Foster Care Fortnight, Day 10: Why Children Are In Care
Why children are in care
The need for more foster carers is constantly increasing and it is important for people to understand why children are in care and what they can do to help them.
According to the NSPCC there were over 51,000 children identified as needing protection from abuse in the UK in 2017. This shocking statistic highlights the huge demand for more carers who can provide a loving, safe home environment for children. A home where children can thrive, feel safe and have a happy childhood they deserve.
Children are placed in foster care for various reasons but it is primarily to keep them safe and provide them with a stable environment somewhere else. The placement types can differ depending on the circumstances, whether the child is in care for days, week, months or years. Regardless, the best interest of the child is always priority.
There are various reasons why children are in care, however over 60% of children are looked after due to abuse and neglect. Whether this is physical, sexual or emotional. This is over half of why children are in care and highlights the importance of keeping children safe. Other reasons may include family bereavements, illness, or if a child has come from a war-stricken country. Each of these are traumatic times in a child life and what they have seen or what they have been through may reflect their behaviour, might change their personality and could alter their outlook on their life. These children are vulnerable, sensitive and need the upmost support and guidance for carers to set new expectations and new memories. They need to feel a sense of belonging and feel safe and loved within a stable family environment.
Fostering is temporary and the child’s legal rights are with the local authority. A child may be in foster carer for a short term or they could be in long-term foster care until they are 18. Short-term foster care is usually just for a few weeks or months as the local authority as assessing the parents for the child to return to, or finding an alternative long-term fostering placement. Long Term is when a child is in care up until they are 18 and will not be returning to their family due to a bereavement or most commonly, for their safety.
The shocking number of children in care, makes the need for more carers even more significant. Children deserve to be happy and feel safe and should surrounded by people who love them and feel a sense of belonging wherever they are. From no fault of their own are they moved into a place unfamiliar to them with people they have never met. We need carers who can demonstrate empathy, resilience and commitment to making a difference to a child’s life and making them feel safe and loved.
If you would like to make a difference to a child’s life, contact us on 020 8799 0930 to speak to a member of our recruitment team. We would love to help you start your fostering journey.