We’ve been campaigning to #KeepPeterboroughPositive over the last few months so we’re taking a look at how you could really do something to make a positive difference in Peterborough by becoming a foster carer… if you care, it could be you!
Many of us are looking for fresh starts at the moment and some hope and so too are children and young people in care. If you’ve ever thought about fostering but then dismissed the idea – maybe it’s time to realise you could be the hope a Peterborough youngster needs right now. Yes you!
If fostering has crossed your mind you may have ditched the idea thinking you don’t fit some sort of super hero criteria you imagine is required. The truth is you just need to be aged over 21 with a caring nature, have a spare bedroom, and the dedication to give a young person a fresh start.
The focus on giving something back and playing an active role in our communities has really come to the fore recently and for young people needing some genuine TLC and support, a caring home environment has never been more important.
Many of us have had to press the reset button lately so if you think it’s time to do something new and embrace a new challenge let’s dispel some of those myths that might have stopped you from pushing ahead with fostering in the past.
There’s no such thing as a typical foster child so equally there’s no such thing as a typical foster carer. Some children need temporary care at some point in life and you could just be the one to step in and provide that care when they need it the most.
We’re getting used to finding our true superheroes in unusual places these days, and often it’s for the simple things that can nonetheless make big differences.
Playing a pivotal role at the heart of Peterborough City Council’s children’s services is a dedicated team of foster carers who look after the city’s most vulnerable children, supporting their learning and inspiring them to prosper.
Tony Darnell from the Fostering team told ESP – “Foster carers accomplish incredible things every day, even in the face of a global crisis that has affected every one of us and impacted all aspects of our society. Despite the practical and emotional challenges that the coronavirus is bringing, foster carers continue to provide day-to-day support, love and stability to children and young people who can’t live with their birth families.
“They support children and young people’s education, health, and social wellbeing, and also help to maintain the children’s relationship with the people who are important to them.”
The need for foster parents often stems from children being in situations of abuse or neglect. That need is also urgent; there’s a huge shortage of foster carers, which means that thousands of children are going without the love that most of us take for granted. At the moment, Peterborough City Council is especially keen to hear from people who can care for sibling groups of brothers and sisters, children with additional needs and teenagers.
There’s plenty of support to help you become a foster carer in terms of training, guidance and allowances so you have back up all the way. The process takes about four to six months from initial contact and acceptance to you becoming a fully-fledged foster carer so now could be just the right time to step up and make a difference.
So, don’t rule yourself out or let ‘myths’ stop you from making an enquiry. No one expects foster carers to be perfect – but everyone who does it can help young people find their potential and lead happier, healthier lives.
I’d like to help, but I probably need to be in work to be a foster carer…
Not true! Depending which type of fostering you choose, working is not a barrier so please do get in contact to find out more.
I expect I’m too old to be considered.
Not true! You are never too old to foster – the experience this brings is welcome! Those who are retired not only have experience to offer, but more time to dedicate to the task too
I have children of my own, so it’s probably not an option for me.
Not true! If you have your own children the fostering service also want to hear from you – it just shows you understand what’s needed.
I guess fostering requires a traditional family setup?
No, not at all. You can be in a same sex relationship, married, single or living with a partner.
But I’m in rented accommodation…
Not a problem! What’s needed is a willingness to help and a safe, secure, loving home.
If you would like to register your interest then email FosteringandAdoption@Peterborough.gov.uk call 0800 328 8433 or text FOSTERING to 60777.
For more information about Fostering visit: www.peterborough.gov.uk/fostering