A shortage in foster carers is proving catastrophic for children in the UK.
A combination of factors is aggravating the situation: fewer people putting themselves forward to foster, foster carers leaving the profession and an increase in children and young people coming into foster care.
In East Anglia alone, over 500 fostering families are immediately needed but of course this does not allow for any increase in demand or any shortfall from carers leaving fostering.
“We urgently need foster carers in East Anglia so that we can provide nurturing homes for local children,” says Lucy Stevens, Head of Placements at Eastern Fostering Services who recruit and support foster carers for children in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
“We need a diverse pool of foster carers so that we can match children according to their needs, including the need to stay local. Children need well-thought-out, well-matched fostering families in order to thrive.”
Children come into foster care for many reasons, but all will have experienced a degree of loss and trauma. The needs of children in foster care have changed over the last few years with the impact of Covid and economic challenges starkly visible.
Eastern Fostering Services believe that teachers and educators have many of the skills and qualities needed to foster children and young people.
“Teachers, or those working with children know only too well the issues many of them face. In a foster carer, children need someone to understand and advocate for them and to be open to a therapeutic approach,” adds Lucy.
The disruption to education and the lifeline it often provides has disproportionately affected children who are coming into foster care. These children need nurture, safety, security and love but they also need carers who can understand and advocate for their educational needs.
If you feel you could use your experience, qualities and skills to transform young lives in Essex, Cambridge, Suffolk and Essex, please contact Eastern Fostering Services at email@example.com or call them on 01206 299775.
People considering fostering should have a spare bedroom available.