Rallying call to frontline public workers to consider fostering

Archived: Posted May 29, 2015

Foster Care Associates (FCA) has issued a rallying call ahead of Foster Care Fortnight (1-14 June) to people with experience in frontline public services to consider making a difference to a young person’s life by fostering.

With a national shortage of foster carers, those who have worked in the public sector have many of the skills sets needed to nurture a young person. Employment in the UK public sector reached its lowest level since records began last year, indeed with many former workers looking for a fresh challenge where they can both make a difference and progress in a rewarding career that supports others.

Children and young peopleWe are encouraging current and former public service professionals who can provide a safe and stable home for young people to get in touch. Every day people working in public services such as the military, prison and fire services demonstrate key people skills and training that can easily be transferred to the role of a foster carer.

There are many factors that make up an ideal candidate – everything from being adaptable, resilient and nurturing to being a good listener and having a flexible response to a young person’s needs.

Sandra Jones, registered manager in our Wales region, said: “We are always looking to attract new carers who have the necessary qualities to make a difference to young people’s lives. Given the nature of the work they do, people with a background in frontline public services will have a good understanding of their own character and behaviour to be able to adapt and succeed in challenging situations. Their training and experience will have taught them to be good communicators and work effectively in a team – traits that would be extremely valuable for a career in fostering.

“We have some carers who foster alongside their public service career, while others have taken a change in direction to become full-time carers. From people whose children have left home and single people, to families with teenagers, there are all kinds of families and individuals who can begin the hugely rewarding journey into foster care.”

FCA carers Simon and Rosemary Heyes have been fostering for two years having previously worked in the prison service and armed forces. They believe the skills they learned in frontline public service have helped enormously in their journey into fostering.

Simon said: “On the face of it, being a foster carer and an officer in the army may not appear to have much in common, but actually there is a lot of crossover in the skills needed to be effective in both roles. As I progressed through the ranks I was trained to get the best out of people by focussing on their good points and building confidence.

“In both the army and the prison service you have to be able to talk to people in all sorts of different and often difficult situations. You need to be able to find out what they need and work out a solution – that requires patience and discipline and is certainly something I have drawn on as a carer.”

Sandra Jones added, “We’d really like to hear from potential foster carers across the country to take on some of our more difficult to place children and young people.  These could range from young people such as teenagers, as well as young mothers who want to be fostered with their own child.”

To find out more about fostering, come to one of our information events of get in touch.

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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.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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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