Christians in Bristol are being called on to help fill the shortage of foster carers in the city.
In 2017-18 over 900 children and young people spent time in care in Bristol. Some came into care for the first time, the majority due to neglect or abuse. For others already in care, they were living with uncertainty, not knowing whether they would they be able to return home, or whether their long-term foster family or adoptive family would be found.
Whatever their circumstances, every single one of these children and young people will have experienced trauma and loss, and is in need of a safe, stable and loving home.
Bristol is having to place a growing number of children further away from the city due to lack of foster placements locally, increasing the likelihood that they will have to move schools and travel further to see family and friends, causing even more disruption and difficulty at a time when they need consistency and support.
Home for Good, Mllers and Christian Action Bristol are working together in 2019 to find 30 new foster carers for Bristol City Council. They are calling on all Christians in Bristol to consider what they can do.
Will you foster?
Will you put yourself forward to be approved to open your home to a child or siblings in need? This could be for a few days, weeks, months or even years. It will not be easy, but for such vulnerable children, the love, care and security you offer could make all the difference.
Will you be a support carer?
Will you enable someone else to foster by committing to support an individual or family in your church, becoming a foster auntie or uncle so that they can step forward and be assured that you will help them to meet the challenges of caring?
Will you make your church a place of welcome for children and the families who care for them?
Will you host a Foundations Course, have a Home for Good speaker, or set up a stay and play support group? Could your church host a Home for Good meal? Will you encourage your church to review its policies and procedures to make sure that they account for some of the challenges that looked after children face?
To raise awareness of the need, Home for Good has produced a short film it is hoping that churches will show/speak about on Fathers Day (16 June). The film and resource pack can be downloaded from the Home for Good website.