Foster Care Fortnight is an annual awareness-raising campaign, produced by the charity The Fostering Network. It is running from Monday 8th to Sunday 21st May 2017.
Becoming a foster carer
The aims of the campaign are to raise awareness and support fostering and foster carers. To showcase the commitment, passion, dedication and time spent by foster careers, to raise the profile of fostering and to show it does change lives. It is highlighting the need especially for more foster careers as every twenty minutes another child is in need of a foster family. It is estimated that 7,180 new foster families are needed in the next twelve months to ensure all foster children are living with the right family.
With the power to not only transform the lives of foster children and young people but also families involved in fostering, the need for more foster families is urgent. The steps to do this have been displayed in a two-stage process for anyone to understand introduced by the Planning Placement and Case Review and Fostering Services regulations 2013:
Safeguarding and Promoting
Most of the law relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of foster children is covered under various acts:
- The Children Act 1989
- Regulations Volume 4 Fostering Services
- The Care Standards Act 2000
- The Adoption And Children Act 2002
- The Children Act 2004
- The Children and Young Persons Act 2008.
The legal status of those in foster care is the responsibility of the local authority in the area that the child’s birth family is resident at the time of being taken.
Foster carers give those in care so much that can be missing from their lives. This includes stability, security, attachment and mostly their first positive experience of family life. Family life is important in maintaining the emotional stability of children and can shape the rest of their lives. However, the system doesn’t always support foster carers meaning children can be moved around. Some of the outcomes aren’t good enough for the children which is why The Fostering Network is campaigning for change.
The Children Act 1989 is the primary legislation governing work with children and their families. The key principles of the act are:
- The Welfare Principle- safeguarding, promoting the welfare of children, protection from harm or abuse. Welfare should be the biggest concern.
- Partnership Working- Whenever possible children should be brought up in their own immediate or extended family as the importance of family is highlighted. All professionals working and supporting children should work in partnership with families. Promoting contact is a priority.
- The Wishes of the Child and/or their Parents – should be taken into account when deciding on a child’s future as is the importance of considering a child’s background.
Thank you to Tamzin Moon from Hereford Sixth Form College for highlighting the work of foster carers. She wrote this article while she was with us on work experience in the family department.
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