All children deserve a stable loving home and right now the vital role of foster carers is even more crucial to ensure vulnerable children and young people are looked after, when their own families are unable to.
At any time, around 400 children across Hampshire are in need of foster care and our foster carers do a fantastic job looking after and, in some cases, changing the lives of Hampshire’s vulnerable children – an especially challenging responsibility during the pandemic.
One great example of the type of household that could look after vulnerable young people is found in Chris, a single male carer. During the week, Chris is a truck driver for a racing team, but at weekends his home is available for emergency respite placements. He said:
“I saw an advert for fostering, found myself with a spare room and decided to apply. My biggest achievement was a boy who was a joyrider and had moved from placement to placement. As a father of four, I’m fluent in teenage ‘grunt’ language and so I spent some time with him and built up a rapport. I was the only foster carer he didn’t run away from, and he’d asked to come back to me – for that I’m really proud.”
Another foster carer, Kelly, originally signed up to do parent and child fostering, where a vulnerable parent and child are both looked after as part of a foster family. Owing to the Covid-19 crisis, Kelly’s plans were adapted. She said:
“As a family, we decided we wouldn’t take parent and child placements during lockdown because we didn’t think it would be fair on everyone involved. However, we decided we could take a baby. A couple of weeks later we had a call and the next thing you know we’re taking home a three-hour old baby girl. It’s actually a really lovely time to have a newborn in the house because everyone in the home is around, they can all help, and they can enjoy her.”
Hampshire County Council’s Foster Care Team has gone virtual – taking its outreach information and engagement activities online and hosting free informal information sessions to help you learn more about fostering. Upcoming events can be found online at www.hants.gov.uk/fostering
Hampshire County Council
is not dependent on your marital status, ethnicity, sexuality or age – so long as you are over 21 and have a spare room. Rated Outstanding by Ofsted, we offer our foster carers quality training, good support and allowances of up to £600 per week for each child they look after.
Even if it is not possible to foster right now, there are other ways to support Hampshire children, including joining the 150-strong team of Innovation Volunteers who support foster families and children – details at www.hants.gov.uk/community
Search Hampshire County Council today. Visit our website to download an information pack, request a call back for an informal chat or apply to become a foster carer. You can also call 01489 587052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org directly.