Oldham

Urgent call for Oldham foster carers during #FosterCareFortnight

Children in Oldham in need of foster care are being placed with families outside of their local authority due to a lack of local foster carers, a charity is warning.

Children in Oldham in need of foster care are being placed with families outside of their local authority due to a lack of local foster carers, a charity is warning.

The shortfall of foster carers in Oldham is being highlighted by The Fostering Network and Oldham Council’s Fostering Service during national #FosterCareFortnight. The campaign runs from 9 to 22 May and aims to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.

This year’s theme is #FosteringCommunity which celebrates the dedication and resilience of foster carers, while highlighting that more fostering households are needed to make sure every child who cannot live with their own family gets the care they need and is well supported within their own community.

Currently, there are over 340 children and young people in foster care in Oldham, of which 44 are placed with independent foster families due to a shortage of local foster carers.

Oldham’s Fostering Service particularly needs foster carers for older children, children from ethnic minorities and siblings, to ensure that children can be cared for together and don’t lose vital connections to their family.

Minimising disruption

Children may become ‘looked after’ for many reasons, including a parent’s illness or problems at home meaning they can’t be cared for by their own family. Some children may have witnessed domestic violence or drug abuse, while others may have been abused or neglected.

Enabling children to be cared for and supported within their local community and familiar surroundings minimises further disruption to their lives by helping them stay in their school, close to their friends, and maintaining connections with other family members.

Gerard Jones, Managing Director of Children and Young people for Oldham Council said: “More people are urgently needed to come forward to foster in Oldham if we want to make sure that our children and young people can stay local and be cared for in their community.

“Fostering is open to everyone who wants to make a difference in a child’s life, and we want to invite people from all of Oldham’s diverse communities to consider getting involved in fostering. It is important that different identities are represented within the #fFosteringCommunity here in Oldham.

“If you think you have the space in your home and your heart, and the skills needed to help children thrive, please contact Oldham Fostering Service.”

Transforming lives

Razina and Amer have been foster carers for Oldham Council for eight years and currently look after three children, two of whom are siblings.

The pair say their children have complex needs and a strong degree of patience is needed to overcome challenges, which is achievable due to the training and support they receive.Razina says: “We decided to foster because we wanted to give children a chance for a brighter and happier future. It’s already difficult for children being apart from their families but then to be separated from their siblings is even harder. Whenever we can we try to keep sibling groups together.

“We find that children are much more likely to settle and begin progressing well if they are kept with their brothers and sisters, especially if they have a close emotional bond. They can share the experience and with our support, support each other. Keeping their relationship alive is so important.”

Anyone can apply to foster regardless of marital status, sexuality, race or religion, or whether you are in work or have a disability. All the fostering service ask is that you are over 21, enjoy working with children and have room in your home.

All carers receive a tailored support package, first class training and generous payments and allowances, up to £556 per week (dependent on skills and experience).

For more information, call 0161 770 6600.

 

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