With more than half of Britons intending to make changes to their careers because of the coronavirus pandemic, a national social enterprise is calling on people across Exeter to consider ‘a rewarding career in fostering’.
The UK is currently undergoing a substantial career assessment following the coronavirus pandemic, in what many economists are calling ‘The Great Resignation’. A recent report has found 60% of people intend to make changes to their career as a result of the pandemic and a quarter of respondents plan to move jobs within three to six months.
With over 35% of people feeling unsatisfied in their current jobs, and 20% of people planning to switch to a career that helps others , it’s clear the pandemic has made people re-evaluate and rethink their lives, both at work and at home.
Five Rivers Child Care, which has a local office and foster carers across Exeter, is encouraging those who are thinking about switching careers to something more rewarding and meaningful, to consider applying to foster a child or young person.
The number of children needing foster care in the UK has risen by 36% in the last year . And with more children and young people in need of a loving and safe home, fostering can provide the job stability and flexibility, which people are valuing more, post-pandemic. It’s a vocation which can be done from home and is suitable for singletons, couples and families alike.
Five Rivers Child Care is looking for individuals, couples and families from all backgrounds across Exeter who may be interested in foster care. There are a number of fostering roles available that vary in terms of length of commitment including:
Long-term foster carers – Carers who can provide comfort and stability to children and young adults who are unable to live with their families. Depending on individual circumstances, children and young adults can remain with long-term carers until the age of 18 or when they are able to live independently.
Short-term foster carers - This can apply to an overnight stay or a period of a few months and is used when children or young people require time away from their birth families or existing care support.
Emergency foster carers – Emergency foster carers help bridge the gap between foster placements or reunification with friends, family or returning home.
Sibling group foster carers – Five Rivers Child Care aims to keep all sibling groups together where possible and is currently looking for more foster carers who have the space, time and resources available to be able to look after sibling groups.
Parent and child fostering – Parent and child fostering involves fostering a new parent and their young baby to help develop and assess their parenting skills.
Specialist fostering - If you have previous experience working with children with specific care requirements, be they special educational needs, medical needs or significant behavioural challenges, you could be perfectly suited to specialist fostering.
Commenting on the current need for foster carers across Exeter, Martin Leitch, head of fostering operations at Five Rivers Child Care, said: “The pandemic has changed how people want to live their lives and has reminded us that life is too short to not do something you love. And with more people inspired by the pandemic, there is a renewed sense of life to help others and to be in a job that feels rewarding.
“We currently have a network of incredible foster carers across Exeter, but we’re looking for more people who have the potential to become great foster carers to support the rising number of children and young people taken into care.
“We’d like to encourage caring individuals, who may be revaluating their career situation because of the coronavirus pandemic, to consider a rewarding career in fostering.
“Fostering offers flexible working, a competitive fostering allowance and the comfort of working from home. There is no need for previous experience, and you may find that you have transferable skills from current or past employment that will be invaluable to you as a foster carer. We offer 24/7 support from qualified and experienced staff and a wide range of specialist training.
“We’re keen to hear from people who are nurturing, compassionate and enjoy supporting others, as well as anyone who has questions about fostering and the variety of roles available.”
People from across Exeter, from all backgrounds and communities can be considered to become foster carers but they must be over 21 years of age. This includes single people, co-habiting couples, LGBTQ+ couples and people living in rented accommodation. You will need a spare room for each foster child.
You can find out more about fostering with Five Rivers Child Care by attending a virtual event. Visit: www.five-rivers.org/fostering/events/ to see all upcoming dates and book a place. The next virtual events will take place over Zoom on Wednesday, 19 January at 7pm and Wednesday, 26 January at 11am.