just an important role in looked after children’s lives as their foster carers do.

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5 reasons to foster in later life

The minimum age to become a foster carer in the UK is 21 years old. However, there is no maximum age limit for people wanting to foster a child. If you are interested in fostering, and are fit and healthy, no matter what your age you are never too old to get in touch with us.

A Government study in 2020 found that the majority of foster carers in England between 2019 and 2020 were over 50 years old. The study found that of the 71,150 approved foster carers, 65% were over 50 years of age and 25% were over 60. If you want to foster but you think it’s just a job for the younger generations, these statistics show that you are not too old after all. In fact, if you decide to foster later on in your life you will be in the majority.

Fostering is more than a career, it is giving your home, your time and your love to vulnerable children and young people in need. You can be an excellent foster carer at twenty five but people in their sixties and seventies still have a lot to offer and can make fantastic foster carers too.

Are you considering becoming a foster carer but feel like your age is holding you back? Keep reading to learn why you should become a foster carer in later life.

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Celebrating children in foster care at the end of the school term.

The academic year has come to an end and what a school year it has been. The summer holidays are here at last and we want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate all the achievements of some of our young people over the last year.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this school year has been like no other; home schooling, covid tests, class bubbles isolating and older children having to wear masks in school. It has been a challenging school year for all children but for young people in foster care it has been even more unsettling and difficult.

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Tips for looking after your mental wellbeing as a foster carer

Foster carers do an amazing job of looking after children and young people. A good foster carer will be as committed to the children in their care as much on the good days as they are on the challenging days. Foster carers work hard to help vulnerable children to heal and move on from previous trauma, they are a strong and stable presence in the lives of children who need to know there is a caring adult in their life who will always support them, no matter what. Foster carers spend a lot of time and energy looking out for the mental wellbeing and happiness of the children in their care – but who is looking after the foster carers?

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How to support your local community

Supporting the local community is something many of us have been thinking about a lot more than usual since March 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic has reignited a sense of community that was starting to disappear from modern society and this is one of the few benefits to come from this difficult past year. Neighbours started to talk more, healthy people offered to do shopping for the vulnerable, we started to smile and say hello to strangers in the street and when we asked people how they were doing we stopped to really listen. Just because we are now on the roadmap out of the pandemic and back to a new version of normal life, that does not mean we need to leave this reignited community spirit behind too. If you want to help out in your local community and support vulnerable families and people in need, we have put together this list of ideas to help you get started.

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Foster Care Fortnight 2021

This year Foster Care Fortnight is taking place between the 10th and 23rd May. Foster Care Fortnight is an annual campaign by The Fostering Network. The aim of Foster Care Fortnight is the raise the profile of foster care and to show how fostering can transform the lives of children and young people across the UK. The theme for Foster Care Fortnight this year is Why We Care. The Fostering Network are encouraging everyone in the fostering community to share why they foster and the reasons why they care. Our newest foster carer, N, has shared the reasons why she fosters in this blog post. We hope by reading her thoughts on why she cares you will be encouraged to think about fostering and feel inspired to help children in need in your local area.

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Coronavirus update March 2021

It has been twelve months since the first national lockdown was announced and the UK population were asked to stay at home. With the first anniversary of lockdown prompting the country to look back on all the events of the last year, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect and acknowledge the hard work of our team of foster carers, social workers and support staff here at Focus Foster Care. We are also looking forward…

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Fostering as a career – 6 facts aspiring foster carers need to know

Fostering is so much more than just a job. Foster carers do not choose this career as just a means to pay the bills, they do it because they have a passion to provide love and support to children in need. One of our foster carers has described fostering as a “feeling you get deep within your heart” and she is right. Foster carers are inspiring and selfless and they put their own heart on the line to help heal the hearts of the children who come into their care. It takes a certain type of person to be a foster carer and fostering will not be a viable career choice for everyone. However, if you are interested in becoming a foster carer and want to know more about what a career in fostering is like, this post is full of useful information.

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Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 – 5 resources for parents and carers

February 1st – 7th is Children’s Mental Health week. This week is organised by Place 2 Be charity whose aim is to help children suffering from various mental health conditions by providing education, counselling and support. The charity also provide parents, carers and school staff with information, guidance and training to enable them to effectively offer support to vulnerable children. The theme for Children’s Mental Health week 2021, is ‘Express Yourself’. Children and young people do not always know how to express how they are feeling, sometimes they may struggle to find the words or the desire to talk about their emotions and thoughts. A trusted adult can help children find ways to express their feelings and foster carers play a key role in helping vulnerable children and young people learn how to do this.

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Jobs that provide transferable skills for aspiring foster carers.

Are you considering a career in fostering but are unsure if you have the relevant skills? Although it may be an advantage, a person is not required to have worked in the childcare sector specifically to become a foster carer. There are many jobs that will provide individuals with the transferable skills and a foundation of experience and knowledge necessary to begin the fostering journey. Many professions will equip people with skills that can be used to successfully support and nurture children through difficult periods in their lives as well as the other aspects of the role including working as part of a team and keeping detailed written records. Read on to learn whether your current job role could help you realise your dream to foster a vulnerable child.

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