London,
05
June
2011
|
00:00
Europe/London

Fostering an ambition: learn more about caring for children in Hackney

People considering becoming foster carers attended a special event run by Hackney Council recently to support Fostering Fortnight.

At an evening event at the Town Hall experienced foster carers gave first hand accounts of living with children in local authority care, and Hackney Fostering Service answered questions and outlined the support available for carers – educational support for every child, extensive and progressive training for carers, therapeutic support for foster children, carers and their own family and details of professional fees.

Following the success of the event, there will be an opportunity to attend another information evening on June 30 at Hackney Town Hall.

Councillor Rita Krishna, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “It’s heartening to see there are lots of people in Hackney who are considering providing a stable environment for children in local authority care – who have complex and varied needs. The Council provides an excellent support service for potential foster carers to help them make the most of a challenging yet rewarding experience.”

During Fostering Fortnight Mayor of London Boris Johnson awarded two Hackney foster carers for their work and urged more Londoners to come forward to provide youngsters with the safe and supportive home environments they need while they are unable to live with their own families. There is a shortage of at least 10,000 foster carers across the UK, including 2,000 needed in London.

The situation is particularly bad for teenagers, according to a new survey from the Fostering Network, which reveals that 100 per cent of fostering services in London have a shortage of foster families for that age group.

Foster carer Louise Groves, who specialises in looking after teenagers, says: “People are often amazed that I spend my time looking after teenagers who aren’t even mine, but it’s the best job I’ve ever had. So often we focus on the stereotype of teenagers being hard work, but in my experience they are fun and fascinating individuals.

“Fostering isn’t for everyone, and not all foster carers will specialise in teenagers. But if you’re patient, have good communication skills, don’t give up easily and enjoy the company of young people, then fostering teenagers could be right up your street.”

The Fostering information evening takes place on June 30, 5pm to 7pm at Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street, E8 1EA. For more information call: 08000 730 418; or visit: www.hackney.gov.uk/fostering

Photo: Hackney Council s Grace Dartey discusses fostering opportunities

Media contact: Karyn Gibson 020 8356 3539 or karyn.gibson@hackney.gov.uk