Finding foster carers: Meeting the challenge

Home for Good is a Christian charity launched in March 2013. They currently work with five voluntary adoption agencies, and a number of local authorities largely with a focus on fostering.

Here they describe how church communities can support foster care recruitment.

In 2013 a group of church leaders approached Southampton City Council to ask how they could help in a climate of local authority budget cuts. The council set them a challenge: recruit foster families. So they did. That year more than 70 people applied to become foster carers. By the end of the year, 14 people had been approved as carers – with the majority of the others still in the training and assessment process.

Home for Good works with church communities in the UK to find a home for every child who needs one. There are clear links in ethos between churches and fostering or adoption; the Bible teaches that true ‘religion’ is the care of society’s vulnerable (James 1:27). Congregations see the local and national need for homes for looked after children and want to be a part of the solution.

While not everyone is in a position to foster, the Church can provide great practical support for carers and looked after children. By recruiting carers from a diverse group like the UK Church, fostering becomes part of community life. Where one potential carer is approved, others consider it for themselves or offer an appropriate helping hand – we’ve seen builders within a church offer discounted rates on extensions for families who foster! In an age where social space is becoming more digital and traditional community more fragmented, there isn’t the space for people to see what caring for looked after children can look like. There is limited opportunity for potential carers to figure out how this might work in their lives, so they don’t take the final step. But within a faith community, this is possible. In a church where foster carers are supported and looked after children are nurtured, prospective carers have the chance to witness and think through the challenges and personal sacrifices that fostering can mean.

Home for Good is working closely with local authorities around the UK to find a home for every child who needs one. Through our events, campaigns and network of foster carers, we are able to direct people considering fostering to a local authority for assessment and training, and equip and encourage them through the process. If you would like more information about where Home for Good is working in partnership with a local authority or would like to discuss how we could help recruit foster carers in your area, please contact our business development manager, James Copeland.

 

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