How Has Foster Care Changed Over the Past Decade?
As our sister company, Pathway Care, celebrates its 20-year anniversary, we look into the changes that have occurred over the past decade. It’s interesting and encouraging to see how the system has improved over the years.
Better training and support
Thanks to in-depth training and continuous support, foster carers are now well-equipped to deal with even the most complex needs of children placed within their care. This has also led to an increase in the different types of potential carers coming forward.
Thanks to improved training schemes, Health Farm is able to offer its foster carers the following support:
- In-depth training in specialised, as well as general, foster care. This includes training in complex needs and behaviours, disabilities, emergency foster care and caring for siblings.
- 24/7 support from a fully trained and qualified social worker.
- A carer buddy provided to all new carers.
You’ll never be alone in your foster care journey. Help is only ever a phone call away.
Focusing on children, as well as carers
In the past, children were very rarely given the chance to voice their opinions. However, thanks to changes in the consultation process, children’s voices are now heard more than ever before.
Health Farm also works to build lasting relationships with the children in our care. The benefits of supporting children after they leave the foster system have also been better recognised in recent years. It was announced in 2013 by The Guardian, that children in England would be given the option to stay with their foster parents until the age of 21, rather than being forced to leave at 18.
In a recent interview, Sharon Thomas, Team Operations Manager of Pathway Care, highlighted how important and rewarding it is to keep in contact with care leavers. She states:
“For me the job is about helping children get the help they need and making sure carers have the support they need – not just at the start of their journey, but throughout the process and in many cases, after a placement has ended.
So I am still in contact with care leavers, with some of the young people I have helped and that is very satisfying; I’ll be invited to weddings, christenings, birthdays, and it’s lovely to see people grow and develop – to see the success stories.
I know young people who are going on to university, starting families of their own, living drug-free, drink-free, healthy lives, all the things you hope for people.
We can continue to support them – providing references, helping with job applications and so on”.
So, the level of support given to children in foster care has improved significantly over the years.
There is still some stigma attached to fostering that we, along with our sister companies, are trying to dispel. However, progress has undoubtedly been made and improvements continue as time goes on.
We’re incredibly proud to be a part of the foster care sector and we continue to strive to help as many vulnerable people as we can. With that in mind, we’d love to hear from anyone who feels they would make an excellent carer.
We’re interested in people from all kinds of backgrounds and our existing foster carers come from all different walks of life; our main concern is whether you’re capable of offering a stable, loving home to a vulnerable child. Contact us now to find out more or take a look at our ‘Recommend a Friend’ scheme if you know somebody who would be a great foster carer.