A new campaign has been launched in Slough urging people “Hands up if you want to be a foster carer!”
The initiative has been launched by Slough Children’s Services Trust (SCST) to coincide with Foster Care Fortnight (8 – 21 May), the national fostering recruitment awareness campaign. It begins a series of activities in the borough to encourage local people to provide a safe and secure home for a child who cannot live with their own parents temporarily.
There are around 200 children in care in Slough with different needs, ages and from a wide range of cultural backgrounds reflecting the borough’s diversity. During Foster Care Fortnight, the Trust will be seeking people who can give these children a helping hand when they need it most.
The Trust’s chief executive, Nicola Clemo, said: “We are committed to giving young people in Slough the best possible start in life. Having a safe, secure and stable home to go to is something the vast majority of local children have, but for some, family life will break down, and when that happens we step in and provide a temporary home with a foster carer until the child can go home again.
“Foster parents are amazing people. Their love, care and support is integral to giving a child stability, security and resilience at a difficult time in their life. We already have a team of fantastic foster carers, but we need more and during Foster Care Fortnight we will be out and about and holding events so that people can ask questions about what fostering entails and how we support them. Anyone can be a foster parent. All we ask is that you have a room in your home and the time to care.”
In addition to an excellent induction, ongoing training and regular support from a dedicated social worker and peer groups, foster parents are paid for each child in their care.
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, the Trust’s fostering team will be holding two drop-in information sessions.
- Wednesday 10 May 2017, 12 noon – 3pm, The Curve, William Street, Slough, SL1 1XY.
- Wednesday 17 May 2017, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, St Martins Place (SMP), 51 Bath Road, Slough, SL1 3UF.
In addition to recruiting regular foster carers, the Trust is also asking experienced foster carers to apply for an exciting new role called a Hub Carer. Hub Carers provide respite care to existing foster carers and organise activities for children and families within their ‘hub’ or group of foster carers. For foster carers, knowing they can call upon their hub carer for support, advice or to take over their placement for a short period is valuable.
Nicola added: “We are continuously looking for new and innovative ways of delivering better services to the families and children we serve. These new roles have been created as part of the Mockingbird Family Model. In essence, experienced foster carers provide an additional layer of practical support. This has numerous benefits and reduces the risk of placements breaking down. It has been successful in other parts of the country, and we’re delighted to be launching it in Slough.”
As well as recruiting new foster carers, the Trust will be celebrating existing ones during Foster Care Fortnight with a special lunch in their honour.
In Slough, there are many children who need fostering. These children come from all walks of life and range from babies to teenagers. They could need support for a day, a week or a month, or longer. In addition, SCTS is also looking for people who can open their homes to care leavers (aged 16+) and provide supported lodgings.
Anyone can apply to be a foster carer – all you need is a room in your home and time in your life to provide a child with some stability and care for however long they need it. You’ll get an induction, ongoing training, and support from our fostering team and social workers plus a weekly tax free allowance for each child that you foster.
SCST need foster carers from all backgrounds to care for all kinds of children. They welcome applications from everyone, regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or marital status. Carers don’t need to have had their own children or own their home. There are no particular qualifications needed and there is no upper age limit.
Also, to coincide with Foster Care Fortnight, the Trust has launched a new website www.scstrust.co.uk which provides a wealth of information, case studies, FAQs, films and animations to help people find out more about fostering and what it entails, as well as all other aspects of the Trust’s work.
To start a conversation about becoming a foster carer in Slough, call us on 0800 0730 291, or text FOSTER to 07771 505 774.