Huge cities like Bristol are vibrant with social and cultural diversity, a vast melting pot of people from all different walks of life.
Not surprisingly this same diversity is evident amongst the children in need of foster care population. But not, unfortunately, amongst the foster carer community.
There are over 700 children in care in Bristol, many of whom are in need of long or short term fostering. Unlike in other areas of the country with less cultural diversity, the children in care in Bristol come from an enormously wide range of different backgrounds. Ideally, when planning a placement, children are matched with a foster family with a similar cultural or social background to their own family. This can help to alleviate the sense of dislocation felt by the children and go some way to helping to build a strong, supportive relationship between the looked after child and their foster carers.
With a national shortage of foster carers, it is difficult to find enough foster carers in the Bristol area who reflect all of the children's backgrounds. It does not help that the fostering world has yet to completely break down the myths and misinformation surrounding the eligibility to foster, and there is a real tendency for people to assume that they would not be able to foster.
We urgently need people from all different walks of life to come forward and find out more about fostering.
There are plenty of articles on our website about the criteria to foster and articles which attempt to bust the myths about fostering. And if you would like to take your interest in become a foster carer forward, just use our handy online form. If you think you could help young people in care through fostering then we'd love to hear from you, whatever walk of life you come from.