Fostering during lockdown comes with unique challenges, but despite this, Lambeth heroes such as Alex, are welcoming vulnerable children into their homes.
During Fostering Fortnight the council are appealing to the community – now, more than ever they need new people to come forwards and apply to become foster carers. To find out more, register for our online fostering information evening on Thursday 21 May at 7pm.
Alex, a relatively new foster carer, recently welcomed a 13-year-old girl into her home, having become estranged from her parents as a direct impact of COVID-19. Finding a way to build trust from the beginning of a placement is an important skill to being a good carer.
Alex said: “We spent some time talking about the recent series of events which led her to stay with me. We also talked a bit about family life, what it’s like living with a disabled mum – something we found we have in common which helped us bond.
Talking about how she supported her foster child to settle during the first few days, Alex said: “She loved my Caribbean cooking. Although very different to what she was used to, she told me her favourite meals which I made these to make her feel welcome.
“We quickly established a good home-study routine and I frequently let her know I’m always here to talk and listen.”
To read more about Alex’s story, and others, visit www.lambeth.gov.uk/foster-stories
Lambeth’s appeal for help
The Fostering Team are urgently appealing to local people with a spare room and the capacity to care for a vulnerable child to consider stepping forwards during this crisis.
Cllr Edward Davie, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We know we have a strong caring community in Lambeth and there are others, just like Alex, who want to make a positive contribution to children in need. If you’ve ever considered fostering, Lambeth needs people like you. Now, more than ever, as increasingly children and their families become affected by coronavirus.”
Merlin Joseph, Lambeth’s Strategic Director of Children Services, said: “Fostering is a varied and demanding role but our dedicated social work team are here to support you every step of the way.
“With Foster Carer Fortnight starting on 11 May we’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all our remarkable carers for their contribution to our community, particularly during this unprecedented time. Each and every one of them has opened up their home and taken on a 24-7 role to better people’s lives – you really are local heroes.”
Who can foster?
To become a Lambeth foster carer, there are only a few basic criteria you must meet. You must:
- be over 21 years old
- have a spare bedroom
- be a full-time resident in the UK or have indefinite leave to remain
- have good spoken and written English
You don’t have to own your own home and they welcome couples or individuals from every walk of life.
Find out more about becoming a foster carer
To find out more or arrange a call back from a member of the team, visit www.lambeth.gov/foster. You can also find out here about any upcoming events and watch recordings of past live Q&A sessions.