The time to act is now, or we risk failing our children and young people completely

As the 4th edition of our State of the Country report is launched, I have been reflecting on its’ findings for 2021, and what they inform us about the method foster care is viewed within the children’s social care sector as a whole.

It has been a week for sombre reflection as we have actually all been reminded of the dreadful effect of kid abuse and neglect and the important requirement for kids’ social care to supply a strong and robust child protection system. Foster carers are typically at the frontline of supporting kids who have actually experienced abuse and disregard, ensuring those children can heal and move on from their injury.

I have actually been thinking about our cultivating findings within this context, about the daily work foster carers do, 24 hours a day, to provide love, care and assistance for children and about how that peaceful, ongoing assistance can change kids’ lives for the much better.

I feel annoyed and saddened to hear that foster carers still feel under-appreciated in their important functions in caring for some of the most vulnerable children and young individuals in the UK. Foster carers inform us that their voices are typically not heard when they attempt to promote the kids they take care of, and they don’t constantly receive adequate information about a child before they start to care for them. Numerous of them (over a 3rd) also wind up expenses as the allowance they receive does not fulfil the complete cost of the child’s care. This inadequate assistance, absence of status and bad pay continue to be crucial issues for foster carers and have a huge role to play in the major obstacles surrounding the recruitment and retention of top quality and adequate foster carers for fostering services too.

I am a social employee by background, and as somebody who has actually committed my life to improve life for children and youths in foster care, I know how essential foster carers remain in providing stable and nurturing homes for the kids they take care of. Foster carers choose to promote since they wish to make a difference in the lives of children, but they inform us they are discovering it significantly tough to do this as they feel they don’t have the support and resources they need, or the status that their role needs and should have. Promoting services shared some truly practical ideas about how to enhance recruitment and retention in order to satisfy regional requirements but it is imperative that such solutions need to be effectively funded, with leadership and resources originating from nationwide federal governments so that regional authorities can better fulfil the requirements of children and support foster carers.

At The Fostering Network, we have been raising awareness for some years now of the requirement to deal with these concerns in order to hire and retain foster carers who can fulfil the requirements of the children they care for. Judging by the reactions to our study, and reports recently launched by Ofsted, the County Councils Network and Competitions and Markets Authority, the scenario is now becoming important, and immediate action should be taken at local, nationwide and local levels in order to bridge the space between the requirements of kids in care and the variety of foster carers with the abilities to fulfil them.

With my associates in the sector, we will utilize this report as a chance to demand action from the UK federal government to give foster care the attention and funding it needs. For too long foster care has been a disregarded sector and the time to change this is now. The crucial function of the foster carer needs to be acknowledged, appreciated and valued so all kids are provided with the very best experience of foster care.

This report is the very first in a series utilizing the information gathered through our State of the Nation studies this year, and in 2022 we will launch additional reports on some essential areas of focus in addition to motivating foster carers to join us on conversation occasions to share their views further. In January, I look forward to sharing a more thorough analysis of the status of foster carers and having the chance to speak with more foster carers on this topic and what we can do to press for modification.

I am a social employee by background, and as someone who has actually committed my life to enhance life for children and young individuals in foster care, I understand how crucial foster carers are in supplying nurturing and stable homes for the children they look after. Promoting services shared some actually practical suggestions about how to enhance recruitment and retention in order to fulfil local needs but it is important that such options require to be properly moneyed, with management and resources coming from nationwide federal governments so that regional authorities can much better meet the requirements of kids and assistance foster carers.

The vital role of the foster carer needs to be acknowledged, appreciated and valued so all kids are given the finest experience of foster care.