THE BLOG

We Need More Foster Carers For Children In Care

04/09/2016 22:08 | Updated 04 September 2016

When I think of the word home, I think of what we worked hard to provide for our daughter - a happy family home filled with warmth, love, and stability. It was - and still is - a safe haven where my daughter could confidently be herself and feel secure.

We have now been in the same house for nearly twenty years. I read recently that the average person stays in their home for 21 years but sadly, nearly one in three children in the UK move home at least once a year. That's over 13,000 children who have had to settle into a new area and leave family, friends, school and everything familiar behind.

Last year Action for Children found that one in four children in in foster care, across the UK, had moved twice or more in one year. I found this so disheartening that I wanted to see if stability in foster care had improved this year.

Disappointingly, it has not!

We surveyed over 1000 eight - 15-year-olds in the UK, who were not in care, to find out what a stable home meant to them. An overwhelming 70% told us that a stable home meant feeling safe with 89% saying that a parent or guardian should be making them feel safe.

Hearing first-hand what stability actually means for children as young as eight really hit home the importance of providing safe and stable homes for children in foster care.

Moving from home to home can really affect a child's social skills, educational outcomes and employment prospects - impacting on their mental health and exacerbating any existing behavioural and emotional issues.

We know first-hand the challenges these young people face, they have often experienced the worst in life, which means it can take several moves before they find the right foster carer to meet their specific needs.

At Action for Children, we carefully select, support and train our foster carers to help them provide the love, care and support children and young people need to thrive.

Due to our amazing foster carers we have a very successful stability rate because we know that the best possible care every day and loving, stable relationships, make the most difference in so many ways: in education, health, career, family life.

This is what our 'Stickability' campaign is all about - highlighting the importance of providing stable and loving foster homes to vulnerable young people, and the positive impact that this has on children in care.

We urgently need more foster carers. We need people who are resilient, calm and understanding. Whatever your marital status, sexuality, religious beliefs, whether you rent or own your home, if you have a spare bedroom, you can be a foster carer. Do you have what it takes to make a difference? If so, you can visit our website or contact our fostering team on 0845 200 5162. We promise to provide you with all the support you need, whenever you need it.

You can support our 'Stickability' campaign by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

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