16 August 2022
The new Minister for Children and Education is urging Islanders to come forward to help change a child’s life, as Jersey faces the biggest foster care crisis in ten years.
A major Island-wide appeal is being launched today by the Department for Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES) to make Islanders aware of the current shortage of foster carers and how they can access more information or apply to foster.
There are many different types of foster care opportunities - including short and long term care – all of which offer financial support.
Islanders who are 21 and over can apply to be a foster carer, and will be supported financially and emotionally while they are fostering a child. Fostering a child can be a hugely rewarding experience and carers are needed for:
- Emergency care – when children need to be fostered in an emergency, for up to two weeks
- Respite care – for specific periods such as weekends or to offer foster carers a rest
- Specialist short break - supporting children and families with complex needs, usually for 3 hours in the community, or overnight in their own homes
- Short-term foster care - providing care for several weeks up to two years
- Long-term foster care – providing a permanent home for a child
- Intensive foster care – providing full-time care for a child with high-level needs, with a specialist fee.
Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Inna Gardiner, said: “Our children urgently need foster carers. We have not seen a crisis like this in Fostering and Adoption for 10 years, which means that we need your help.
“I would urge any Islanders who can help to change a child’s life to get in touch with the fostering team or come along to one of our pop-ups over the summer. If you are considering becoming a foster carer, this is the perfect opportunity for you.
“I know it might seem like an intimidating prospect but there are different types of foster carers each with different time commitments. There is also a wealth of support, information, and advice if you choose to become a foster carer. I would encourage anyone who has ever thought about becoming a foster carer to get in touch and find out how we can best support you.”
The Fostering and Adoption website has been updated to make it easier for Islanders to access information about fostering and adoption and the team will continue to promote and recruit for the different types of foster carers over the coming months.
The fostering team will also be out in the community throughout the summer at the following pop-ups:
- Saturday 20 August, Millbrook Park, 2pm to 5pm
- Wednesday 24 August, Amaizin’ Adventure Park
- Saturday 27 August, Durrell Zoo
- Saturday 10 September, PRIDE
The fostering team invite Islanders to come along for an informal chat to learn more about fostering, or to start the application process. Islanders are also welcome to drop into Children’s Social Care in Liberte House for an informal chat.
Fostering and Adoption Jersey Team Manager, Sarah Wakeham, said: “When you become a foster carer you become part of the Fostering and Adoption team and we take your wellbeing and development very seriously. With this in mind, you will be fully supported in your role with an allocated social worker to offer supervision and guidance and you will also receive ongoing training, as well as financial support.
“As long as you are 21 or over, there is no upper age limit. Anyone who can offer a child a stable, nurturing, and supportive home is encouraged to apply regardless of your marital status, gender, or sexuality.
“Make the step today to change a child’s life by getting in touch or visiting gov.je/fosteringandadoption.”
Islanders can find out more information on gov.je/fosteringandadoption, or by calling the team on 01534 443970 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.