Shropshire Fostering makes it easier to become a foster carer
Among many things, the Covid-19 crisis has put a spotlight on the needs of the vulnerable, and alerted people to the support they may require, regardless of the outbreak.
In the case of children, this needed support can go beyond help with procuring food and provisions – it can include the need for a home and the need for foster care.
With this, Shropshire Fostering – the fostering service at Shropshire Council – is making a commitment to such children in the local area, and helping potential foster parents find out everything they need to know through the launch of its Virtual Information Event.
Designed to allow prospective carers to access a wealth of information from their own homes, the Virtual Information Event seeks to answer many of the questions people may have about fostering, including who is eligible, what the different types of fostering are, and what sort of financial support is available.
"Potentially, anyone over the age of 21 can foster providing they are able to give a child a secure and caring home," said a spokesperson.
"You don’t need to be rich. You don’t need to be working. You don’t need to have children of your own. You can be married, single or in a same sex relationship.
"There are, obviously, certain criteria – for example, you will need to have a spare room and be able to offer consistent care for children under five, but all of this will be explored with you."
At present, there are more than 400 looked after children in Shropshire, and more who are in need of a home.
"We need foster carers for children of all ages," said the spokesperson. "There are babies and toddlers. There are children with special needs. There are brothers and sisters who need to stay together. There are teenagers and young mothers who need a little extra support before they make their own way in life.
"Many will have experienced domestic crises, perhaps violence, abuse, illness, neglect, alcohol or drug addiction. Most will be feeling bewildered and upset about moving in with strangers.
"It’s a foster carer’s responsibility to bring stability and continuity to these children’s lives while the difficulties are being sorted out. This often includes working closely with children’s parents. The secret is simply to offer what every child and young person wants and needs – family life, friends, love and respect."
Those who are interested in learning more can access the Virtual Information Event by completing the online form here
"You can watch the Virtual Information Event at a time that suits you and from the comfort of your own home," the spokesperson added.
"The link will also have the form attached that we will ask you to complete to start your fostering journey, should you wish to do so."
For more general information on fostering in Shropshire, visit www.shropshirefostering.co.uk or call 0800 783 8798.
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