Foster Carers Desperately Needed
Monday 12th March 2012
What could be worse for a child than their family suddenly falling apart, their parents don't care for you any more - and they don't know why.
How can a child be expected to cope, especially if they lost all contact with their family and friends and having to start a new school and join new clubs and take up new activities.
You could help prevent all that, and allow the child to stay nearby, and as much as possible, maintain the same routines.
That is what Clackmannanshire Council wants for the children in its care, and keep them close to home in secure placements.
One couple, from Clackmannan, who began as foster carers last year, have found it to be a wonderful experience. Presently they have three teenagers in their foster care, two of whom are sisters.
They said: " We had a friend who was a foster carer and we saw the experience they were getting out of it over the years and they encouraged us to become carers.
"It was a long process, over ten months to become approved carers and all the various checks and training, but it is so worthwhile, The social worker who helped us through the lead up process was terrific. She explained everything to us and gave us all the information we needed.
"Once you understand what is expected of you and all the paperwork is completed is was a very exciting experience when we fostered our first child.
"We had to go and meet him first to give us the chance to get to know him as well as for him to know us and feel mutually comfortable around us. We only had him for two weeks, but we knew that was going to be the case as he was a respite placement.
"You have to be patient and understanding with every child, and try to get to grips with their needs and feelings. And above all make them feel and treat them as part of your own family. It helps them settle better and they quite rightly look upon it as their home and treat it as their home."
The couple would not hesitate to recommend to anyone to take part in foster caring and help offer a child a secure home during a difficult time in their lives. We desperately need more local foster carers.
Council foster carers can be single, in a relationship or married. Whether you have children of your own or not isn't important: that you have room in your home and patience and understanding is crucial.
The couple added: "There is no set time as to how much notice you get when a child will be placed with you to foster. It could be an emergency, or could be planned. It could be within a couple of hours notice or a couple of weeks. Although most of the time Social Work will try to give you warning and introduce you to the child or children and give you the chance to get to know them."
Our social workers work closely with foster carers, offering training and advice. Foster carers also receive an allowance for each child fostered.
The couple commented: "Foster carers also meet each other and share the experience at forums, and we learn from each other through this."
If you have the care and attention to give to vulnerable children and would like to find out more call 01259 450000, e-mail email@example.com or look at our Fostering web pages for more information. You could make all the difference to a child's future.