Isle of Man News - POSTED Wed 17-05-2017

Could you be a ‘secret superhero’? Find out at Foster Care Fortnight

by LC

“Most children are in care because of circumstances beyond their control, and as foster carers it’s very rewarding when we are able to help them transform their lives in a positive direction. Fostering may not always be easy, but it is always worth it.”

These are the words of a Fostering First foster carer who endorses the aims of Foster Care Fortnight (May 8th to May 21st). The annual campaign is run by The Fostering Network in the UK, and supported here on the Island by Fostering First, the organisation responsible for foster care in the Isle of Man and a member of the Network.

During the fortnight, Fostering First is highlighting the need to find more carers, and help in its search to find fostering ‘superheroes’. The campaign this year is focusing on how foster carers can help to transform the lives of children who have had a tough start in life. It is being supported by a number of celebrities, including BBC sports presenter Gabby Logan, author Jacqueline Wilson, Andy McNab the best-selling author and former SAS soldier, and the cast of The Only Way Is Essex.

Fostering First will be at the following locations around the Island offering an ideal opportunity for anyone interested in fostering to get more information, and talk to the Fostering First team:

• May 15th: Starbucks, Douglas – 10am to noon
• May 16th: Shoprite, Peel – 2.30pm to 4.30pm
• May 17th: Bourne House, Douglas – two sessions, noon to 2pm, and 6pm to 8pm
• May 18th: Tesco, Douglas – 10am to 4pm
• May 19th: Marks and Spencer, Douglas – 10am to 4.00pm

Sharon Batchelor from Fostering First, said: “Foster carers can have a positive impact which transforms the lives of children, and gives them a better future. Our new campaign ‘Secret Superheroes’ focuses on dispelling common myths that potential foster carers may have around the criteria to become a foster carer. The aim of the campaign is to communicate that you don’t need any special tricks or powers to become a fostering superhero. All that is needed is time and patience to earn the trust of a child and help to restore stability and happiness back into their life. Dedicating their time and patience, we consider our foster carers to be superheroes because they do such an important job which makes a real difference to children and wider society. Of course, anyone thinking seriously about becoming a foster carer will have lots of questions. That’s great, because we know it’s important to discuss all of the issues and concerns that potential carers may have. Foster Care Fortnight is the ideal opportunity for anyone interested in fostering to come and have a chat with us in a relaxed setting, and we look forward to meeting lots of new people at the events we have planned.”

More events are also planned over the next few months, for full details go to www.fps.co.im.

Fostering First provides a comprehensive training programme for new carers, and following completion of the accreditation process, an ongoing training package throughout their fostering careers with structured development opportunities. Regular visits are also made by a Fostering Link Worker who provides additional help and support.
While financial reward is not the primary consideration for anyone who has the right motivation to become a foster carer, Fostering First appreciates that financial matters can be a real concern for some potential foster carers who think that they simply can’t afford the extra expense of caring for a child or children. So it’s important to note that Fostering First can provide financial help to make sure that carers can cover any additional costs.

Fostering First provides a comprehensive training programme for new carers, and following completion of the accreditation process, an ongoing training package throughout their fostering careers with structured development opportunities. Regular visits are also made by a Fostering Link Worker who provides additional help and support.

While financial reward is not the primary consideration for anyone who has the right motivation to become a foster carer, Fostering First appreciates that financial matters can be a real concern for some potential foster carers who think that they simply can’t afford the extra expense of caring for a child or children. So it’s important to note that Fostering First can provide financial help to make sure that carers can cover any additional costs.

Fostering First is part of The Children’s Centre’s Family Placement Services division. Phone Fostering First on 631947 or email fosteringfirst@thechildrenscentre.org.im – or check out their page on the Family Placement Services website www.fps.co.im.

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