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Foster Care Fortnight™ 2024 gets underway 13th -26th May

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Monday 13 May 2024

The UK's Fostering Network's annual awareness campaign, Foster Care Fortnight™, is taking place from Monday 13th May - Sunday 26th May 2024.

The Fostering Network has chosen the theme of #FosteringMoments. Throughout the fortnight Guernsey's Family Placement Service be celebrating all the moments that define fostering journeys, big and small, the moments that built confidence, made children and young people feel safe and created memories.

Senior Supervising Social Worker Vicki Tennant, who focuses on recruitment and retention of carers, said:

"This year's theme is fostering moments and it gives us a great opportunity to share some of those moments that make fostering so worthwhile.  We will be sharing these moments on our Facebook page throughout Foster Care Fortnight and we really hope they inspire people to find out more about fostering.  We have been really lucky to be supported by some great organisations to enable us to have drop-ins for people who are interested in fostering.  Whilst our focus during Foster Care Fortnight is fostering we would also love to hear from anyone who is interested in any of our other services such as Short Break Care for Children with Disabilities, Supported Lodgings or our Term Time Host scheme."

The Family Placement Service will be holding drop-in sessions where members of the public can have an opportunity to speak to someone from the service over the course of Foster Care Fortnight.  The dates and venues are as follows:

Fostering offers children and young people a home when they are unable to live with their birth family.  Sometimes children only stay with a foster family for a few days, while others will live with their foster family for their entire childhood and beyond.  Foster carers make a significant difference to the lives of fostered children and young people, helping them to flourish and changing their future.  Not only does fostering vastly benefit the children and young people, but it is also a life changing experience for the foster carers and their families.

Foster carers who can care for teenagers and sibling groups are a particular need at the moment.

Currently, there are 31 children living with 24 foster families in Guernsey. The reasons children come into care varies widely, including a parent's ill health or another problem which means they can't be cared for by their own family. Some children may have witnessed domestic violence or there may be substance abuse within the family, and others may have been abused or neglected.

Karen Reade, Team Manager of the Family Placement Service, said:

"Foster carers provide an invaluable role to our community and to the children and young people they care for. Having worked with foster carers for many years I see first-hand how the care and support that foster carers provide literally changes children's lives.

There are different types of fostering and other services we are recruiting to that might suit your circumstances and we encourage interest from anyone who thinks they can make a difference to the life of a child or young person to get in touch with our service."

The Family Placement Service would also like to hear from anyone interested in the Supported Lodgings scheme and is looking for mentors to take on this supportive role. This scheme is designed to offer an additional provision for young people who are ready to leave care but may not be ready to live alone. 

As a mentor you will offer guidance and assistance to young people, which will enable them to develop practical life skills, as well as further developing their emotional maturity to move on and to be better equipped to living independently, although this will not incur the same responsibility as a foster carer.  The Family Placement Service would like to hear from any individual or families who are able to provide accommodation and support for young people aged 18-21 years old.

Another service covered by the Family Placement Service is the Short Break Care Service for Children with Disabilities. These children often need greater one- to-one time which isn't always easy in a family with other children, where parents work or where other life demands can get in the way. The short break care scheme for children with disabilities is provided to support parents in a number of ways.  A carer can spend one to one time with the child with disabilities offering:

There is a particular need in this service for carers to support children under the age of 5 years old, although we would love to hear from anyone who is interested in supporting children of all ages.

The Family Placement Service would also like to hear from anyone interested in the Term Time Host scheme.  Term Time Hosts provide accommodation to students from Alderney and Herm whilst they complete their education in Guernsey under set criteria. Students join the Host family, residing with them during term time and returning to their family for the school holidays including half term breaks.

If you are interested in fostering or any of our other services, want to be part of this life changing role and think you could offer the support, stability and care to help change a child's future, please get in touch with us at guernseyfostercare.com or phone us on 01481 223182 or e-mail the team familyplacementservice@gov.gg.  Our team of social workers are ready to answer any questions you have about fostering, and we look forward to speaking to you.

In addition, if your company or organisation is interested in the Family Placement Service coming to speak to you to find out more about fostering in your community, please let us know.

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