Foster Care Fortnight highlights urgent need for foster carers in Bristol

Foster Care Fortnight highlights urgent need for foster carers in Bristol

At least 30 children are in need of foster carers in Bristol, and this is set to increase as more unaccompanied children flee war torn countries.

10 May 2022

As part of Foster Care Fortnight (9-22 May), Bristol City Council has renewed its appeal for people to consider joining the Fostering Community and finding out more about all the different types of foster caring.

A child fostered through the council will prevent them from being placed outside of Bristol, away from everything that is familiar to them. At present, only half of the city’s children in care are living with Bristol City Council foster carers. The remainder are with carers from private providers, which often involves having to move the children out of Bristol away from their families, friends, school, and activities. This can be very traumatic and isolating for them.

Mark Pennington-Field, foster carer for the council said: “We’ve been fostering for eight years, and our only regret is that we should have done it earlier instead of worrying we couldn’t do it because of work commitments. It’s such a rewarding role, and we would advise anyone considering fostering to contact Bristol City Council Fostering Team and have that initial discussion.”

The theme for this year’s Foster Care Fortnight, Fostering Network’s annual campaign, is #FosteringCommunities, celebrating and shining a light on fostering communities and everything they do for children and young people in need. There is no typical type of foster carer – the Fostering Team is inclusive and welcomes everyone to find out more. There are also many different types of foster caring, including full time, part time and emergency.

Alex Taylor, who offers emergency and alternative foster care for the council, said: “If you are LGBTQ+ and thinking of fostering and are wondering if it might work for you, I would say from first-hand experience that the children I look after do not care about my identity - they're much more interested in how long they can game or what's for tea. I get some interesting questions though I must admit but having broad, open discussions with the children I look after about LGBTQ+ identities has helped create an environment where differences aren't just accepted but embraced and where the children feel safe to be themselves too.”

Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for Children's Services, Education and Equalities, said: “Bristol’s Fostering Community is special. To us, fostering a child isn’t just about placing them in your home and leaving you to it. It’s about supporting you and making sure that your commitment doesn’t get overlooked.

“When you foster with Bristol City Council, you’ll not only receive dedicated support from an experienced team and regular contact with other foster carers, but also increased payments for each child you care for to thank you for your time and care.”
The council has recently increased fees so all current and new foster carers will now receive payments of up to £458 per week for each child they care for.

Find out more by contacting the Fostering Team on 0117 353 4200 for an informal chat or visiting Fostering Bristol

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