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Former foster carers urged to return during coronavirus crisis

01 April 2020

Brighter Futures for Children, which delivers children’s services in Reading, is putting out a call to former foster carers in the borough to re-register amid concerns the coronavirus epidemic could lead to a shortage of adult carers to look after vulnerable children.

Existing foster carers with Brighter Futures for Children’s Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) are also being asking if they would consider looking after more children than usual during this difficult period.

The appeal for help is in response to national concerns, shared by Brighter Futures for Children, that children and young people spending more time in unstable family situations, due to Covid-19 measures, may need to come into care.

Also, some existing foster carers, including family and friends carers, may become ill or need to self-isolate and be unable to look after their foster children.

The aim is to try to widen its foster care network across the board.

The IFA is writing to all former foster carers who have given up fostering in the last two years to ask if they would consider returning. These are carers who may have been registered with Brighter Futures for Children’s IFA or with Reading Borough Council before that. The service was transferred to Brighter Futures for Children in March 2019 and became an IFA at that time.

Re-registering would be carried out as quickly as possible and a great support network is on offer to all foster carers.

The service is also keen to hear from anyone who is interested in finding out more about becoming a foster carer.

The Brighter Futures for Children IFA is continually improving the service offered to foster carers and the children and young people who rely on it, as demonstrated by its recently improved Ofsted rating.

Tony Kildare, Brighter Futures for Children’s Managing Director, said: “We believe we have a robust and resilient business continuity plan to see us through this period but we want to widen our foster care network across the board. We need the Reading community to help us with this.

“Our foster carers do an amazing job and we are asking if they could go even further and take on more children than usual. We would also love to welcome back any former foster carers who could offer their help in these difficult times.

“Brighter Futures for Children IFA is committed to offering the best possible support to our foster carers to ensure they can continue to look after Reading children locally during this unsettling period.”

Biri Yaya, Fostering Service Manager at Brighter Futures for Children’s Independent Fostering Agency said: “We are committed to ensuring that all of our children and young people across Reading are safe and well in a caring home during these tough times.

‘It’s sad but inevitable that more children will come into care over the coming weeks and months and we are planning and preparing for that and hope that we can welcome back former foster carers and encourage potential new carers.”

Former foster carers should call 0118 469 3020 or email foster@brighterfuturesforchildren.org.

Anyone interested in foster care should call 0118 469 3020 or complete the online form at: https://www.readingfostering.co.uk/

Notes to editors

In December 2018, Brighter Futures for Children was established to deliver children’s social care, early help and education on behalf of Reading Borough Council. As a company it is independent of, but wholly owned by, Reading Borough Council. Within this, Brighter Futures for Children’s Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) was established in March 2019.