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Foster carers needed for unaccompanied and asylum-seeking children

Foster carers needed for unaccompanied and asylum-seeking children

20 January 2023
[ Zoom ]
A teddy walking alone through a field
A teddy walking alone through a field

Wokingham Borough Council is putting out a plea for families and individuals to come forward to foster those children who may feel that they are longer safe in their home country due to war, oppression and civil unrest which create situations in which many children may fear for their lives.

 

Children are fleeing these places, often alone and without any knowledge of England and its culture, and unable to speak the language.


Wendy's story


Wendy, is a foster carer for the council, explains her experience of welcoming an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child into her family:

 

“Our first placement after being accepted as foster carers was a 15-year-old boy, Hassan*, from Iran. He spoke no English apart from yes, no and thank you.

 

“This was a difficult time for us all but was particularly traumatic for Hassan who had been through a horrendous journey getting to England then placed in Kent, only to be moved on to Wokingham after only a few weeks.

 

“In the first week, I found a shop selling food he liked and made contact with some people that worked in a local barber’s shop who spoke Kurdish so that he had people to chat to and ask questions.

 

“Over a matter of months Hassan has shown to be one of the most respectful, polite boys you could ever wish to meet.  He is extremely clean and tidy; in the 16 months he has been with us I have never needed to clean his room as he keeps it spotless, he even cleans his bedroom window.  He is now settled at college, has made lots of friends and is speaking predominantly English.

 

“Hassan has really become part of our family, treating a 7-year-old girl we have more recently been placed with as a younger sister, buying her sweets, and giving her his spare coins.

 

“I would recommend anyone welcoming an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child into their home. Although there are cultural differences it has been an education for us and Hassan, expanding our knowledge of how others live, and it makes you appreciate the suffering and hardship other countries are subject to.”


As a foster carer with the council, you will receive:

  • Excellent training including a specialist 'therapeutic parenting' programme.
  • One to one and out of hours support
  • Local support groups and family activities
  • Council tax exemption
  • From £140 a week per child
  • Additional generous allowances for child’s living costs 
  • Additional amounts for summer activities, birthday, and Christmas costs

 


Help children feel safe, welcomed and settled


Councillor Prue Bray, executive member for children’s services, said: “Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are among the most vulnerable, having seen and experienced terrible things, making a journey on their own without knowing if they’ll ever see their family again and trying to find safety in a country where everything is new to them.

 

“We want to help these children feel safe, welcomed, and settled, and we are asking for your help to do that. We understand that fostering a child can have a big impact on people’s lives, so we offer a range of training, help and finance so that we can support you to support them.”

 

If you would like to find out more about fostering, please visit fostering.wokingham.gov.uk or email us at fostering@wokingham.gov.uk.

 

*Name has been changed to protect identity


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