If you have a spare room, and can offer a child a warm and loving home then Fostering could be for you.
Fostering is a deeply fulfilling way of life, which anyone who has a passion for giving children the best possible start should consider. It is about giving young people a place to call home.
According to figures from Medway Council, there are approximately 64,000 children in Medway out of which 419 are in the care of the Local Authority.
A total of 308 children are in Foster Care with 197 of these children placed within the 159 Medway Fostering Households.
The remaining 111 of Medway’s children in care are placed with Independent Fostering Agencies because there are simply not enough carers in Medway.
But getting people to become foster carers is not without its challenges.
Who can foster
You can foster regardless of your gender, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnicity and religion. You can also foster if you have a disability, have children living at home, are a homeowner, or a private or social housing tenant.
To become a Medway foster carer you must:
- Be over 21
- Be a British Citizen or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK
You should also:
- Have at least one spare bedroom
- Have at least one main carer based at the home
- Be a driver with access to a car
- Be fit and healthy
- Live in Medway or within a 20 mile radius
Your individual circumstances relating to the above will also be considered.
Find out more. Give the friendly team a call on 01634 335 726 or fill out our fostering enquiry form and someone from the team will call you back for an informal chat at a time that suits you.
There is more too on the Medway Council Fostering Facebook Page.
Medway Fostering is particularly keen to hear from people who are able to care for children in one of their priority groups, as these children and young people are in urgent need of homes.
Priority groups include:
- Siblings of all ages
- Children over 10
More often than not, people interested in fostering are quite naturally uneasy about making that first step or even enquiring about the prospect of becoming a foster carer.
The Medway Fostering Team aims to put those concerns at ease.
Daniel Fantetti, (Recruitment and Marketing Officer for the Fostering Team at Medway Council.
“Many people are very tentative when it comes to fostering which is totally understandable. From our experience dealing with people interested in becoming foster carers, they often tell us that they feel pressured or forced into quickly signing up. Our aim is to make people relax and first contact will be an informative chat. Most simply prefer talking by phone or chatting via Facebook Messenger on our official Facebook page.
People are often nervous about taking the next step as they think that they will be formally registered or their enquiry will automatically trigger a process. It is so important that they feel comfortable about such an important decision and we are here to help them make whatever right decision.
There are a number of reasons why somebody may want to become a foster carer but the biggest one is the desire to make a difference in the life of a child.
Just like other areas within the UK, there are children across Kent that are victims of abuse, abandonment or are simply not able to live with their families anymore."
Lisa. A foster carer in Medway.
Lisa says looking after the children in her care has given her a huge amount of empathy as well as enabled her to look at the world from someone else’s perspective.
“Watching the young person in my care achieve what they may have felt was impossible is for me the most rewarding part about being a foster carer.
I am proud of the young people in my care. I have three girls, two 18 year olds, and two 16 year olds, each with their own personalities and backgrounds. Watching them grow into respectful, empathetic, funny, intelligent individuals makes the difficult times worthwhile.”
Medway’s Social Services provide adequate training and support. The Skills to Foster course is particularly enlightening and if you are willing to continue after this then you’ll never look back."