It's #FCF17 Fostercare Fortnight which is all the excuse we need to ramble on about some of the different aspects of fostering and of becoming a foster carer.
Be Inspired. Be Inspiring
Thursday 11th May, 2017
Today's #FCF17 focus is on education, and again the newspapers and TV are likely to be preoccupied with the statistics which show the unacceptable educational attainment gap between looked-after children and their peers. Again, with good reason, it's an important issue and more needs to be done to fix the problem so that more fostered children have a better chance than ever before of achieving their potential.
However, there is another education story in fostering that we want to talk about. That is the free training and ongoing skills and knowledge development that foster carers receive during their fostering career.
Free lifelong learning is an amazing by-product of being a foster carer, something which many of our foster carers find inspiring and of real personal and intellectual value. From practical training such as first aid and food hygiene, to in-depth studies into child development topics such as attachment, identity and behaviour. Our foster carers also receive training in important contemporary issues which not only helps them to keep the children they foster safe but also benefits them as parents to their own children - topics such as internet safety, cyber-bullying and radicalisation.
Being a foster carer means so much more that providing a roof over a child's head and 3 square meals a day. Our foster carers become experts at helping children understand themselves and society around them. They become experts at helping children overcome their challenges, work through the damage caused by bad early experiences and develop self-esteem and resilience. Foster carers are guardians, advocates, therapists, teachers and mentors too. And the process of continuous education foster carers receive helps them be this to each individual child they care for.
Be inspired. Be inspiring. Be the change. Be a foster carer.
Is It Too Difficult to Foster Children?
Tuesday 9th May, 2017
In support of #FCF17 Foster Care Fortnight 2017 BBC Radio Leeds' Andrew Edwards was talking about fostering on his 'Big Yorkshire Phone In' show yesterday, and he invited our very own Granville Orange to respond to the questions "Is it too difficult to foster children? Is the process of becoming a foster carer too off-putting?"
Making a Difference
Monday 8th May, 2017
It’s Day 1 of #FCF17 today, and for the next two weeks we will all, no doubt, hear a lot in our newspapers and on the TV about the UK’s ‘startling shortfall’ of foster carers and the massive demand for foster homes for our country’s looked after children. Which is great – not least of all because it’s true! The UK does need over 9,000 more foster carers so that every child has the best chance of finding the right #foster home for them, not just in terms of being able to meet their care needs but also in terms of being a good social, cultural and geographical fit.
But sometimes the emphasis on the numbers, the deficit, the extent of the demand, can make it feel impossible for any one individual to make an impact. It would be only human to think “Even if I did decide to foster, we’d still need 8,999 more people to do the same, right? How can I make a difference?” There’s a real danger that by raising awareness of the need we accidentally remove the main motivation behind people’s decision to foster – Wanting To Make A Difference.
That’s why this Fostering Fortnight, Family Fostercare want to be clear that if we are able to turn all the buzz and chat around fostering in the media over the next two weeks into just 1 new foster family, we’ll consider it a success. Just because we can’t help every child does not mean we shouldn’t celebrate each individual child we do help. Just because our country needs over 9,000 new foster homes doesn’t make the work that each individual foster family does any less incredible and special. At FFC we’re not trying to fill the ocean, we’re happy to take it one thimbleful at a time!
Every enquiry helps. Every foster carer makes a difference. Every child matters.
Happy Fostering Fortnight!