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Foster Care In The Spotlight

Over the past six months, there’s been something really amazing happening. And what’s that little something, we hear you ask? It’s the increased attention and coverage foster care has received! For us as an independent agency, it’s so exciting to see more dialogue, more opinions, and more celebrations of foster carers. As you’ll see, this should lead to greater awareness – at a national level – of many aspects of foster care, including:

  • how foster carers work incredibly hard, and are doing amazing jobs while they’re at it
  • the foster community is a vibrant one, as well as diverse
  • there is a national shortage, numbering in the thousands, that needs to be addressed

So without further ado, here are some of the standout moments from the past six months – the kind that we think will raise awareness about foster care to new heights:

Lorraine Pascale is Appointed Fostering Ambassador

As if there was any doubt whatsoever that fostered children go on to do great things, Lorraine is here as a shining example. As we covered in a previous post, we’re so proud to witness such a popular personality such as herself taking up the reign of promoting foster care. She’s the very first person to be appointed to this role!

Foster Carers Are Honoured by the Queen

We’ve witnessed foster carers from around the country being recognised by Royalty! A grand total of 11 hardworking foster carers were listed in the New Year Honour’s list 2015, as part of the section for education and children’s services.

A Duchess Celebrates Foster Carers

As if the current Queen’s attention weren’t enough, a future Queen of ours has also shown an interest! In case you missed it, the Duchess herself spent the day with foster carers – both new and old – as well as fostered children, in Islington, North London. Read our post about her visit here.

We’re genuinely delighted by the increased attention foster care seems to be getting up and down the country, and across all kinds of channels of media. And it’s only March! We’re hopeful that 2015 will continue to have plenty more well-deserved spotlight attention and recognition for foster carers in store.

You may have noticed something last Friday, 16th January – we were only a little bit excited about it! Her Royal Highness, Kate Middleton, spent the day in North London, learning all about foster care experiences – both from parents involved and the children who benefit.

The Duchess, who is six months pregnant with her second child, made this her second official outing in as many days. She was highly motivated to learn as much as she could about all aspects of the fostering process, chatting with social workers, as well as a range of foster parents, throughout the day. She was also very happy to meet a toddler called Naya, comparing the six-month-old girl to her own child, jokingly describing the youngster as “even chubbier than George”.

She began her visit by meeting with a selection of ambassadors and foster carers, telling them: “I’ve heard a huge amount about fostering and it’s really great for me to have this opportunity to speak to you about it.” This was followed by a tea party, where she spent time with elderly foster parents – some of whom had cared for over 100 children.

As her visit drew to a close, the Duchess was presented with a “memory box” by her hosts – a book of stories and poems written by former foster children – so that her experiences that day would stay with her. Kate later admitted how much the experience moved her on a personal level.

At Perpetual Fostering, we’re delighted to see a member of the monarchy taking such an active interest in fostering, as well as the provision of care for children in need. Given our aim to increase fostering recruitment in this year, we couldn’t ask for a better example! We like to think it also demonstrates the rewards of support and a sense of community that hard-working foster carers deserve to enjoy.

Were you present during HRH’s visit to Highbury? If so, we’d love to hear from you – get in touch to share your experiences with us!