Foster homes needed for sanctuary seeking youngsters
A leading foster care provider is looking for foster homes in Plymouth for young unaccompanied sanctuary seekers from war-ravaged countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Under the Children Act 1989, it is the legal responsibility of local authorities to care for under 18s who arrive in the country from abroad seeking sanctuary. However, with local authorities reportedly struggling to find places for these unaccompanied children, Foster Care Associates (FCA) are urging people with a spare room to contact them directly.
Lynn Webb, chief operating officer for FCA, said: “At FCA we have a strong heritage of working with sanctuary seeking children from many countries and religious backgrounds. These children and young people are often extremely traumatised after a dangerous and long journey. As a society we have a legal, and more importantly moral, obligation to care for them and they should not be viewed as just a statistic.
“With more than 21 years of experience working in partnership with local authorities we believe that fostering is a positive alternative to a residential unit or supported accommodation while the child or young person is seeking refugee status. Fostering will also give them the best possible opportunity to live and be part of a new community in the UK.
“We urgently require specialist foster carers who can provide the security and stability that these children and young people need, whilst helping them to adjust to their lives in a new country.”
According to FCA many of these young people particularly benefit when they are placed in the foster home of a carer of the same language, religion and culture, and therefore welcome enquiries from a broad cultural mix.
Lynn continues: “As a specialist foster carer you’ll need to support the young person in developing their English language skills, understanding local customs and attending appointments with solicitors, the UK Border Agency and other immigration agencies.
“FCA will provide all the support and training needed in a highly structured and tailored package for both the carer and the young person in care – all underpinned by our Team Parenting model of support.”
Foster carers have been looking after sanctuary seeking children and young people with FCA for seven years. Offering advice to carers considering doing the same they said: “Give the young person time and space to adjust, but encourage them to be motivated, study hard and take the opportunities open to them in the UK in order to make good life for themselves.”
Foster carers with FCA receive frequent visits and contact from a dedicated and qualified social worker. Support is also provided through an education officer, support workers and therapist to help carers meet the needs of child or young person. Ongoing training, a financial allowance, access to carer support groups and organised family activities are all contributing factors as to why FCA placements are 22% more stable than the national average.
For more information on becoming a foster carer with FCA call 0800 022 4012 and speak to the FCA Recruitment Team, or enquire online at www.thefca.co.uk.