Raising awareness of foster carers this Foster Care Fortnight

Release Date: 15 May 2020

To mark this year’s Foster Care Fortnight (11 to 24 May 2020), Achieving for Children, Richmond and Kingston councils are saying thank you to the foster carers who make an incredible difference to the lives of young people in the boroughs, whilst also raising awareness of the need for more foster carers.

This year it is more important than ever that we raise awareness of fostering. In the UK, every 20 minutes a child comes into care in need of a foster family - and the current coronavirus pandemic will likely lead to a spike in demand for foster carers as families face increased pressure from school closures and financial uncertainties.

Coronavirus has however not stopped Richmond upon Thames and Kingston’s foster care service – Achieving for Children (AfC) – from running its service and processing applications. AfC is a not-for-profit community interest company established in 2014 and now jointly owned by three councils (Richmond, Royal Borough of Kingston and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead). It is commissioned to deliver social care and educational services for children across the boroughs.

There are currently 162 children in foster placements across the three boroughs with many more children in care who need foster care places within our boroughs.

Could you help look after local children?

Foster carers are needed from all walks of life to look after children of differing ages who have come into local authority care through no fault of their own. Whatever your background, culture, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or relationship status, if you can recognise and empathise with that desperate need for security and nurturing – you could be the right person to be a great foster carer.

Being a foster carer is not easy and it takes a special kind of person to do it. However, if you are at all interested, or simply want to find out more, please do not hesitate to visit afcfostering.org.uk for more information or call 07894 229 788.

Ruth Sinclair, Achieving for Children foster carer, said:

"My family – me, my husband and three boys – have been fostering for about eight years now and we love it. We love having other children as part of our family for as long as they need it. We love the knowledge that we’re making a difference for a shortish time to a child. We love that we’re playing a vital role in our local community.

"We’re not superhuman, so we know that many other people and families have these attributes too and could make fantastic foster carers – so why not see if that could be you?"

Cllr Penny Frost, Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee for Richmond upon Thames, said:

"The contribution that foster carers, social workers and the wider fostering community make to our society is vital, but often underappreciated. Fostering transforms the lives of children and young people by providing a safe and stable place and network for them to thrive in.

"While lots of people need support during this difficult time, there are sadly many young people who need a safe home now more than ever.

"Thank you to all the carers out there who are doing an amazing job of looking after our children and young people, especially during this difficult time."

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Fenna Maynard on 020 8487 5182. 

Reference: P166/20

Updated: 29 May 2020