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Moving Forward in Kinship and Foster Care

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8. THE VISION FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE

The Reference Group has developed a clear vision for children in foster care.

  • There will be a range of foster carers recruited across the country who can provide skilled, loving and developmentally appropriate care to children who have had to leave their families.
  • Across the range of carers different placements will be available. Short breaks, befriending children and families, providing emergency care in situations where children are at risk, providing care for children with complex disabilities and emotional difficulties, helping children to build attachments and self esteem and providing permanent care for children who cannot return home.
  • The care provided by foster carers will support children to become happy and achieving.
  • Foster carers and their sons and daughters will create a learning household which can make a positive difference to educational outcomes for looked after children.
  • The skills of foster carers will be recognised and valued by communities.
  • Foster carers can access services most needed by children who have suffered trauma of any sort- Child and Adolescent Mental Health services in particular.
  • Foster carers will be appropriately recompensed for the work that they do.
  • Foster carers will receive allowances which meet the costs of caring for the child.
  • There will be collaboration between Councils, between the statutory and the independent sector to increase resources.
  • Councils will address their commissioning strategies for foster care placements to ensure excellent foster care provision.
  • Sons and daughters of foster carers will be given support, recognising their important role in helping children to thrive.
  • Young people in care will be consulted about selection, training and support to foster carers.
My Experience
I remember approaching the door of my soon to be new home, with my Mum directly by my side, my uncle on the other and my social worker leading the way.
My eyes once again began to fill up with water. I could feel the cold tear running down my hot flustered cheek, as one dropped another followed. I felt sick and queasy.
My Mum gripped onto my hand as if she was never going to let go.
My social worker rang the doorbell and it wasn't long before a pleasant looking man opened the door. He invited us in. I remember the sweet smell it made the atmosphere feel warm and homely. We took a seat on the pale pink couch I sat on the edge, as I was afraid of settling in.
Just as we began a conversation a lady came through from what looked like the kitchen with a warm looking smile on her face.
They both introduced themselves.

( From the report 'Forgotten Voices', tFN )