Islanders respond to need for foster carers

| May 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

ISLANDERS who would like to find out more about fostering or adopting a child in Jersey are being reminded they can do so this week as fostering fortnight continues.

Last week, the Fostering and Adoption Jersey team, which works to place children with foster or adoptive families, had a pop up shop in Halkett Place, and received a number of enquiries from people who want to know more about fostering or adoption.

Team manager for Fostering and Adoption Jersey, Emmy Lindsey, said: “We were very pleased with the response to our pop up shop last week. We had about 25 to 30 people who made enquiries in the shop. 18 of these have requested first visits from one of our team, which is the next step; 15 of these are interested in fostering and 3 are interested in adoption. We are happy with this result and will be running pre-approval training for these prospective carers in June or July.”

Currently, there are 47 approved foster parents in Jersey, but more are needed. 16 of these are ‘connected person carers’ (kinship foster carers) who look after a family member.

Emmy added: “‘Foster carers make a huge difference to the lives of children and young people. A supportive and caring environment gives them the opportunity to achieve more and have higher aspirations. Dedicated foster carers help make sure that being in care is no barrier to young people achieving their ambitions. In Jersey we have care leavers with success stories which show that foster carers can literally change lives.”

The campaign will also provide the opportunity to focus on how foster carers can offer a firm, caring and supportive foundation which can help children and young people move into the future with confidence.

The fostering campaign has provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the new skills based payment scheme, which is part of work being undertaken by Health and Social Services to ensure better outcomes for children in Jersey. The skills based payment scheme is an extra “allowance” for foster carers who are experienced carers and who have undertaken training regarding fostering.

Emmy explained: “As well as a fostering allowance, which provides for the day to day cost of looking after a child, further payment is available to carers who have gained experience of fostering and have undertaken relevant training. It’s up to you how far you want to go; if you wish to, you can develop a genuine career in care by fostering a child.”

Emmy added: “If you foster a child with Fostering and Adoption Jersey, you’ll become part of a professional team which works to support you 24/7. The Fostering and Adoption team will provide ongoing training, supervision and support, which will help carers to develop particular skills and abilities to look after children and young people with challenging behaviours and complex needs.”

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