Five Rivers Child Care is keen to stress that new carers are still very much needed in spite of the Covid regulations. Changes to the application process during the COVID-19 outbreak include speaking to applicants on the phone or via video call instead of visiting them to ensure as much can as possible be done remotely before the in-person application begins.
The local fostering organisation wants residents to consider a career change as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact negatively on many industries across the UK, with unemployment rising to 4.8%.
It says the latest lockdown, possibly lasting until at least the middle of February, could mean more job losses in the area, particularly in the hospitality and retail sectors.
Five Rivers Child Care, with headquartered in Salisbury, is encouraging local residents to consider applying to foster a child or young person.
Jem Orman, Five Rivers fostering service manager for the South and South East, said: “The number of children needing foster care in the UK has risen by 44% during the coronavirus pandemic . With more children and young people from Salisbury particularly in need of a loving and safe home every day, fostering can provide the job stability and flexibility many people are looking for in this time of uncertainty.
Five Rivers Child Care is looking for individuals, couples and families from all backgrounds across Salisbury who may be interested in foster care. There is a wide variety of roles within fostering.”
Long-term foster carers – Carers who can provide comfort and stability to children and young adults who are unable to live with their families. Depending on individual circumstances, children and young adults can remain with long-term carers until at least the age of 18 or when they are able to live independently.
Short-term foster carers – This can apply to an overnight stay or a period of a few months and is used when children or young people require time away from their birth families or existing care support.
Emergency foster carers – Emergency foster carers help bridge the gap between foster placements or reunification with friends, family or returning home.
Sibling group foster carers – Five Rivers Child Care aims to keep all sibling groups together where possible, and is currently looking for more foster carers who have the space, time and resources available to be able to look after sibling groups.
Parent and child fostering – Parent and child fostering involves fostering a new parent and their young baby to help develop and assess their parenting skills.
Specialist fostering – If you have previous experience working with children with specific care requirements, be they special educational needs, medical needs or significant behavioural challenges, you could be perfectly suited to specialist fostering.
“We have a network of amazing foster carers across Wiltshire but we’re looking for even more local people who have the potential to become great foster carers to support the rising number of youngsters in need.
“We’d like to encourage caring individuals, who may be facing redundancy or a change in their job situation because of the coronavirus pandemic, to consider how rewarding fostering a child or young person can be. Fostering offers flexible working, a competitive fostering allowance, the comfort of working from home and job security because of the constant demand for carers. There is no need for previous experience, and you may find that you have transferable skills from current or past employment that will be invaluable to you as a foster carer. We offer 24/7 support from qualified and experienced staff and a wide range of specialist training.
“We’re eager to hear from people who are nurturing, compassionate and enjoy supporting others, as well as anyone who has questions about fostering and the variety of roles available,” Jem added.
People from all walks of life can be considered to become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years. This includes single people, co-habiting couples, same-sex couples and people living in rented accommodation. You will need a spare room for each foster child.