There are currently an estimated 78,000 looked after children.
There are babies, toddlers, school age children and teenagers. There are also groups of brothers and sisters who need a home together. There are children from every background.
There are various reasons why children come into care, sometimes parents have asked social services to look after the children while they try to sort out some crisis in their life. Other times parents have agreed to social services suggestions that they might look after their children whilst they work on things at home.
More often though social services may have had to take children into care because they felt the child was at significant risk of harm. This harm could be a form of abuse, physical, emotional, sexual or neglect.
Children can spend varying lengths of time in care, some need permanent care and long-term homes. Others are in care for shorter period and will eventually return to their own families. For teenagers and older children, those we tend to support at our agency, they will be looking for a long-term foster home and family until they reach adulthood to allow them to feel as secure as possible.
The Impact of Being in Care & the Need for Therapeutic Foster Parents
Children and young people enter the care system through no fault of their own but unfortunately there can be affects when children receive poor standards of care growing up. The trauma of abuse and neglect can cause emotional and psychological issues that impact on children and cause them to display behaviours that we may find challenging as foster parents.
For children and young people in care to ever find some form of closure and begin to heal, a therapeutic foster parent is required. Our fostering training, Changing Futures through Fostering, skills foster parents in a therapeutic approach covering topics such as how to manage under high pressure, stressful situations. A therapeutic parenting approach is not rocket science, in its simplest form it is parenting and nurturing a child that enables them to grow, mature whilst considering the trauma and behaviours that may have affected them. It’s by sticking with children when things can get tough so they can start to develop a sense of self belonging in the home you share with them.