Recently we shared a statistic on our social media which garnered quite a big response. This is what we posted:
17,879! That is a massive number right?! That is 17,879 children and young people who currently live out of home because of a multitude of different reasons. What makes this situation more difficult is the lack of foster carers to help be the difference in the lives of these children. The reality of the current situation really resonates with our followers and people in our community because deep down we want to help one another, it’s in our nature, and enriches each other’s lives.
Let's separate fact from fiction.
'I work full time'
In all our care situations we aim to have carers who can meet the needs of the child or young person. Whilst some forms of care do demand more investment in time in order to develop trusting relationships between carers and children or young people, there are other foster care options which are less time-intensive, such as weekend respite care. We have many carers who work full time, but they also have a very supportive network of family and friends, which we believe is key.
'I have children of my own'
“We had to make sure not only was this the right decision for us, but for our boys too. It has made us stronger as a family.” – WCF Foster Carers Mick and Monique.
Ensuring that your children are a part of the decision in becoming a foster carer is a very important step in your journey. Foster carers can certainly have children of their own, with many WCF carers being an example of this; however it is important to ensure the whole family is happy with this decision. If an applicant has children of their own, research shows that the age of the children or young person placed would preferably be at least two years younger than the children of the applicant.
'I don’t own my own house'
Applicants don't need to own their own home but should have adequate, safe accommodation for a child, children or young person/s. A bedroom should be available for a foster child as it is beneficial for children to have privacy and space, however sharing may be appropriate if it is with their sibling.
'I am single'
One of the most prevalent myths regarding foster care is that single people cannot foster. William Campbell Foundation welcomes single parent families, and can offer training and 24 hour support. As long as you can keep up with the children, and want to be the difference in their lives, you can be a fantastic carer.
'I won’t be able to handle the children’s behaviour'
William Campbell Foundation will be working side by side with you throughout your foster care journey to ensure you feel equipped to help support children and young people in care. Children and teenagers who come into care often come from families affected by a range of issues that can impact on their emotional maturity and development. It may take some time for them to adjust to living with a new family and sometimes this can be expressed with anger, anxiety or difficult behaviour. Caseworkers will work side-by-side with carers and children to overcome any issues they may experience.
We also offer our carers training to help support them through their journey. Examples of training can include:
ARC Model of Therapeutic Care
Restricted Practices and Positive Behaviour
Reportable Conduct and Self Care
Wellbeing and Mindfulness
Circle of Security
If you would like to discuss any of these in further detail, or if you have questions of your own you can fill out an enquiry form or call us on 1300 000 WCF.