What is fostering?
Not every child has a warm, safe, stable home. For some young people, life can get tough, and when it does they need a caring adult to believe in them until things can get better. Foster carers provide that support. Whether they do so in the short- or long-term depends on the child's needs, but whatever the placement type, our carers have the potential to transform lives.
FOSTER CARERS CAN:
- Be male or female
- Be single, married, divorced, widowed or living with a partner
- Own your own home, or rent, however your accommodation needs to be stable
- Have a disability
- Be employed, unemployed or retired
- Be heterosexual or in a same sex relationship
- Be a parent, step parent, single parent or you may never have had children of your own.
AGE: There is no upper age limit but you do have to be over 21 years of age and be in good general health.
YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE A SPARE BEDROOM.
FOSTER CARERS HAVE SOME THINGS IN COMMON:
- They all love children
- They all work as part of a team
- They are understanding and patient
- They have lots of energy and a sense of humour
- They don’t give up easily when the going gets tough.
All we ask is that you like children and parenting, and that you have space in your home and your heart to care enthusiastically and with dedication for someone else’s child.
One to One Fostering
We have recently had agreement to fund a new specific type of fostering which is called One to One.
This service is designed as a pilot scheme to recruit a limited number of foster carers who can specialise in looking after children and young people with complex needs.
Whatever the type of needs that the child or children present with it must be sufficient enough to warrant a carer who is available to that child to a much greater extent than a generic carer would be expected to be. The main carer must not commit to work or activities that take them away from the home on a regular basis.
The scheme will be open to anyone to apply but strict criteria will be applied to those wishing to take up this role. Applicants will have proven experience and/or relevant qualifications that will help them fulfil this demanding role.
Carers will also receive an enhanced rate of allowances and fees commensurate with those paid by independent providers. A small retainer will also be paid for periods when a carer is available but no child has been placed.
Generic foster carers provide placements on a short term or long term basis, until a child can return home to their own family or move on to an adoptive family. Long term placements are generally needed for children who need a home away from their birth family because of long standing problems. Such children often need guidance and support within a caring, understanding and loving home and long term placement are intended to provide stability and security until the child/young person reaches independence.
Supported Lodgings placements are a stepping stone to independence for young people aged 16- 21 at risk of homelessness, and those leaving the care system.
Providers offer emotional support and the chance to learn vital practical skills in a safe place. They don’t have the same legal responsibilities as a parent or foster parent, and there is a different assessment process.
A Supported Lodgings provider is someone with
- A spare room in their home, and;
- The desire to help a vulnerable young person.
Supported Lodgings providers make a huge difference to the lives of these young people, just by welcoming them into their homes.
We want to hear from you on our enquiry line 07890312429 or by email to FOSTERING@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk
We offer a drop in service every Tuesday 10am-12pm at Blaenau Gwent Placement Team, Family Resource Centre, Beaufort Road, Ebbw Vale, NP23 5LH.