There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a challenge. However, if there’s a positive to stem from this year it is the sense of community we have witnessed. From the inspiring images of clapping for the NHS, to assisting neighbours with their food shop, and appreciating the socially distanced cups of tea with friends and family.

The start of 2021 marks the end of this difficult and unprecedented year, but also the beginning of a fresh new year of hope. Although it might not be back to normal just yet, a new year still holds the great opportunity to form new goals and make changes to enable you to help others.

The foster care community is always in need of more recruits. So, let 2021 be the year you transfer your skills, care and supportive nature to the fostering community.

Reasons to become a foster carer

There were 57,380 children living with foster families as of 31 March 2020 and with over 30,000 more children coming into foster care over the course of 12 months, the foster care system is continually under constant pressure and thus in need of new foster carers. Therefore, it is critical that those who are considering becoming a foster carer to research the possibilities right now.

To help your decision to get in touch with us, we have so many inspiring stories and insights from our foster carers that you can read. Here’s thoughts from a couple of our foster carers regarding their reasons for entering into this keyworker role:

Bunni says: ‘I wanted to do something that would make even more of a difference to younger people and children’s lives.’

Mandy adds: ‘Offering the child support, stability, and a loving home to feel warm and safe. Somewhere that they can grow and develop.’

Why foster children with an agency

OwnLife Fostering is not only an agency but a team that shares skills, knowledge and guidance. Being part of our team means you will have a strong network of other foster carers and support from OwnLife to draw on.

We understand the pressures that foster carers are up against, which is why we invest in offering 24/7 support. We’re a family-run foster care agency and as a close-knit community our team knows each foster family’s situation and can thus be a familiar voice at the end of the line whenever they need.

Read more about working with this team and forging a career as a foster carer working from home.

Background to the types of foster care placements

There are so many types of foster care placements so here’s a short summary to give you further background into the role. We can run through this in more detail when we have our first telephone conversation.

Short-term flexible placements: These placements are for situations where the child or children need to be removed from their current family or living situation. It might be one night or a couple of weeks before a permanent place is found.

Long-term placements: Not to be confused with adoption, long-term placement is an arrangement which provides continuity and stability for young people. It creates a secure base without a legal break from the child or young person’s family.

Sibling groups: Keeping siblings together is a huge priority, it helps create a safe and supportive environment for the children giving them some sense of continuity at such a turbulent time.

Parent and child: Looking after a parent and child is a specialised form of fostering. They are a role model for the parent and must also be able to teach them how to look after their baby independently.

Next steps

Here’s a brief overview of what we look for when a person makes an initial enquiry to become a foster carer:

  • You need to be over 23 years old
  • Have a spare bedroom in your home
  • Have good communication skills
  • Understand young people
  • Be a good role model

So, why wait? We’re recruiting for foster carers in Bexley, Bromley, Merton, LambethSuttonGreenwichLewisham and Southwark. Call us on 020 8313 3304 to find out more or complete our online form and we’ll call you back.