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Churches asked to help find foster carers

by Michael Ford last modified 10 Dec, 2019 05:28 PM

Faith leaders throughout Dorset are being asked to highlight the need to find foster carers to look after migrant refugee children.

Foster in Dorset, a partnership between Dorset Council Fostering Service and Whitehead Ross Education and Consulting, has commenced a special recruitment drive to find foster carers to look after migrant refugee children, as well as provide care for other Dorset children and young people.

The need was highlighted through the work of Safe Passage, an organisation committed to unaccompanied migrant children being placed safely in a place of sanctuary.

Dorset Council, along with other Local Authorities, has pledged to take a number of refugee children who will be placed in foster care in Dorset on arrival into the country.

Catherine Scott, a Fostering Social Worker said:

"Foster carers need to be recruited, assessed and trained now. Towards this end we are now reaching out to faith leaders, and other community members in Dorset, to seek people coming forward to take up this essential role."

Leaflets that explain more about the process are available and there will be fostering information sessions happening in the New Year for anyone who would like to know more. This will include information about all types of fostering, including migrant children.

The council has responsibility to find safe and loving homes for a variety of British and unaccompanied refugee children. There are many different types of foster care. Placements can be short, long-term, or provide respite for other foster carers or parents. The children needing care range from babies to 18-year-olds. Some children are disabled, have special educational needs, or are unaccompanied migrant children of all ages.

There are no stereotypes. People can be any age (over 21), single or living with a partner, and of any sexual orientation. You need to have a spare room.

Being a foster carer is hugely rewarding. It is a unique opportunity to make a real difference to a child’s life. The council supports carers to develop their care for children.

Foster carers receive a weekly fee for their skills, plus a weekly allowance for each child they look after. There is a free programme of learning and development, for foster carers to help them develop skills and knowledge to equip them to keep children safe.

There is also a team of professionals that work with foster carers and the children to make sure they have the support they need.
Supported lodgings provide a young person aged 16 to 25, with a room of their own in a private home where they are a member of the household but are not a member of the family.

Find out more information by contacting Dorset Council for a confidential chat with a member of the fostering or supported lodgings teams.

Dorset Safe Passage has successfully asked Dorset Council to pledge places to accept a limited number of unaccompanied and vulnerable refugee children over a 10-year period. As per existing resettlement schemes, all young people would be authenticated by UNHCR and the UK Home Office and would arrive by safe and legal routes, thus avoiding the very real dangers of exploitation or death when crossing continents, taking extremely dangerous sea crossings or hidden under or inside vehicles.

Safe Passage continues to ask that Government fully funds the scheme so that it accurately reflects the actual costs incurred by local authorities caring for resettled children.

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