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Fostering - A sense of achievement

Date: 5 October 2021
Author: Mandy Rimer
Title: Publicity and Recruitment Officer, Achieving for Children

Children and young people can come into local authority care for lots of reasons, through no fault of their own. Usually, this happens when their parents can't look after them because of drug, alcohol or mental health problems, or there’s been a family crisis. Fostering is a way of providing a short-term home for a child until a permanent solution is found, although how long they’ll be in foster care for isn’t always known.

We need foster carers from all walks of life to look after children of differing ages, from babies to teenagers up to the age of 18. Many different kinds of people can provide a secure and caring environment for children and young people who cannot live with their families. Age, income, gender, sexuality, marital status and culture do not affect a person's ability to be a good carer. It is your personal qualities that matter.

We also take in children who arrive from abroad alone. These 'unaccompanied asylum seekers' have often escaped from traumatic situations in their own country where they might have lost their families.

As a foster carer, you will look after children, in your own home, as part of your family. This will be full time, or at weekends and sometimes during school holidays. Fostering is usually a short-term arrangement before a baby is adopted, or a child returns home, moves to relatives or is adopted, but some stay in foster care until they're 18.

There’s much more to fostering than having a child to stay overnight! In common with parenting your own children, some critical tasks for foster carers include:

  • Providing a safe and caring home
  • Feeding, clothing and washing
  • Recommending and talking about healthy eating and exercise
  • Advising on personal presentation and hygiene
  • Helping with school and homework (particularly older children with a patchy education)
  • Going to school meetings, such as parents' evenings
  • Making sure the child has access to sports and activities
  • Being a good listener and making time to sit down with the child when they want to talk

Alternative to fostering - Family Link

If you are looking for something that offers a bit more flexibility, why not consider Family Link?

Family Link is a service that provides overnight short breaks to children with disabilities. It is a fantastic way to support a family network.

Our fantastic carers provide overnight care approximately once a month to carefully matched children. This gives children with disabilities fun, new social experiences in a loving home environment.

Parents, Family Link carers and children have talked about the long term positive relationships they have developed through Family Link, with one carer saying: "It goes without saying, our friendship with our link child has been one of the most rewarding of our lives."

For parents and carers, the experience of meeting their Family Link carer can be life changing, with a parent adding: "Our Family Link carer has literally changed our lives. We are now able to leave our son, guilt free and assured he is safe, happy and stimulated."

Find out more about fostering and Family Link – come along to one of our information events and meet our friendly team.

Online events

  • 5 October at 10am
  • 27 October at 6.30pm
  • 18 November at 2pm
  • 30 November at 10am

Meet us in person

  • 13 October at 4pm at Windsor Youth and Community Centre, 65 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD
  • 9 November at 4pm at 1st floor, Guildhall 2, Kingston, KT1 1EU

If you would like further information, please call Mandy Rimmer on 07894 229788 or email mandy.rimmer@achievingforchildren.org.uk and she can send you the link to join.

Find out more about fostering

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Updated: 14 October 2021