Fostering Fortnight: a call to care for vulnerable children

A foster family
Fostering can transform a child's life. Photo Credit: Ikon Fostering

This week marks the beginning of Fostering Fortnight, a national campaign aimed at encouraging more people to consider becoming foster carers.

The initiative, from May 13 to 26, highlights the crucial role foster carers play in transforming the lives of vulnerable children and young people.

Collette Spendlove, a dedicated social worker, emphasises the urgent need for more foster carers. “Children need carers who can support them, to support them to achieve good outcomes they need to experience what it’s like to live within a safe family environment,” she explains. “There is an imbalance; unfortunately, there are more children than carers.”

The growing gap between the number of children needing care and the available carers is a significant concern. Many children are waiting for the stability and support that only a nurturing family environment can provide. “Carers are needed to support and improve children’s lives,” says Collette. “Carers make a huge difference; they transform and enrich life for young people.”

Fostering brings hope to children in need.
Fostering brings hope to children in need. Photo Credit: Ikon Fostering

Andrew Michael, a foster carer who has been nominated for the Fostering Rising Star Award, shares his own experience and the profound impact fostering has had on his life. “Becoming a foster carer has been one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve ever made,” he says. “Each child that comes into our home brings their own unique story and challenges, but also so much joy and potential.”

Andrew’s commitment to fostering is a testament to the positive outcomes that dedicated carers can achieve. His nomination for the Fostering Rising Star Award highlights the significant contributions of foster carers who go above and beyond in their roles.

He urges: “If you have room in your home and your heart to support a child or young person, please consider becoming a foster carer. You touch lives and provide invaluable support to those who need it most.”

Fostering Fortnight aims to raise awareness about the critical shortage of foster carers and to dispel common myths and misconceptions about fostering.

Many people believe they may not be eligible to foster, but the requirements are more inclusive than often perceived. Single people, couples, homeowners, and renters can all apply to become foster carers.

The most important criteria are the ability to provide a stable and loving environment and a genuine desire to make a difference in a child’s life.

The campaign also seeks to provide potential carers with information and support. Local authorities and fostering agencies across the country are hosting events, information sessions, and online webinars to engage with those interested in fostering. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn more about the fostering process, hear from experienced carers, and ask questions.

Fostering brings joy to children.
Fostering brings joy to children. Photo Credit: Ikon Fostering

Collette Spendlove’s heartfelt plea echoes throughout the campaign, she says: “If you have room in your home and your heart to support a child or young person, please consider becoming a foster carer. You touch lives and provide invaluable support to those who need it most.”

The impact of fostering extends far beyond the individual child. Foster carers often report a profound sense of fulfilment and purpose, knowing they are playing a vital role in helping children overcome adversity and achieve their full potential.

As Andrew Michael adds: “Fostering is not just about providing a roof over a child’s head; it’s about offering them a future filled with hope and opportunity.”

Fostering Fortnight reminds us all of the power of compassion and the difference one family can make. For more information on how to become a foster carer and to find local events near you, visit the Fostering Network’s website.