The annual celebration of foster care is 11 to 24 May 2020.

Every day 55,000 foster families across the UK are offering 65,000 fostered children and young people a loving, secure and stable home, and this commitment from foster families is ongoing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Freedom Fostering is using this opportunity to raise awareness of the extraordinary dedication and work of foster carers at this time, while calling for more people to come forward to foster.

We recognise vital role they play in society in helping to support vulnerable young people.

Every year thousands more foster families are needed across the UK to make sure fostered children can live with the right foster carer for them. So, anyone who thinks they might have the skills and experience to become a foster carer is urged to contact us.

Foster carers remaining in their role is crucial in ensuring children in foster care experience stability and are not moved from one family to another. Once a child is living in a stable, loving home, they have the opportunity to thrive in other areas of their life. A key factor in this development is their education and, as the people who know the children better than most, foster carers are ideally placed to facilitate educational opportunities.

Children of all ages and backgrounds come into care requiring the nurture and support of a foster family. Whether it is for one night, a few weeks, or their entire childhood, it’s important to have enough foster families to look after these children and to meet each child’s individual needs.

Most of the children coming into care are over the age of 10, meaning that there is a high demand for foster carers with the skills and expertise to care for older children and teenagers. There is also a particular need for foster carers who can look after children with complex needs and groups of brothers and sisters.

Sibling relationships can be one of the most important and long-lasting relationships of our lives; and while it might not always be in the child’s best interest to be placed with their siblings, it is often crucial to try and keep them together. Unfortunately, because there are not enough foster carers who are able to look after sibling groups, too often brothers and sisters end up living apart when they come into care.

The reasons for children and young people coming into care are wide-ranging. It can be because of a long-term illness to a parent or as a result of experiencing abuse or neglect. Each child’s circumstances are unique and foster carers are trained to deal with their individual needs.

To ensure every child or young person is placed with the foster carer that can best cater for their particular needs, it is important to increase the number of foster carers. This enables the placing authority to find the best possible foster family for every child and increases the likelihood of a successful placement where the child or young person can thrive and reach their full potential.

Foster Care Fortnight celebrates the transformational power of foster care and highlights the work of foster carers across the UK so everyone can see the passion, dedication and expertise of those who care for fostered young people in their own homes.

For information about becoming a foster carer please visit our FAQ!

Excerpts from The Fostering Network