People are being urged to consider those children not fortunate enough to be with their own families this Christmas by giving them the gift of a safe and loving foster home.
Options Fostering, has launched a new campaign to find foster homes for some of the hundreds of children in need this winter.
As the festive season approaches, most people’s thoughts turn to spending time with their families and loved ones. But for many looked after children across the region, Christmas can be a lonely and distressing time, says Fleur Johnson, Options Fostering agency manager.
Latest statistics show that 910 additional foster carers are needed across the West Midlands, with a national shortage of at least 10,000 in the UK.
“Christmas should be a time to celebrate with loved ones, but for some children, that will simply not happen this year. We’re urging people to consider giving the ultimate gift of a place in their home,” said Fleur.
“We have a fantastic team of foster carers at Options Fostering who do an amazing job, but we’re desperate for more people to come forward.”
“On average, we receive more than 100 referrals per month for children aged between eight and 16. We would love to be able to help more children find the warm, loving, stable home that they deserve in their time of need, but we need more foster carers to be able to achieve this.”
Fleur said that there were many myths around fostering that sometimes put people off the idea.
“Fostering can be a very rewarding career, but for some it can seem daunting to take the first step. You don’t need to be a certain age, you don’t need to be married or in a relationship, and you don’t need to already have children to take in a foster child. Options foster carers receive great rates of pay, excellent training and expert support from us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
“We’re incredibly proud that we have all the personal elements of a small agency, with the added benefits of being backed by a bigger group, meaning we can offer training and full support from our clinical teams.”
In addition to new foster carers, Options is also keen to hear from people with previous fostering experience.
Options Fostering, part of Options are an independent fostering agency specialising in placing young people that have experienced disruption in their lives and require stable and consistent family environments.