Coram is proud to support the campaign, which this year has an added importance, providing opportunity to recognise and thank foster carers for their dedication to children in the face of challenges arising from the Coronavirus pandemic. The campaign also shines a spotlight on the urgency for more foster carers to come forward, with an estimated 8,000 new foster families needed each year to address the ongoing shortage*.
Coram currently works in partnership with Croydon Council to recruit and assess foster carers so that more children and young people can be cared for in safe and happy homes. Since the start of lockdown, the use of online technology has aided this work, with virtual information sessions being filmed and sent to potential foster carers to view in their own homes to help them to start their fostering journey.
Safia, a single foster carer with a grown-up daughter, is currently fostering three boys through Croydon Council.
She says of her experience, “Our lives have been enriched. My daughter and I have learned so much not just about how to support children and young people with their specific needs but also about their cultures. Most surprising for my family is my newly acquired extensive knowledge of football!
“My advice would be to take the first step and pick up the phone. There may be hurdles along the way but the team at the Croydon foster carer recruitment department are highly skilled and sensitive to the pressure and always available to patiently support applicants. The prospect of having a child or young person who is a total stranger, may be daunting. However, if you feel you can provide a caring, safe home to a vulnerable child or young person, you may find that fostering is right for you.”
Coram also pioneered the successful Activity Days for Fostering, which give approved foster carers the opportunity to meet children waiting for placements in a supported, safe and fun environment and see whether they establish an emotional connection.
As foster carers Mark and Christy explain in the video below, the events enable foster carers and children to see if there is a chemistry between them and help foster carers to see the ‘real children’ behind their profiles.
Due to the current situation, our Activity Days For Fostering are currently on hold, but we look forward to welcoming foster carers, social workers and children and young people when they are able to safely return.