More foster carers are urgently needed post lockdown
Children’s charity Baranado’s recently revealed that the number of children being referred for foster care increased by 44% during the coronavirus lockdown. The Fostering Network had previously stated that over seven thousand more foster carers were needed in 2020 to meet the growing demand for foster homes in the UK, this was before the pandemic even began. Barando’s also found that the number of people applying to foster during the pandemic dropped dramatically, by approximately 40%. At a time when more children were needing a safe and supportive foster family, less people were enquiring into fostering. As a result of the surge in children needing a foster home and the already desperate need for more people to foster, the fostering sector is now in a state of emergency. Vulnerable children across the UK coming into the care system need a supportive and loving foster carer now more than ever. We need more people with a genuine passion to help children through difficult periods in their lives to seriously consider fostering as a career choice. More foster carers are urgently needed post lockdown, could you help a child in need?
More foster carers are desperately needed in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
When the country went into lockdown in March it was predicted that the closing down of the country would have the most adverse effects on vulnerable families. An increase in children needing foster care was foreseen and unfortunately these predictions have become a reality. Lockdown has resulted in hundreds of job losses, families that were on the brink of poverty before the pandemic now find themselves struggling to cope financially. The lockdown may have caused parents to struggle with their mental health, previous addictions may have resurfaced and substance abuse may have increased in this difficult time. Whilst most children have enjoyed spending more time with their parents over the past four months, for others lockdown has meant they have had to stay at home with abusive and neglectful parents. Lockdown has been a challenging time for us all but for vulnerable families and vulnerable children in particular, this period has pushed them into unsafe territories.
Fostering can help families to rebuild and reunite. Fostering protects a child’s safety and foster carers support and look after vulnerable children whilst birth parents are given the help and support they need too. Foster carers need to be patient, supportive, nurturing, loving, understanding and kind. To foster you need a spare bedroom and must be over the age of 21; to find out if you are eligible to become a foster carer please read of our Who Can Foster, Characteristics of a good foster carer and Can I Foster If webpages.
The team at Focus Foster Care have continued to work throughout the pandemic and are still taking enquiries for new foster carers and encouraging more people to get in touch to find out more about fostering. Two of our social workers share their thoughts on the effects of lockdown and how the agency continues to seek more foster carers across the West and East Midlands…
Lockdown has been a challenging time for everyone, leaving those who are most vulnerable further isolated. Such as those living in abusive relationships, managing mental health issues or suffering from addiction being unable to access their usual support services and networks, leading to an increase in the number of families reaching crisis point. As an agency, we have had to adapt and think ‘outside the box’ and utilise a variety of apps and technology to create virtual environments where we can ‘be together’ in order to support our current carers and children and to continue to expand our number of fostering households in preparation for the increased number of children needing a place of safety. – Emma
At Focus, since lockdown restrictions are gradually being lifted, we are seeing an increase in children being referred from local authorities across the region, in need of foster care. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected us all in so many ways but vulnerable children and families are likely to have been the most adversely affected. It is important that we are able to best match the needs of children requiring placements to the foster families we have available, for example, keeping children as close to their home communities as possible. Therefore we are constantly looking for ways to expand our team of dedicated and committed foster carers. – Fiona
At a time when many people across the country are looking for employment and when more and more children need a supportive foster family, if fostering has been on your mind then now is the time to take the first step and get in touch. Our independent fostering agency helps children across the West and East Midlands and surrounding areas. If you believe you could help vulnerable children in your local area through fostering then please get in touch. You are needed now more than ever.
Contact the Focus Foster Team on 0800 524 4797 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about fostering and how to become a foster carer with our independent fostering agency, please read the following pages on our website:
Types of foster care.
Who can foster?
How to become a foster care with Focus Foster Care.
Fostering – frequently asked questions.
The benefits of fostering with Focus Foster Care.