Hackney needs more foster carers

Foster Care Fortnight¬†is The Fostering Network’s annual campaign (13-26 May) to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives.

We spoke to Emma Harry, who recruits foster carers for London Borough of Hackney, to find out more about challenges and joys of fostering

What is the situation of fostering in Hackney?
Hackney Children and Families Service has had a continued need for more foster carers in order to meet the demand for children coming into care. The majority of these children are 11+ so ideally we need people that are willing to look after our teenagers.

What challenges do foster parents face?
Challenges can present themselves in different ways for different people and the assessment process is designed to help us predetermine those areas and identify how we can support foster carers once they are approved.

For some foster carers, attachment to a child or young person placed with them for a short time could be challenging, or coping when a child placed with them isn’t bonding as quickly as they would like; being able to manage that resistance could be a challenge.

Each child and young person will come with their own story and placements are made based on how well we think foster carers will be able to support that child.

What is most rewarding in fostering?
All our foster carers say the change they see in the children and young people they have cared for is the most rewarding aspect of fostering. Knowing they have made a positive difference in a child or young person’s life makes it all worth it.

What changes would you like to see?
I would like to see more people supporting fostering. Fostering isn’t for everyone, but it would be great if more organisations, faith groups and businesses across the borough to supported the recruitment of foster carers and showed an appreciation for the work they do.

A lot of people rule themselves out for a number of different reasons, and sometimes they are the ones with a lot to offer. So I always encourage people to have that conversation with us and if fostering really isn’t for you then we will help to point you in the right direction.

Where to go for information and support?
Anyone interested in fostering for Hackney can visit the website or email alternatively they can call us free on 0800 0730 418.

We also hold free information sessions once a month. Please come along, it will be great to have you there.