You don’t have to be a good cook to foster, revealed children and young people in foster care as part of a new survey conducted by The Fostering Network to mark the start of Foster Care Fortnight 2016 (16-29 May).
Instead the overwhelming call was for foster carers who can provide them with security, support and love.
A survey of 261 care experienced children and young people identified what that they consider to be the key qualities and skills needed to foster.
The top three qualities that these children and young people identified as key to making a good foster carer were:
- making them feel safe and secure (67 per cent)
- supporting and helping them (61 per cent)
- loving them (54 per cent)
Adam, 19, is living with his foster carer in Scotland, said: “Foster care saved me and rebuilt me. I was shy, timid and awkward with little life prospects.
“Fostering opened the doors to a vast amount of opportunities: allowing me to go to university, allowed me to take up almost every hobby know to the world and allowed me to become a member of The Scout Association.”
When asked what made a good foster carer, Adam said: “This may sound really silly, but caring. There needs to be a passion to deal with these young people who often come from horrific conditions and you need invest time, belief and strength in them. It cannot be underestimated the importance of a strong role model on a young person. You need the skill of seeing light in times of darkness because these young people will lean on you through some of their lives.”
Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop Said:
“I’m sure that becoming a foster carer can be daunting but it’s something that many people would be capable of doing. I urge anyone who thinks they have the skills and personality to make a positive impact on these children’s lives to talk to their fostering service about becoming a foster carer.
“I’m backing the Fostering Network’s call for 9,070 foster families to come forward right across the UK to give loving homes and supportive family environments to children. In particular there is an ongoing need for more foster families to provide homes for teenagers, disabled children, unaccompanied asylum seeking children and sibling groups.
“Without more foster families coming forward during 2016 some children will find themselves living a long way from family, school and friends orbeing split up from brothers and sisters.
“If you believe you have the skills that children and young people want in their foster carer, visit thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/could-you-foster today and find out more.”