Children need stability in their lives but sadly many children that go into care have come from unstable and volatile conditions, which is why they are placed into foster placements or referred for adoption.
Foster carers play a significant role as they have the ability to transform a child’s life by providing them with stability, love and care that results in more children having a positive experience of family life.
However recent findings have shown that the current system is not always able to provide that stable and comfortable environment due to issues such as poor matching and the need to recruit more diverse groups of foster carers. This is why the work of My Foster Family is so pivotal in being able to reach out to Black and Asian ethnic minority foster carers who will be best able to be matched with a child that they could offer reassurance and stability to.
Stability when fostering means ensuring that every child in care is matched with the right placement as soon as possible. In fostering, a foster family and child are both supported to make the placement work as best as possible and ensure that the child’s needs are met. Matching families carefully can help create a stable environment for a child and one that the child is happy to be part of from the onset.
Sadly too many children in care experience multiple moves and placement instability which can lead to further problems in creating a positive environment for the child. Statistics from The Fostering Network show that in England, 49,240 foster placements ceased during 2016-17 amounting to 369 days. 26 per cent of foster care placements that ceased had lasted less than a month, 48 per cent had lasted between a month and a year; 12 per cent had lasted between one and two years; and only 13 per cent of placements had lasted for more than two years’
These are worrying statistics and one that shows more needs to be done to ensure that foster children have the stability they deserve. There are many children in care who have come from war-torn countries, experienced trauma or neglect or have even experienced abuse or domestic violence. These upsetting conditions are a testament to the fact that a new experience in a family must be one that is loving, caring and full of stability. By matching foster children with the right placements and having more diverse foster carers on board to cater for religious and cultural needs of children we can see more positive outcomes in the future.