Foster homes urgently sought for sanctuary seeking children in East Midlands

Archived: Posted February 7, 2017

A leading foster care provider is urgently looking for foster homes in Nottingham and Leicester for young unaccompanied sanctuary seekers from war-ravaged countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Under the Children Act 1989, it is the legal responsibility of local authorities to care for under 18s who arrive in the country from abroad seeking sanctuary.  However, with local authorities reportedly struggling to find places for these unaccompanied children, Foster Care Associates (FCA) is urging people in the region with a spare room to contact them directly.

Sue Edwards, fostering services manager for FCA East Midlands, said:  At FCA we have a strong history of working with sanctuary seeking children from many countries and religious backgrounds.  These children and young people are often extremely traumatised after a dangerous and long journey.  As a society we have a legal, and more importantly moral, obligation to care for them and they should not be viewed as just a statistic.

“With more than 21 years of experience working in partnership with local authorities we believe that fostering is a positive alternative to a residential unit or supported accommodation while the child or young person is seeking refugee status.  Fostering will also give them the best possible opportunity to live and be part of a new community in the UK.

“We urgently require specialist foster carers who can provide the security and stability that these children and young people need, whilst helping them to adjust to their lives in a new country.”

According to FCA many of these young people particularly benefit when they are placed in the foster home of a carer of the same language, religion and culture, and therefore welcome enquiries from a broad cultural mix.

Sue continues: “As a specialist foster carer you’ll need to support the young person in developing their English language skills, understanding local customs and attending appointments with solicitors, the UK Border Agency and other immigration agencies.

“FCA will provide all the support and training needed in a highly structured and tailored package for both the carer and the young person in care – all underpinned by our Team Parenting model of support.”

Clare Cheatle is a foster carer with FCA who lives in Toton, Nottingham.  She said: “Having fostered an unaccompanied asylum seeker myself I can honestly say that it was one of my most rewarding placements.  Yes there are fears because they come with nothing, no papers, no proof of age, only their own story – you are ‘living with a stranger’ but remember so are they.  I feel very strongly about advocating on behalf of asylum seekers, and always take time to understand their trauma.

“Give the young person time and space to adjust, but encourage them to be motivated, study hard and take the opportunities open to them in the UK in order to make good life for themselves.

My fostering experience as a whole has been amazing, I get the opportunity to support children and young people who for whatever reason find themselves in care.  The job offers many challenges, and each journey you take with a child or young person is very different however the journey, although not always easy, is hugely rewarding and not a day goes by without there being a positive moment or an opportunity to learn something.” 

Foster carers with FCA receive frequent visits and contact from a dedicated and qualified social worker.  Support is also provided through an education officer, support workers and therapist to help carers meet the needs of child or young person.  Ongoing training, a financial allowance, access to carer support groups and organised family activities are all contributing factors as to why FCA placements are 22% more stable than the national average.

For more information on becoming a foster carer with FCA call 0800 022 4330 and speak to the FCA Recruitment Team, or enquire online at www.thefca.co.uk.

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Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we,re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

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Call me back

Haven't got time to chat now? Leave your details and we'll call you back at a time that suits you:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • Why do we need this? We appreciate that starting to foster is a big decision that needs careful consideration and you are likely to have questions. We’d like to help answer those questions.
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