Why Is Chiswick So Reluctant To Foster?
Last year only three enquiries from W4- lowest in borough
The low rate of foster carers in Chiswick has prompted Hounslow Council to appeal to local people to consider providing homes for looked-after children.
Only five foster carers in the borough come from Chiswick compared to 29 from Feltham and 19 in Hounslow. And last year there were only three enquiries from Chiswick, compared to 71 from Hounslow.
The Council says it does not know why the figures for Chiswick are so low and has launched a campaign to encourage more people from W4 to consider offering a home to one of the borough's 315 looked-after children.
Seventeen year old Michael, originally from Chiswick, went into care when he was 12, and lives with his foster carers, their daughter and his sister. He is currently studying for his A-levels in maths, French, chemistry and biology, after getting 3 A*s and 7 A’s in his GCSE’s. He hopes to study medicine and become a surgeon.
Talking about being in foster care, he said: “It’s not a problem, I’m honest with people and no-one has an issue with it.
“I was originally placed with another carer, but when they went on holiday I was placed with my current carers for a break and liked them so much I asked my social worker if I could stay.
“They’re great - really generous, kind and loving.”
Image from Hounslow Council
Cllr Lily Bath, cabinet member for children and families at the London Borough of Hounslow, said: “Last year, we only received three enquiries from people in Chiswick who wanted more information about becoming foster carers, compared to 71 from Hounslow, for example.
“We recognise we need to do more and we hope this campaign will encourage more people from Chiswick think about fostering.
“Foster carers provide a safe and welcoming home for children and young people who need it most.
“They come from all walks of life. Some are married, some single, some work full-time, others don’t. The one thing they all have in common is that they all made the decision to get in touch to find out more.
“We offer excellent advice and support for our foster carers and a generous allowance is paid to help meet the needs of each child placed.
“We always have children and young people who need fostering in the borough, so I strongly encourage anyone who thinks they could offer a safe and welcoming home to get in touch.”
Hounslow Council is using Foster Care Fortnight (14-27 May) to launch the campaign to encourage more people to think about becoming foster carers.
The fostering team will be running information stalls on:
Information sessions are being held at the Civic Centre, Hounslow, on:
To find out more about becoming a foster carer, visit www.hounslow.gov.uk/fostering or call the council’s fostering team on 0800 731 8558.
May 11, 2012