There is a shortage of foster carers in our area. Could you become one? Three events are being held to help you to find out why current carers strongly recommend doing it.
Currently our borough has approximately 100 fostering families, but with around 320 looked after children, more carers from all backgrounds, ethnicity and ages are needed. Ealing Council especially needs those who can look after teenagers and/or siblings, but also need carers for all age groups, including babies.
It is Foster Care Fortnight between 10-23 May this year. It is organised by The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity (to which local foster carers receive free membership), and it is held to increase awareness of fostering and to encourage more people to do it.
What is happening here?
Three virtual events have been planned during Foster Care Fortnight, which you can book on to by either calling the fostering team on freephone 0800 731 6550 or by emailing email@example.com:
- An information session on Monday, 17 May, between 11am-12.30pm, to give you more details of what is involved and how you would be supported to foster
- Two special ‘meet the foster carer’ events, which are taking place for the first time. These will be informal sessions where people can ask questions of a local foster carer. These will be held on Thursday, 13 May, 11am-12noon; and Thursday, 20 May, between 5-6pm.
Why should I foster?
A couple of local foster carers can tell you in their own words.
Caleb Campbell said: “Every child who has come here is not treated like a stranger – they become part of my family. I always say – if you don’t like children, do not foster.
“I would recommend it to anyone thinking about doing it.
“There are challenges along the way – how can there not be? But Ealing Fostering Service is always there and it gives very good advice and support whenever you need it.
“And there are so many special moments – seeing them do well and being happy.”
Shakuntla Gittins was awarded an MBE for her services to fostering. She said: “Fostering is so rewarding and I recommend it to anyone – but you have to put a lot into it. It becomes easier as you go along.
“And you speak to other carers. In fact, I have become very good friends with other carers and we meet each other and chat on the phone all the time. That way, you draw on your own parenting experience but also others’.
“And Ealing’s foster care team is really, really good and everyone there is so helpful.”