Published Tuesday 13 May 2014 at 11:48
Blackburn with Darwen Council’s fostering team has revealed that finding permanent foster homes for children in care is one of its biggest challenges.
Speaking at the start of national Foster Care Fortnight (May 12-25), Head of Permanence, Karen Barrick, said the Council currently needs to find long-term homes for 15 children aged seven to 11, who may be too old for adoption, but need a stable and loving home to grow up in. A further three children aged 12 and over also need long-term foster homes, as well as five children aged 0-6.
She explained: “Many of our existing foster carers provide short-term placements for children, who may then either be able to return home to their families or be adopted.
“However, adoption is not an option for every child in our care, depending on their needs and relationships with birth families and it’s a real challenge for us to find those children a permanent home so that they stay in the local community and grow up in a stable and loving environment.”
Fostering is a rewarding, paid and professional role that comes with extensive training and on-going support. Foster carers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and can be considered regardless of gender, age, marital or job status.
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, the Council’s fostering team is staffing an information stand in the Mall, Blackburn, every day this week (May 12-16) from 12 noon to 2pm, to speak to shoppers and answer their questions about fostering.
There are opportunities to find out more at a fostering information point in Asda, Blackburn, on May 21, 1pm-2pm. In addition, a drop-in fostering information evening will take place on May 29, 6pm-8pm, at Shadsworth Children’s Centre, Shadsworth Road, Blackburn, when there will be the opportunity to speak to social workers and existing foster carers.
Could you help these children?
Mohammed and Aziz
Brothers Mohammed, 8, and Aziz, 5, and, are waiting for a long-term foster home. The boys speak English and Urdu, go to the mosque and enjoy celebrating Islamic festivals like Eid. Mohammed has an education statement in school and is making good progress, while Aziz likes playing with toy cars and watching CBeebies. The brothers have a good relationship and we would like them to be placed together in a long term foster placement.
Amy, a bright and intelligent 12 year old, needs a long term foster placement where is she is the eldest child. She is sociable and enjoys family based activities, but has low self esteem and needs carers who understand how this can affect her behaviour. Amy loves animals and is used to living with pets. She is doing very well at school and has ambitions of being a vet.
Seven year old Sam has experienced a number of placements and can take time to build trusting relationships with other adults. He has had lots of therapeutic help with his behaviour and is a much more relaxed and less anxious little boy, which means he is ready for a final move to a long-term placement. He is making very good academic progress at school and responds well to a nurturing home and a clear structure and boundaries. Sam is a big football fan and also enjoys board games and riding his bike.
If you are interested in fostering or would like more information, please call 0800 328 6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org.