looked after children
A State That Looks After People Or A State That Cares For People - Thinking Towards A Government Social Care Strategy
We have not had a general policy direction for this new Government beyond Theresa May's conference speech where she stated
The venue is booked, the guests have been invited. The eldest of our three foster children is preparing to celebrate her birthday. She is drawing up a list of presents that she would like, tentatively at first but gradually growing in confidence, with some encouragement. This is not something she has been able to do in the past, and it takes some getting used to.
Foster care really is a family commitment, and would not be possible without the selflessness, determination and courage of so many children and young people. They give so much, and often learn from a tender age how hard life can be.
There will always be a need for new foster carers and we ought to look at that positively, every child and teenager is different, they deserve a truly broad and diverse range of carers to be matched with in order to give them the best chance of a good outcome in care and achieving success in their lives.
We have said goodbye to our family social worker, who has retired after a long and distinguished career with the county council. She has been with us since we became foster carers some years ago, and has been at our side through thick and thin.
What's needed is to grow the size of the sector, by design increasing the number of homes for some needs, so that members of each sub-group meeting specifically identified needs can contribute asking the same questions, wrestling with the same issues, and worrying about the same things as you are, so that they feel a little less isolated and a little more recognised.
For the last 15 years we have heard a consistent message from successive governments: no child should be left behind. Whether the slogan has been 'every child matters' or 'narrowing the gap', the intention has been the same: to improve outcomes for the most disadvantaged children. Despite there being some improvements for children, one group stands out as being almost impervious to these efforts: looked-after children.
If you feel drawn to reading this blog, hopefully it is because you are thinking of becoming a foster carer. But even if there are reasons why that is not possible for you there are many ways you can support foster carers and help children in need. Here are just a few...
As foster carers we are used to receiving children who are strangers to the world in which we live. They are perplexed by many of things we take for granted. A well-stocked larder. Vegetables. Clean sheets. A tidy garden. Flowers in a vase. Please and thank you.
We spent the middle Sunday of Foster Care Fortnight in the best way possible, in the company of foster children present and past. And no better meeting place for two rumbustious extended families than Groombridge Place, deep in the Kent countryside.