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At Perpetual Fostering, we’re amazed by our community. Our family of foster carers includes all sorts of caring individuals who hold a special cause very close to their hearts – helping to improve the lives of vulnerable children. What’s the best thing about our community? No two foster carers are the same, and that’s crucial for our provision of care.

We aim for a community of foster carers that is as diverse and vibrant as the children who benefit from our provision of care. Read on to find out what is, and isn’t, important to us as we apply our robust recruitment process.

Diverse Community
For foster children of ethnic and minority backgrounds, a diverse community of carers is especially important. As much as possible, these foster children benefit massively from inspiring individuals who reflect their own upbringing and heritage.

Marital Status
Potential foster carers don’t need to be married! In fact, we need to emphasise how positive and educational it can be for foster children to experience a range of lifestyles and backgrounds. If they can see that successful, strong people lead their lives in all sorts of ways, that can only be a positive.

Gender
Gender plays no factor when it comes to fostering eligibility. Yet when asked about it, most in the UK are under the impression that a single male is unsuitable for foster care. We’re keen to reassure our community that the opposite is the truth, and have worked with countless male fosterers over the years.

Above all, the following points are the most important attributes of our carers:
• the ability to provide a stable environment
• being a tireless, genuine champion of the interests of foster children
• acting consistently as a ‘team player’ with everyone involved in the process

Why not tell us about your background? We guarantee that wherever you may come from, or whatever you do for a living, there is a type of fostering to suit you.

At Perpetual Fostering, we observe and relate to many things that play on the mind of potential recruits. Time and time again, one of the most-asked questions on the minds of potential foster carers is: “who is best suited to being a foster carer?”. And each time, we reassure everyone: that “there is no such thing as a stereotypical foster carer”.

As outlined in the recent 2015 Ofsted report, we are an agency “underpinned by high-quality care built upon stable and successful placements” and we aim for a community of foster carers that is as diverse and vibrant as the children who benefit from our provision of care. Read on to find out what is – and what isn’t – important to us as we apply our robust recruitment process.

Diverse Community
For foster children of ethnic and minority backgrounds, a diverse community of carers is especially important. As much as possible, these foster children benefit massively from inspiring individuals who reflect their own upbringing and heritage.

Here’s an apt example. Denise Lewis wrote recently in the Guardian: “black children in care must be empowered to become confident adults, and identity and culture are an important part of this”. Whilst we wholly agree, we also need to emphasise how this is relevant for children from all communities across the UK.

Marital Status

Potential foster carers certainly don’t need to be married! In fact, we’d like to emphasise how positive and educational it can be for foster children to experience a range of lifestyles and backgrounds. If they can see that successful, strong people lead their lives in all sorts of ways, that can only be a positive learning experience for them going forwards.

Gender
For such a fundamental feature of each and every one of us, gender is one of the least important characteristics when it comes to fostering eligibility. Yet when asked about it, most in the UK are under the impression that a single male isn’t suitable for fostering. We’re keen to reassure our community that the opposite is the truth, and have worked with countless male foster carers over the years.

We hope the above points help to outline the possibility that fostering offers.
Above all, the following details are – alongside sound attitude and judgement – the most important attributes of exceptional carers:

  • the ability to provide a stable environment
  • being a tireless, genuine champion of the interests of foster children
  • acting consistently as a ‘team player’ with everyone involved in the process

Diversity and awareness are important to us as an independent fostering agency: please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to share your opinion, or if you think we’ve missed anything out. We also encourage you to read the Ofsted report in full for yourself.

We’re pleased to let everyone know that we have published our updated 2015 Statement of Purpose. In line with the extremely positive appraisal from Ofsted, we decided it would be an ideal time to bring our overall mission in line with the progress we’ve made since our previous assessment.

Our main aim remains the provision of safe, high quality foster care provisions for children and young people. Complimenting this is our approach: through such carefully-arranged placements, we value, support and encourage each and every child to grow and develop as individuals.

Our service strives to consistently promote the health and general wellbeing of these vulnerable youngsters. In doing so, we’ve committed ourselves – since we were established in 2005 – to encouraging foster carers to go tirelessly above and beyond. This means enabling children to enjoy their childhood, while facilitating their educational attainment.

In terms of Services and Facilities, Perpetual Fostering will continue to offer the following services:

  • Emergency placements
  • Short term foster care (with the view of reunification with immediate/extended family)
  • Respite/short term breaks for children with complex health needs
  • Foster care for those in need of long-term placements
  • Long-term foster care for children in need of permanence
  • Staying Put arrangements
  • A robust matching process, carefully matching the needs of children with a diverse roster of foster parents
  • Placements for young people in need of semi-independence
  • Step Down/Wrap Around services for children and young people moving from residential care in to a fostering placement.

Regarding our Principles and Standards of Care, we continue to maintain our high standards via our robust quality assurance framework, which is bolstered nicely by regular reviews of our services provision. We actively seek feedback from everyone who comes into contact with our services: from foster carers, birth children, partner agencies, and as many fostered children and young people as possible. Both of these important factors help us to consistently strive for improvement of what we offer.

We strongly encourage you to read our Statement of Purpose – now available in the ‘About Us’ section of this website. We’d love to hear what you think, so please do get in touch to share your thoughts.

On Monday 19th January, Caroline Selkirk, Chief Executive of British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) wrote in the Guardian about the importance of placing children in care correctly. Above all, her focus was on those “difficult to place … particularly adolescents,” and those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

She asks a poignant question: “newborn babies can be easy to place for adoption and fostering, but what about older children?”

Regarding foster care priorities over the last two decades, she describes how general emphasis has shifted to placements with permanency in mind. This is because of the central role that parents and a family life play in the development of a youngster. Clearly older children also benefit from a sense of permanence and security: the age difference shouldn’t make them any less entitled to quality care than a newly-born child.

Caroline also outlines groups newly eligible for fostering:
“There have been recent positive changes that focus on reducing delay, opening the criteria to prospective carers … for example, gay couples”. As an agency keen on identifying more high quality foster parents, we welcome recruitment from a larger pool of potential carers.

She then goes on to cover some developmental points she thinks the care sector needs to address:

  • the revised framework for long-term foster care
  • further development of special guardianship
  • effective support, specifically financial help for carers
  • challenges to adoption

As she sees it, these issues will need to be dealt with partly by building on sector expertise. But also going forward, future solutions should be increasingly developed with child-centred responses in mind.

We’re really pleased to see that Caroline has done such a fantastic job in highlighting pressing issues, like the need for permanency, and that some children are easier to place than others. On top of that, we hope that with increased discussion – on a global platform like the Guardian – we can make 2015 the year that real progress is made, in improving standards of care for all foster children.