CHARITY FOCUS: How you could help to give a child a brighter future with Action for Children

Foster families provide a stable home life for children
Foster families provide a stable home life for children

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It’s Foster Care Fortnight across the UK from May 8-21 — and the search is on for carers who could help change the lives of young people.

National charity, Action for Children, helps disadvantaged children.

Their Hampshire branch – Wessex Fostering – needs to recruit new foster carers.

The service, based in Fareham, covers Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

Children’s Services Manager, Christina Brandi, said that Wessex Fostering was a specialist remand fostering service – so instead of young people going into remand or custody they were given the opportunity to go into fostering.

According to a Freedom of Information request by Action for Children, one in four foster children in the UK moves home two or more times a year.

These moves can result in poor social skills, reduced education outcomes and limited employment prospects.

Christina said: ‘This year it’s really transformed. It’s a really exciting time for us. We’ve evolved to therapeutic foster care.

‘The landscape has changed and there’s an increase in demand for this kind of fostering.’

Therapeutic foster care looks at the emotional needs of each individual young person.

Action for Children in Hampshire provides fully comprehensive education for carers to ensure that children have a safe, stable family life and that the carers have a full understanding of how to provide that for them.

Wessex Fostering has a strong connection with the local authorities and is trying to increase the number of foster carers.

Christina said: ‘There is a huge deficit in the number of carers and the number of children entering care.’

If you think you could become a foster carer, Action for Children says all you need is the space in your life, a spare room and experience of childcare or parenting.

Find out more between 10.30am and midday on Saturday, June 17 at Action for Children’s Information Brunch. The event is being held at The Round House, Fareham, PO14 1JD.

Contact 01329 666930 or 07889 603689 for more information.

Action for Children’s new programme aims to develop foster parents’ skills and understanding so that they will be in a much stronger position to provide stable homes to young people who might otherwise find themselves in secure accommodation or multiple foster homes.

The foster parents will receive 24/7 support in the home and attachment clinics, and therapeutic support through holistic practice for the whole fostering family.

Action for Children is recruiting experienced foster carers to join its team, and would also consider anyone with previous parenting, childcare or youth work experience.

Recruitment officer Sarah Carter said ‘We want to recruit foster parents who are serious about helping young people and can show that they will stick with them long-term.’

For more information visit the Action for Children website www.actionforchildren.org.uk or call 0845 200 5162, or speak to Sarah Carter directly on 07889 603689.