As part of a national drive, Hounslow Council is encouraging professionals to come forward and foster children and young people in our care.
People foster for a number of reasons, but it’s overwhelmingly because they want to make a difference to a child’s life.
A foster carer provides a home for children or young people who are temporarily unable, for a range of reasons, to live with their own family.
Children of all ages need fostering, from babies to teenagers and young parents. Some may be children on their own and others may be with brothers and sisters who need to stay together.
There are many children and young people in Hounslow who need foster carers, especially those from a diverse range of ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.
The only key requirement to becoming a foster carer is having a spare room, time and commitment. You may wonder if you have the skills to become a foster carer, so be reassured that what really matters is being able to offer a loving and caring home to children separated from their own families.
Advice and support is always available for foster carers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and a generous weekly allowance is paid to meet the needs of each child placed. Hounslow’s allowances are higher than the recommended national rate for foster carers and are up to £868.60 per fortnight, per child.
As one of our foster carers, M, said: “I’d always thought about being a foster carer, applied and was successful. The process was straightforward. For me fostering, is a profession. It provided an opportunity to change my career and make a real difference to a child’s life.”
M, who has three grown-up children and four grandchildren, gets so much out of fostering, but says the best thing about it for her, is seeing the child you are fostering flourish and do well at school.
She added: “I am passionate about education and feels this opens up children’s opportunities and provides better life chances. I am in touch with the children that I have worked with, and I am proud many of them have gone on to study at university or work for a vocation. It feels special when they thank me for the support I provided.”
M says that every child is different and there are challenges, but the benefits of fostering outweigh these. She says people who have children already, shouldn’t be put off fostering:
“My children have always got on really well with our foster children. It is a nice family dynamic as foster children appreciate having other young people around. Fostering is without a doubt the best decision I ever made.
If you are thinking about it go for it. You won’t regret it.”
Hounslow’s Fostering Team runs fortnightly live information sessions on Microsoft Teams. If you are interested in taking part, please email: email@example.com and we will send you joining instructions.
The next information sessions are: Tuesday 23 November 2021 at 6pm and Tuesday 7 December 2021 at 11am with more to be organised in 2022.
Check our website for details: www.hounslow.gov.uk/fostering
Alternatively, please call our fostering team on 020 8583 3426 for a friendly chat to answer any queries or questions, or fill in our the online form on our website to register your interest and one of the team will contact you.