Foster carers in Oxfordshire wanted by Nexus Fostering
With thousands of foster carers needed every year, independent fostering agency Nexus Fostering is encouraging individuals and families across Oxfordshire to consider a career in fostering to help local vulnerable young people.
There are currently around 44,500 foster families in England, according the Fostering Network, but there is still a need for more, with an increasing number of vulnerable children coming into care in the UK.
Nexus foster carer Kim has been a respite carer for five years, which involves looking after a child on a short-term basis. She started working with Nexus, and is thoroughly enjoying her role as a respite foster carer.
“Over the years I have developed skills and understanding that have enabled me to build strong relationships with the children I care for,” Kim said.
“As well as a passion for making a difference to the children’s lives, you need to be able to adapt for each child, and be a good listener. It is about giving them your time and energy and making them feel safe.
“I am always led by the interests of the children.”
Kim’s birth daughter has also been of huge support during her fostering journey.
Nexus Fostering is looking for more foster carers, and encouraging residents across the region to consider fostering to meet the growing demand for children and young people in need of a loving home.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the number of children needing foster care, and has been a challenging time for all those involved.
The organisation understands that every child is different and there are several opportunities for fostering including siblings, teenagers, respite, parent and child as well as carers to work with young people with more complex needs.
A positive environment
While sharing her story with us, Kim gave us an insight into what it’s like to be a foster carer.
“I feel that I provide a positive environment for any child that stays with me. It is totally personalised, including little details such as the pictures I put in the bedroom.
“The activities I plan are child-focused, based upon what the child would like to do. I had one child with additional needs who loved pedestrian crossings and buses. We would walk to the local pedestrian crossing at least once if not twice a day, and travel on buses as well as bus spotting.
“All activities are recorded with photographs and memorabilia, which I put in a scrap book for them to take away, to remind them of happy memories.”
She added: “My first bit of advice to anyone considering foster care would be to do it because you want to make a difference to these children’s lives, and no other reason.”
“We would encourage anyone to consider just how rewarding a career in fostering can be,” explained Peter Norman, recruitment manager for Nexus Fostering. “You truly are helping to shape and change the lives of vulnerable young people. Becoming a foster carer is important to enable these children to grow and flourish into independent, well-rounded adults, providing them with the security to be themselves and the experience of being carefree.
“Nexus Fostering offer outstanding support, with help available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for our carers. We will also support our carers through training, with no specific qualification needed for fostering. Our training programmes are tailored and personalised to reflect the needs of the children you are looking after.
“If you are a nurturing, compassionate, patient and understanding person who enjoys caring and supporting others, or if you have any questions about fostering and the variety of roles available, then we would love to hear from you.”
For more information about starting your new career and becoming a foster carer with Nexus Fostering, visit www.nexusfostering.co.uk or give them a call on 0800 389 0143.