Fostering though Christmas?

Two days away from Christmas day, and many children around the country are with their foster families spending Christmas with them.

Fostering a child, through Christmas can have it’s own challenges, but be assured it’s well worth it, as Christmas is a festive time, and the time for giving, sharing and making others feel welcome. It’s also something that children will remember for life.

Most children spend the Christmas periods with their birth families, with their relatives etc. Some children in care may have had such experiences, and others may have had bad experiences of Christmas and the festive season. Some may not be from a background which celebrates Christmas.

It’s important for carers to understand this and take a different approach where needed.

For example, if Christmas is celebrated in a carer’s family environment, and a young person or child is from a background where Christmas isn’t celebrated, there needs to be some form of recognition and involvement, or an understanding if a child doesn’t want to take part. On the contrary, if a carer’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, and a young person celebrates Christmas, there also needs to be recognition of that and extra effort put in to ensure that the child or young person feels at home and comfortable. As a blogger on the Community Care blog wrote (you can find the blog post here, its a great read), you can even call it a “Winter Celebration”; that way everybody can take part in the fun!

Or for instance, a child or young person isn’t fitting in well as it’s the first time they are spending Christmas away from their birth family – but cannot be with the birth family for various reasons; making them seem included is very important. Something as simple as having a few cards for them as the family members give each other Christmas cards could give them that much needed sense of inclusion. Also a few Christmas presents, they don’t have to be expensive, would also make them feel like they’re included.

A lot of young people come out of foster care and remember events and celebrations, and Christmas is one of them. As they grow older, they would remember how their foster family gave them cards and gifts and treated them as if they were part of their household – that’s where the sense of pride in fostering is!

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, and are in employment or not, give us a call on 02033973332 (London) or 01616383391 (North England) or click here to get in touch with us via our website.


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Last month (November 2014), a document was released by The Fostering Network, funded by theDepartment for Education, titled “Combining Fostering and Other Work”. It talks about fostering and working and the study mentions some facts and figures to help visualise the reality behind fostering and working.

The document itself can be found by clicking here.

Here are some numbers from the study:

  • 88% were in employment when they applied to become a foster carer
  • 40% say that their fostering service or agency required or pressurised them to give up their job to become a foster carer
  • 52% of carers who were required to give up work to foster, think stopping work was the wrong decision
  • 29% of foster carers were expected to reduce their hours of work

Of course, these numbers are representative of those carers who took part in the study, and their experiences.

The report also mentions quotes, opinions and reasons given by the respondents.

There are some other interesting points from the study too, such as, some carers can’t work due to fostering commitments… but on the contrary, children in care should see a carer as a positive role model, going to work. It’s important that they see women working too.

There is also a mention of foster friendly employers in the report.

The report is publicly available, and can be found via the link towards the bottom of this blog post.

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Here at Welcome Foster Care, we see things differently. Some of our carers are in employment, and we allow our carers to be fostering and working, provided that there is flexibility to allow a carer to foster and be there for a child.
Some of our carers have a typical family environment, where one partner stays at home full-time, whilst the other works full-time.
Other single applicants have part time, or flexible jobs that allow them to commit to fostering as well as work.
Some carers acknowledge the rewards in fostering, and have sacrificed their jobs entirely, and foster as a career – knowing that there isn’t a shortage of placements – 7,000 more foster families needed in England in 2014, means that there quite some placements to be had.

School-runs and school related events are usually a typical scapegoat, for the claim that one cannot foster and work at the same time. However, most parents with children at school resume work, whilst taking part in the school events and doing the school run. If a carer wishes to resume working, and it is compatible with fostering, we have no issues with that. We see fostering as treating a child as you would treat your own, which includes making time for their schooling and personal development, upbringing, whilst working. What better role model could a young person want?

There are some instances where it is a specialist foster placement, which needs a bigger dedication of time, for example, a baby/toddler, a child with special needs, or a disability – in which case, Welcome Foster Care as a fostering service, provide a bigger payment to the carer, as we understand that working whilst taking up such a placement is very difficult.

We are happy to give you advice, as well as talk you through the steps in becoming a foster carer. With an excellent care package, support and training, as well as constant placements, you can be sure that Welcome Foster Care is the fostering service that you would want to be with.

The report can be found by clicking here.

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, and are in employment or not, give us a call on 02033973332 (London) or 01616383391 (North England) or click here to get in touch with us via our website.


Fostering vs Adoption

There is a common misconception between the two, and we feel that not enough is being done to educate the public about fostering. Not many people understand the difference between the two, hence this blog post titled fostering vs adoption.

The general public (mostly) are all under an impression that fostering is adoption, vice versa, and it’s all child-care; the aim is to take care of a child until they are old enough and established enough to leave home and stand on their own feet.

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Well, there’s no blame for the misunderstandings, except for the lack of public awareness. In a nutshell, this blog article will briefly show you the difference between the two.

Think of adoption as a more of a permanent placement, in which a child or a young person comes into one’s home, as if he were one’s child – with the aim of living with and eventually moving out, going university, getting a place of their own etc., much like one’s own child. Adoption also involves some legality, which includes transferring all rights and responsibilities of parenthood to the child or young persons new family, and could also include a change of surname.
The child also loses rights of inheritance from their birth family, which is then transferred to their adoptive family.

Now, fostering on the other hand is the placement of a child or young person in one’s home with the ultimate aim being, in most cases, for the child or young person to reunite with their birth family. Other permanent solutions, like fostering, or permanently living with other family members or the extended family are also amongst the options explored if the child or young person cannot be with their family for whatever reason.
Also fostering allows and encourages keeping ties with the birth family, if this is deemed safe. When a young person is fostered, the foster carer, social worker and the birth family all work in partnership to ensure the best outcome for the child.

Foster carers receive training and support from the fostering services they are registered to, be it a local council one or an independent fostering service, like us. Different fostering services have different support packages, as well as rates of pay, but here at Welcome Foster Care, we vouch to do all we can to ensure the happiness of foster carers, and that our carers get the best training and support available as well as an excellent payment schedule – We also provide additional payment amounts for special needs fostering, or complex cases.

To summarise, both are major decisions and life changing events, but have their differences. In a nutshell, fostering isn’t adoption, and vice versa – adoption isn’t fostering.

We hope this has clarified the fostering vs adoption issue that always will be a common misunderstanding.

If you need more information on fostering, or are interested in finding out how to become a foster carer, please give us a call today; London Office: 02033973332 and the Lancashire Office: 01616383391.

You can also fill out an enquiry form by clicking here.