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Fostering | Our Children


properly cared for, growth in certain parts of the brain is affected, leading to a lack of emotional development more commonly known as ‘attachment disorder’. The level of


Did You Know... Some children in need


of fostering will have siblings. The decision to keep siblings together is based on a balanced assessment of each child’s needs.


resilience each child builds up against abuse or neglect varies signifi cantly. As such, different children develop different capabilities to overcome the trauma they have experienced in order to catch up with their own development. In some cases, it is diffi cult to anticipate the long term impact of developmental delays, so it is vital for adoptive parents to understand that there may be uncertainty regarding the specialist support their child may need one day in the future.


THE ADOPTIVE PARENT Your role, as an adoptive parent, is


to provide safety and support for damaged children who may have developmental delays. It is also your responsibility to identify the services and treatments your child needs in the long and short term so that you can improve their chances in life. If you’re considering fostering a child rather than adopting, the children’s health issues are likely to be similar in both cases. However, guidance and support for foster carers may differ substantially from the advice offered to


adoptive parents. For advice, you can call the confi dential support service Fosterline on 0800 040 7675. Alternatively, the British Association for Adopting and Fostering (BAAF) has plenty of information and resources for people interested in fostering. 


102 DEAR DOCTOR WITH DR CHRIS STEELE


Foster Care Associates (FCA) has more than 20 years of experience providing foster families to children and young people. With an extensive national network of support services, the company’s approach has been successful in placing more than 30,000 children and young people with families who can nurture and support them. However, there is a shortage


of carers in the UK and FCA wants to encourage people who have a spare bedroom and are keen to make a diff erence by providing a safe and happy home to a child or young person in 2015. Foster carers come from all walks of life, but what they all have in common is the energy and commitment to make a diff erence to the lives of those in their care. FCA is particularly interested in recruiting carers who may have previously worked within healthcare, the police, military or teaching profession, as they often bring skills that help children and


Do something remarkable in 2015…


young people to thrive in a foster home environment. ‘Many of the children and young people that are currently looking to be fostered can be challenging, with their own individual issues ranging from behavioural problems through to low self-esteem,’ explains David Oldham, chief executive at FCA. ‘There are many factors that make a great foster carer— everything from being adaptable, resilient and nurturing, to being a good listener and having a fl exible response to a young person’s needs. Everyone is diff erent, but we fi nd those foster carers who have had experience working within certain sectors (such as nurses, midwives, teachers, armed forces, prison services or coaching), have valuable transferable skills and qualities that can make a remarkable diff erence to a young person’s life.’


For more information on becoming a foster carer with the FCA, call 0800 023 4561 or visit www.thefca.co.uk


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