Foster Care Fortnight begins today (15 May) and arrives at a time when more carers are needed to foster children in the borough. Could it be you?
Currently, our borough has approximately 100 fostering households but, with around 300 looked after children, more carers from all backgrounds, ethnicity and ages are needed.
Carers receive an allowance, ongoing training, and support and consistently tell us how rewarding the experience has been.
“It feels like it is like my purpose to look after the children,” said Amina Berhe (pictured), winner of the council’s Foster Carer of the Year 2022. Read more about her story below.
A fortnight to find out about fostering
It’s Foster Care Fortnight 15-28 May 2023. Organised by The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity, the annual campaign is to increase awareness of fostering and to encourage more people to consider becoming a foster carer. It also is a time to acknowledge the amazing work of all the foster carers in our borough.
This year the theme is #fosteringcommunities to celebrate all the fostering community does to ensure children are cared for and supported to thrive. Ealing Council’s Fostering Recruitment team has arranged some events during the fortnight and during the summer:
- Drop in session – Friday 19 May 11am to 2pm – Drop in at Ealing Town Hall for members of the public, anyone interested in fostering can come along
- Drop in session – Wednesday 24 May 11am to 2pm – Drop in at Southall Town Hall for members of the public, anyone interested in fostering can come along
- Fostering information session – Monday 5 June, 6.30-8pm (online) – A virtual event to find out what it’s really like to foster for Ealing Council
- Hanwell Carnival – Saturday 17 June, all day – The team will be attending with a fostering stand
- Fostering Roadshow, Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre – 29 & 30 July all day – The team will be there with a fostering stand.
‘You have to have a kind heart’
Since 2008, Amina has looked after 10 children, whether for long or short periods.
She said: “I want to protect them. It doesn’t matter how long they stay with me, this is their home. I advocate on their behalf and make sure they receive the support they need. Every child is an individual and they need understanding and empathy.”
“You have to have a kind heart and be fair.
“It is so nice seeing them grow up. And we talk about the future. I am always going to help them if I can, if they ever need my help.”
‘The best advice I get is from other foster carers’
To start work in foster care, the process usually takes around six months. Since becoming approved, Amina has built up a good friendship network of foster carers.
She said: “We get very honest with each other. It is very important to understand yourself and know what you are talking about. We have very nice foster carers in Ealing and the support and training I receive from Ealing Council is also excellent.”
Find out more
As well as the events listed above, you can find more information about fostering on the website Ealing Fostering and Adoption and on Facebook. You can also call 0800 731 6550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org