This year Foster Care Fortnight is focused around #ChangeAFuture and that is exactly what we support our foster carers to do, here At Calon Cymru Fostering.
Reports from the Fostering Network have shown that the number of children and young people going into care is at an all-time high. (You can see their full report here as well as the full Welsh report.)
In Wales alone there are 3,700 foster families and a staggering 550 additional families needed, to ensure that all looked after children are placed in a loving supportive home.
What happens to the children who are not placed into foster homes?
As there are currently not enough foster families, there are many children and young people who will be housed into residential children’s care homes, and schools. These residences are not usually designed for long-term, full-time care as young people will be visited and looked after by different social workers that work on rotational shifts, meaning they miss out on one-to-one daily support at any hour of the day or night from the same caregiver.
In some cases, these alternative residences can be more ideal than placing children into a fostering household, especially for short term placements or more challenging situations. The social workers in these homes still provide support that is crucial to helping children looked after grow.
“Breaking the cycle”
Unfortunately, some children are in care homes for so long that placing them into a foster home is sometimes no longer suitable for them. This is because they become so used to living without full-time supervision, (like that of a stable home) that the sudden change and boundaries become too overwhelming. This often leads to greater issues in their adult life and unfortunately in many cases can lead to more children going into care. This is due to adults who grew up in care not being equipped with the skills to care for a child. Most adults learn these skills as a part of growing up based on the way they were cared for as a child, but also because they have a parent like figure to consult when they have a child of their own.
Parent and child placements
Many of our services are aimed at “breaking the cycle.” More specifically our Parent & Child placements. This service is aimed at keeping families together who are at risk of being placed into care. Our foster carers take in the parent(s) and child(ren) and encourage the parent to take better care of their child. Monitoring them over a period of time and teaching them vital skills needed to care for their child. This service that we provide is unique and allows us to help parents develop skills they would not otherwise have the opportunity to gain. Allowing parents, the opportunity to develop these skills helps to reduce the number of children going into care and breaking that cycle.
Our fostering services are aimed at showing children looked after what a loving home looks like, with the hope that they will pick up on these skills as they would have in a normal home. Therefore, we need more foster carers, so that children in care can be placed into loving homes where they will be supported and cared for. Giving them the best start in life and skills that will help them later in their adult life. At Calon Cymru, our aim is to not just change an individual’s life but to change their future and break the cycle.
If you feel like you could help break that cycle by becoming a foster carer then we would like to hear from you. We have many different fostering services providing 24 hours 365 days a year support, with full training and resources to help enable you to be the person children in care need.
Contact us today on 029 2081 1173 or fill in our form. We look forward to hearing from you.