A role with great rewards
Foster Care Fortnight 2018 runs from May 14-27 and is The Fostering Network’s national awareness campaign to highlight the need for more local foster carers. Islington has over 130 foster carers but still needs to recruit more to keep looked after young people near their families and friends in the borough.
Being a foster carer can be a challenging role but it also brings great rewards.
Sue Jeakins has been a foster carer with Islington now for over four years. She says: “You get so much from the kids. There are ups and downs but its very fulfilling. You grow together – I’ve learnt such a lot myself.”
Children of all ages and backgrounds come into care in Islington and likewise the service has foster carers from many cultures and walks of life. Some people think that you need to own your home or have a partner while in fact this is untrue, but you do need a spare bedroom and to be able to provide a secure, safe and loving home.
Your care and support helps young people achieve their best, whether through education at school, through sports or any special interests or by preparing them for independent living and their future relationships. Sue had a young person who came to her struggling but now has an apprenticeship. “It’s so wonderful to look at her and see her manage herself. She’s completely independent,” she says.
If right for you fostering can be a career choice with generous allowances and a wide selection of training available to help build your skills. Carers receive 24-hour support from the service and benefit from strong peer support from the Islington Foster Carer’s Association. All Islington carers also get a dedicated social worker, something Sue has appreciated.
“I’ve had a mega amount of training from Islington Council and its really useful,” Sue explains. “I have a fantastic social worker who I would not have been able to do this without.”
If you think you may be able to help a local young person why not take that first step and find out more? Fortnightly information sessions are held at Islington Town Hall where you can come along and talk to existing foster carers.