Chiswick and Brentford Shamed by ‘Care Deficit’

Relatively few families are fostering in this part of the borough

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Families are being urged to consider fostering as a worthwhile career choice at the start of this year's national Fostering Fortnight, (10-21 May).  The message has so far had little impact in Brentford and Chiswick; of the 80 carers in the Borough of Hounslow only 3 each are from Brentford and Chiswick.

According to the Fostering Network 7,800 foster are needed across the UK.  Currently almost 50,000 UK children are in foster families and there are around 37,000 foster carers in the country. Hounslow cares for around 330 children ranging from babies to teenagers and urgently need new foster carers. 

Foster carer , Balbinder Kaur, has launched an innovative package of support, called 'Care Deal', to encourage potential people to consider foster caring.

“Hounslow has put together one of the best packages of benefits for foster carers in London and we think its something worth shouting about.  Particularly during this special national fortnight that focuses on the vital contribution of fostering” said Cllr Colin Ellar, Executive Member for Children and LifeLong Learning.

The Council urgently need more carers and are urging anyone who has the energy and commitment to give children the support they need in life to take a serious look at what fostering has to offer. They are looking for people from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds, people who are single or in couples, younger people or perhaps those a little older whose own children have left home.

Balbinder Kaur said. "I would encourage anyone to foster. Even if you aren't quite sure whether the time is right for you, if you are interested just pick up the phone. Everyone is very friendly and you can have an informal chat to get more information. “

The innovative Care Deal package includes many benefits such as :

  • Some of the most generous foster care allowances in London ranging from £241 to £302 a week depending on the age of the child
  • You need never feel alone.  Hounslow is unique in having a specialist support worker whose job it is to work alongside foster carers to offer them the support and information they need to care for their foster child. Carers also have the support of an out of office hours telephone support service which is in operation from 6:00pm to midnight 365 days a year
  • First class professional monthly training covering everything from first aid and communications skills to play therapy, managing children’s behaviour and working with children with disabilities and Black and minority ethnic children
  • A Carers Support Group offering the chance to meet other carers, share common experiences about fostering over tea and biscuits in a friendly and informal setting
  • In addition it is recognized that fostering is something that the whole family is involved in and Hounslow understands that they also need to feel valued too, so have extended the package to provide a range of support that includes: Group activities for foster carers own children, where we take them ice skating, bowling, visits to the theatre etc

If you would like further information about the new package of incentives to take up this incredibly rewarding work call freephone 0800 731 8558 for a friendly, informal chat.

May 12, 2004