Call for new foster parents in Midlands

Local fostering agency goes virtual to appeal for foster parents.

An independent fostering agency is reaching out to individuals and families in Birmingham, Tamworth and Solihull who are interested in becoming foster parents, with virtual information evenings.

Prior to the pandemic, ISP would host regular drop-in events where members of the local community could pop in and speak with the friendly team to find out more information about fostering, as well as hear the first-hand experiences from existing foster parents.

Now, to ensure people can still discover more about life as a foster parent in a non-pressurised environment, ISP has launched a series of virtual events, set to take place weekly over the coming month. Every Thursday, from 6th to 27th August, individuals and families will be invited to join ISP on Microsoft Teams from 7 pm.

To join the session, individuals can register their interest via the ISP website. A member of the fostering team will then be in touch with the details they need to join the call.

During the session, there will be a short presentation, discussing what fostering is, who can foster, the types of children that ISP care for and some of the extraordinary outcomes that fostering has achieved.

The virtual session will also provide an insight into the specialist training, support and allowances that foster parents are entitled to when working with ISP. Then, individuals will be able to ask any questions they may have, as well as discover the next steps they need to take in order to start the application process.

As of 31st March 2019, 54,870 children were in care according to a recent Ofsted report, a 3% increase compared to the 2018 figures. With just 44,450 foster parents approved for care, there is a significant gap between the number of homes available and the number of vulnerable children in need of a safe and supportive home.

ISP Registered Manager, Jane Partridge, commented; “With thousands of children in need of a nurturing and secure environment to live in, we want to make sure that anyone who is interested or curious about fostering is comfortable in coming forward to find out more about the role and what will be involved.

“Many people don’t realise that fostering is a paid, professional role and that they’ll receive support through every step of their fostering journey, so these virtual sessions are designed to provide an honest overview of every aspect of the role.

“Children of all ages are in need of love and care, so we ask that anyone interested in becoming a vital pillar of support to vulnerable young people, join us and find out more.”

During the pandemic, ISP has adapted to provide virtual support to their existing and prospective foster parents with home visits and assessments now being conducted virtually.