Some Interesting Reading for Foster Carers
We’re nearing the end of the year, and I wanted to share two pieces of work I recently came across. They are both ‘feel good’ stories that confirm just how valued foster carers are in the eyes of the children and young people they look after.
Firstly, news from Ofsted, who have carried out their fifth annual online survey on the experience of young people living in children’s homes, boarding schools and living with foster carers. There were nearly 35, 000 individual responses to this research of which over 6,000 were from children.
Of the 12 million young people aged 0-17 years living in England, 75,420 are children looked after, with 73% living with foster carers. The response of those in foster care was that 98% felt well looked after ‘always or most of the time’, with one young person stating, ‘…I enjoy playing with my new toys and being part of the family’.
The quotes from ‘what children like about where they are’ were best summed up by one young person, who said: ‘Being here I feel respected and more like an individual…I am happy in my placement’. The survey is available on: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-care-questionnaires-2019-what-children-and-young-people-told-ofsted.
Many of the articles that have appeared in the AFAmily newsletter are the outcome of surveys and research carried out by the office of the Children’s Commissioner, headed up by Anne Longfield. The first issue of ‘Children’s Insights, what do they think’ was published in October 2019. It’s a really interesting newsletter with a wide range of articles aimed at children looked after, but it also has plenty to interest carers.
I’m sure that most of us don’t ever want to hear the ‘B word’ (Brexit) again, but the BBC Radio 2 short story competition evidenced the impact on young people of the current political situation with Brexit being mentioned 418 times in the 2019 stories – a 464% rise since 2018! One young person said, ‘Politicians should acknowledge children and teenagers more. We are the next generation so we should be the ones choosing how we want our lives to be.’ Other articles include, ‘How do children feel about their future?’ and ‘What do children worry about?’
There is also an information page which gives contact details for the ‘IMO, Stories, Experiences, Advice from teens in care (imohub.org.uk) and ‘help at hand’ ([email protected]) for young people in care, leaving care or living away from home.
‘Children’s Insights’ is a valuable contribution to the information available to children and young people in foster care and it is a good starting point for discussion on the key issues. Highly recommended reading!