The Duchess will meet foster carers, social workers, and care leavers to discuss the role of fostering and the need for more foster carers, and to hear the stories of those who have experienced fostering first hand.
Every day more than 63,000 children live with over 52,500 foster families across the UK, while they are unable to live at home. These children have often experienced neglect and abuse, or have witnessed domestic violence or substance misuse. Whatever their experiences, all of them will be suffering the trauma of being separated from their own families, and need love, support and stability. Foster carers can provide these children with what they need, and often give them their first positive experience of family life.
Right now there’s a need for at least 8,600 new foster families across the UK, particularly to offer homes to teenagers, disabled children and groups of brothers and sisters.
Lucy Peake, director of development at The Fostering Network, said: “The Fostering Network has, for 40 years, been at the forefront of the development and growth of foster care right across the UK. We are proud to celebrate fostering and the amazing role that foster carers play in helping to transform children’s lives.
“A visit from The Duchess helps to shine a spotlight on fostering and the need for more foster carers, particularly to look after teenagers, disabled children and groups of brothers and sisters. We are very grateful to her for her interest, and know that the foster carers and care leavers attending our event today are excited to be sharing their experiences and stories with her.”
Cllr Joe Caluori, Islington Council’s executive member for children and families, said: “Islington has a fantastic group of foster carers who look after our children and are real community heroes. But we need more people of all backgrounds to come forward and foster, especially for teenagers and siblings. Our carers receive excellent training and support and can make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable young people, providing them with a happy and safe home.”
If you believe that you have the skills to foster, and the room in your home, visit couldyoufoster.org.uk to find out more and to contact your local fostering services.
You can follow the visit of The Duchess on Friday by following us on Twitter @fosteringnet