The Children and Education Minister is urging islanders to come forward to help change a child's life - after revealing that Jersey is facing its biggest foster care crisis in a decade.
A major island-wide appeal has been launched to make people aware of the foster care shortage in Jersey and how they can apply.
You have to be at least 21 to become a foster carer. There is no upper age limit.
Different kinds of foster carers are needed - ranging from short to long-term care:
- 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 three 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.
Every foster carer is offered financial and emotional support.
Deputy Inna Gardiner says 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."
Pop-ups are taking place at:
- Millbrook Park on Saturday 20 August between 2pm and 5pm.
- Amaizin' Adventure Park on Wednesday 24 August.
- Durrell Zoo on Saturday 27 August.
- PRIDE on Saturday 10 September.
People who are interested can also drop into Children's Social Care at Liberte House.
More information about fostering and adopting can be found here.
Fostering and Adoption Jersey Team Manager, Sarah Wakeham, is urging islanders to make the step today to change a child's life.
“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."
The government has run several campaigns to try and recruit more foster carers.
A foster mum fronted one earlier this year to try and encourage more islanders to think about opening their homes to vulnerable children.