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Diversity the key as Havering seeks more foster carers

Joy Hollister Joy Hollister

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
2:30 PM

Havering children in care need fosterers from a vast number of different backgrounds.

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That’s the view of Joy Hollister, Havering’s group director for children, adults and housing.

In the latest article backing the council’s push to sign up more fosterers - especially for teenagers - Miss Hollister says there is no right or wrong person who can foster a child because of the variety of backgrounds their children come from.

“Children taken into care need to be protected for a number of different reasons,” she explained.

“They can be massively diverse and we have children from massively different backgrounds.

“It’s crucial that we match the right foster carer with the right child. It helps both sides if we understand what we’re facing.”

Miss Hollister added that the council are not just interested in the “classic cultural match.”

They consider other factors such as the experience of the foster carer, the experiences the child has gone through and location.

And signing up to the fostering register can also help put some useful money in your pocket.

For each child up to four years old, you get £161 a week which increases as they get older. For 11 to 15 year olds the sum is £226 a week, rising to £278 for 16 and 17 year olds.

Miss Hollister said: “There are financial rewards as well as emotional.

“This might have been something that you’d never thought of doing but have more times on your hands if you’ve been made redundant or unemployed.

“We also help out with birthday presents and things like holidays. You won’t be left out of pocket.”

Miss Hollister also backed legislation due to be passed which will see the age young people are fostered until rise to 21.

She said “Some aren’t ready to go out on their own at 18. You wouldn’t throw your own child out at that age, so why should foster children be any different especially with what some of them have been through?

“They could be going to university or going through apprenticeships and still need support.”

Havering Council is putting on a second presentation on the subject on Thursday (March 27).

Members of the public can meet the team at Romford Town Hall in Main Road tonight and Thursday, March 27, from 6.30pm to 8pm, to ask any questions about fostering they might have.

Visit www.havering.gov.uk for more details.

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