New campaign highlights need for more foster carers
A new campaign highlighting the urgent need for more foster carers across the UK has been launched by the Fostering Network.
22 Minutes emphasises the fact that a child comes into care and needs a foster family every 22 minutes across the UK. As a result, at least 8,750 more foster families are needed in 2012 alone.
Without these extra families, too many children won’t get the right foster home first time. They end up living a long way from family, friends and school, are repeatedly moved around as fostering relationships break down, or even end up in residential care despite fostering having been identified as their best option.
The campaign is using traditional and social media – particularly Twitter and Facebook – to encourage people to visit and explore www.22minutes.org.uk, which contains films and blogs outlining foster carers’ experiences.
Foster carer Janet Fielding said: “As a family we keep fostering because of the rewards.
"Vulnerable children enter into your home very shy, upset, and hungry and crying because they have been taken away from their parents and siblings. We see how they change develop and mature into happy and loving children. We help them understand the difficulties that they have come from and teach them all aspects of 'normal family life'.
“There is lots of advice I would give to people that who thinking of fostering and that is – try it, you will love it.”
Raina Sheridan, deputy chief executive of the Fostering Network said: “Every 22 minutes a child comes into care in the UK and needs a foster family. For some of these children, living with foster carers will give them their first experience of loving and happy family life.
“We desperately need more people to come forward and foster. Our 22 Minutes campaign is all about spreading the word as widely as possible, raising awareness of the amazing job foster carers do in helping children to turn their lives around, and encouraging people to consider if they have the skills to foster.”
22 Minutes has been launched just ahead of Foster Care Fortnight, the Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise awareness of fostering and the need for more foster carers, which starts on Monday 14 May.
Notes to editors
2. Foster Care Fortnight, the Fostering Network’s annual campaign to raise awareness of fostering and the need for more foster carers, runs from Monday 14 to Sunday 27 May 2012.
3. On any one day there are more than 59,000 children living with more than 45,000 foster families across the UK. See breakdown of statistics by country.
4. The Fostering Network estimates that at least 8,750 foster families need to be recruited across the UK in 2012 alone. A regional breakdown is available.
5. The Fostering Network is the UK’s leading charity for all those involved in foster care. It exists to make life better for fostered children and the families that care for them.