Kids going to university? Could this be the perfect time to consider becoming a foster carer?

  |  Published: Sep 9th 2015
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Whilst parents across Buckinghamshire are preparing for their children to leave home and make their first steps towards independent living at university, a leading independent fostering agency claim that becoming a foster carer is a natural transition for many parents once their own children have flown the nest.

Foster Care Associates (FCA), which has a regional office in Wendover, says that this stage in life could be an ideal opportunity for many parents to consider fostering - turning what to many is a feeling of emptiness into a positive experience, whilst making a huge difference to a young person’s life.

Commonly known as empty nest syndrome it describes the mixed emotions experienced by many parents when their children leave home – either to go to university or to move into their first flat or house.   With an estimated 8,370 new foster carers needed in 2015, FCA is keen to hear from experienced parents who may find that they now have the extra time and room to offer a secure and loving home a to a young person in need.

David Oldham, CEO of FCA, said: “Becoming a foster carer takes resilience, patience and understanding, something that parents of older teenagers have in spades, along with a wealth of life experience.  

“Although some parents view their children leaving home as a liberating time, many find it hard to suddenly have no children at home who need their care, and have a difficult time adjusting to an empty home – this is why we’d urge people to consider fostering.

We’ve been working with children and young people for 21 years and our experience shows that one-to-one support in a family setting is the best way to help children with a care background overcome their issues and deal with their past.  Our team of social care professionals work closely with our foster carers to deliver intensive, holistic support tailored to the individual needs of each young person and carer.”

Laura took the decision to become a foster carer with FCA after her son went to university two years ago.  She said:  “The house felt so much quieter once Luke left home, and also so much bigger.  I was used to a house full of rampaging teenagers and then it suddenly stopped!  

“I had a spare room, more time on my hands and was slightly better off financially so fostering seemed a natural progression from traditional parenthood.  It enabled me to help other young people who, through no fault have their own, have not had the secure and loving background my own son Luke has had.

“Of course it has its challenges however I wouldn’t want it any other way now!” 

For those parents who are only able to provide care during term time FCA offer short term fostering placements for children and young people who require temporary care. Often this is because their families are unable to look after them during a particular time. This could be because their parents or guardians are unwell, they’re unable to cope at that time, or the child is waiting to be adopted.

FCA provides ongoing comprehensive support to all foster carers including training, a financial allowance, access to carer support groups and organised family activities – all contributing factors as to why FCA placements are 22% more stable than the national average.

For more information on becoming a foster carer with FCA, and to find out more about their Finding Room to Foster campaign call 0800 022 4012 or visit www.thefca.co.uk

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