Foster Care Fortnight™ is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, led by leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network. Established for almost 20 years, it highlights the need for more foster carers to care for a range of children, with the highest demand for foster carers for older children, sibling groups and disabled children specifically.
This year’s theme is ‘Make A Connection’ and foster carers and staffing teams are encouraged to highlight their association with fostering; whether it be the length of time they have been foster carers or how many children they have supported – the connection is not always professional, it could be a neighbour, family member or another form or support network.
Jaimie, age 20, a recent Foster Care Leaver said, “I was taken into foster care at the age of 12. Most young people will feel alone and confused at some point during their childhoods; and living with the feeling that you have no family, home or hope is truly devastating.
My foster mother taught me an indispensable amount of life skills in a very short amount of time; hygiene rules - I had to brush my teeth twice a day, a bedtime routine - go to sleep earlier, and discipline - to not answer back.
I’m currently studying to go to University, and I feel so blessed that all these individuals have been so charitable to me, and have pushed me to places I never thought I could reach. Being a foster child was one of the scariest, most life changing, but positive roads my life could have taken and I am so grateful to all of the foster carers who gave me a home, and the people who work so hard to make it happen.
It saddens me to think of all the children out there who are feeling hopeless and that they do not belong - like did as a child. I hope that in the future more people can reach out and help, like I have had happen to me, because every child deserves to be happy and feel loved.”
The campaign is fortunate to receive the backing of celebrities and politicians from across the UK, including author of Tracey Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson, star of stage and screen and son of foster carers, Gareth Gates, chef Lorraine Pascal, sports personality Gabby Logan, and ministers across the UK lend their support to our campaign.
Foster Care Fortnight™ is also The Foster Care Co-operative’s opportunity to showcase the commitment, passion and dedication of our foster carers and staffing team, and campaign to improve foster care for all. Over the next two weeks, we will be publishing real life stories, different connections to fostering, case studies, and 'a day in a life of a foster carer' accounts.
Jackie Sanders, director at The Fostering Network, said: “As each year passes, we see more and more children coming into care. We need people who can open their heart, and their homes, to vulnerable children and young people who need support at a critical point in their young lives.
“A good foster carer will believe in the ambition of the children in their care in the same way they’d believe in the ambition of their own family members. A childhood is too short to waste, and foster carers can help those who haven’t had the best start begin to enjoy their life and grow into the adults that they want to be.”