For instance, there are facts about the application process, facts about the regulations, facts about the demand for foster carers, facts about the areas where foster carers are urgently needed, facts about the latest trends in foster care, to mention just a few ways in which one can look at the very crucial concept of helping vulnerable children and young people transition into adults with positive outcomes in life.
This article will take a quick overview of the essential components of the pertinent facts for people who are considering fostering as a career choice. If you are thinking about being a foster carer, the first facts you need to know are that your marital status is not a factor, nor is your gender orientation.
As for age, ideally you’ll be over 21, other than that, age is not a factor. Your health is a factor. You need to be in good shape to care for energetic youngsters. You also need to have adequate space in your home for each child to have his or her own room.
These are the preliminary factors when deciding to become a foster carer. What about the need for foster carers?
According to The Fostering Network, on any given day in the UK, there are 83,000 children and young persons in care. 72% of these children are living with foster families. That's more than 65,000 children live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK each day. The turnover rate is about 30,000 children entering into care and about as many leaving care.
Not all of the children leaving foster care are returned to their home or a relative’s home. Some have aged out of care, some are adopted, and others are placed under a residence or special guardianship order.
There is a shortfall of about 10,000 placements at any given time. When you step back from the statistics and consider the reality of 10,000 vulnerable children without a foster home, the impact can be overwhelming. The main reason local authorities remove children from their birth home is neglect and abuse.
Some children in foster care are removed from their families at birth but the majority of the children in care are aged between 10-15 years old. Often, all the kids in a family are taken into care together. Research has shown that when siblings are not separated but kept together in a placement, it increases the children’s chance at having a better future.
These statistics are from March 2020 but there is a similarity between the 2019 figures and the 2018 and 2017 figures.
Government acts and regulations provide guidance to fostering services which includes the monitoring, training, review, assessment and approval of foster carers. The primary focus is on providing safety, security, education, health and welfare for a child or young person in care.
The government has a recommended basic weekly allowance for each child in care. This covers general household expenses, food, mileage, school meals, the child’s clothing, and pocket money. There is a weekly fee beyond this based on the child’s special needs. Independent agencies such as Capstone Foster Care often surpass the amounts recommended as the compensation paid to foster carers.
If you want to know about fostering, the available support for foster carers, and what it takes to be a foster carer, contact Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004 or simply click here.