|Thinking about fostering?|
Then find out more during Fostering Fortnight
From May 8th until 21st is national Fostering Fortnight and Hounslow’s Family Placement Team are hoping it will help encourage more people to think about fostering as part of its ongoing campaign to recruit more foster carers.
As part of this campaign, carers and staff will be available to offer information and advice about fostering in the Treaty Centre in Hounslow on Saturday 13 May.
Debbie Prakash, who has fostered and adopted for the last 12 years, is one of the carers who will be offering advice at the stand. She and her son James, aged 20, who acts as her support carer, are backing Hounslow Council’s campaign to recruit 100 additional carers over the next two years.
James said “If anyone is considering fostering I would say - just do it! It is very rewarding that you can make a difference. People who have families are lucky to live with them.
“Some kids don’t have this and need to live with other people. They didn’t ask to come into the world but they should be able to enjoy the things that all kids do and know that they are safe and cared for.”
Fostering can take place for just a few days, a few months or sometimes until children are ready to live independently. Those who need fostering can be of any age, from babies to teenagers and sometimes young mothers. They may be single or in sibling groups.
Fostering needn’t be costly, as new carers can receive a grant to help them prepare for fostering, as well as an allowance above the national recommended rates of up to £335 per week for each child placed with them. Support is available through experienced social workers and also other carers through support groups.
Dr Robert Garnett, Director of Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning at Hounslow Council, said
“Anyone who has the ability to show commitment and care to a child or children can foster. It makes no difference if you are black or white, working or unemployed, married or single.
“What is important is that you have the time, space and commitment to care and support a child.”
To mark the beginning of Fostering Fortnight, more than 300 people attending a celebration of the achievements of young people in foster care or in children’s homes in the borough. The third annual Hounslow Young People Event (HYPE) was a chance for guests, including world-renowned DJ Jumpin’ Jack Frost, to recognise the contribution of looked after young people in the borough.
Awards were handed out to the young people to mark their achievements in a range of areas – from brilliant academic results or success in employment, to tolerance and persistence or sporting aptitude.
As well as receiving awards, the event saw young people take part in a range of performances such as poems and dances they choreographed themselves. One of the many highlights was the fashion show where 20 young people strutted their stuff in front of the guests.