Hounslow helping to tackle foster care shortage after UK figures show children go in to care every 20 minutes

Hounslow Council has launched a campaign to recruit foster carers across the borough to mark Foster Care Fortnight.

Published: Monday, 10th May 2021

fostering

Everyday there are around 65,000 children in the UK living with 55,000 foster families. Every 20 minutes another child comes into care needing a foster family. *

Sarah Prebble Powley, who fosters three children made the decision to become a foster carer five years ago with her husband Ian.  

They were moved by the number of children in Hounslow who needed homes and felt they couldn’t expect others to step up if they weren’t willing to do it themselves.

“We had a home, space, energy and wanted to help,” says Sarah who said she hasn’t looked back since starting her fostering journey. 

“Watching a child enjoy the simplicity of life, like climbing a mountain, learning a new skill or riding a bike for the first time is incredible.

“It’s lovely to see them grow in confidence and engage in family life.”

The 48-year-old, and her husband Ian, 49, intend to continue to foster for as long as they are able to.

She added: “Once you start you want to keep doing it. We purchased our house with the specific intention of having space to foster siblings as we know how important it is for them to be able to be fostered together.”

Cllr Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Youth Services, said:

“We have many foster carers in Hounslow who do amazing work every day to support our children in care.

“Throughout Foster Care Fortnight, we will share experiences of our foster carers, to help people understand and value fostering and the life-changing difference it can make to young people’s lives.

“We hope this increased awareness will build support for fostering, challenge stigma surrounding children in foster care and encourage more people to come forward.

“If you are thinking about fostering, then why not join one of our fostering information sessions to find out more.”

A young person with care-experience said: “My foster mum showed me what it meant to be a parent and how it is done well.

“I didn’t have this before. Now I can be a better mum to my child from her example and the love that she has shown.”

Foster Care Fortnight is an annual national campaign to raise awareness of fostering and to celebrate the work foster carers do and the positive impact they have on young people and their lives.

The theme for this year is #WhyWeCare.

Look out for stories from local foster carers on the Council’s social media channels, digital boards across the borough and in its newsletters.

Visit: www.hounslow.gov.uk/fostering for more information on becoming a foster carer and the no strings attached foster carers information sessions.

Notes for the editor

Support available if you foster with Hounslow Council:

  • Fostering allowance of between £600 and £870 per fortnight *depending on the child’s needs and complexities
  • Dedicated supervising social worker
  • Exemption from paying Council Tax
  • Specialised training programmes
  • 24-hour support helpline
  • Free Merlin passes and sports and leisure membership 
  • Placement stability support from the Fostering Teams Psychotherapist.

There are many different types of fostering for children of all ages from the ages 0 – 18 years, including:

  • Short-term - for children of all ages who may return to their birth parents within a few days, months or longer. Including sibling groups who need to stay together.
  • Long-term - providing a permanent home for a child (or children) until they are ready to live independently and take care of themselves, with support.
  • Parent and child placements - supporting young parents who need support and guidance in caring for their baby/child.
  • Respite fostering - for short, regular planned stays so families under stress can have a break.
  • Teenage fostering - for teenagers who need a home until they are ready to live independently

 

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