The Care Agency will kick off a week-long Fostering recruitment drive this Saturday with a series of events, including a ‘Help a Child See Life’s Colours’ walk from John Mackintosh Square to Casemates at 11:00am.
The Care Agency aims to raise awareness about the benefits of fostering children and encourage people in our community to come forward to find out more about Fostering. In addition to Saturday’s events, drop in sessions will be held throughout the week at the Family Centre in Mid Harbour Estate. For those who decide to become Foster Carers, mandatory training will take place in April.
Fostering provides alternative placements for children who, for a variety of reasons, are not able to remain at home with their families. Not all children who need foster care come from a broken family or have been abused. Some children are simply victims of parents becoming ill. Some have emotional and or significant behavioural issues that require special skills to deal with. Such children would benefit immensely from an opportunity to live in foster care.
Foster carers need a range of skills and understanding about children’s needs to be able to dedicate their time and be willing to advocate for what children need to enable them to reach their full potential whilst enjoying the benefits of family life.
Anyone over the age of 21 can apply to become a foster carer. The application process is free and there is a full and comprehensive assessment conducted by a fully qualified and experienced team of social workers. To ensure the process is as smooth as possible, the Fostering Service will work with prospective foster carers every step of the way, ensuring they are equipped physically and emotionally for the foster carer lifestyle. Fostering children with disabilities may come with additional training and support in terms of how best to meet the child’s needs.
Minister for Health and Care, the Hon Paul Balban, said: ‘All children have the right to grow up in a family environment regardless of their background, ability or disability. For many children and young people, living with a foster family is often their first positive experience of family life and is often one of the most rewarding experiences of their life. Fostering can provide a life-changing experience to children as well as to foster carers. Childhood is precious and it is time limited, so help us make a difference.’
Anyone interested in fostering is strongly encouraged to visit one of the stalls at either John Mackintosh Square or Casemates this Saturday between 10:00am and 12:00pm. Alternatively, to register your interest or for an informal chat about fostering please contact Elizabeth Chikasha on 20078528 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.