National call for foster carers - can you help?
Across the UK, calls are being made for foster carers to help look after young asylum seekers, and Gloucestershire is now looking to do its part to help the national campaign.
Most young, unaccompanied asylum seekers have arrived in the country through the southern counties, particularly Kent, and the government is asking other authorities to share the responsibility for providing a safe place for them to stay until their asylum claims are completed. The young people are being dispersed on a regional basis and Gloucestershire is part of the South West region.
On Wednesday 21st September, Gloucestershire County Council will be holding an information evening at Maisemore Village Hall from 7pm to 9pm for anyone who is interested in finding out more about fostering, particularly fostering young asylum seekers.
A social worker, an experienced foster carer and a young asylum seeker who has been fostered in Gloucestershire will be the at information evening to explain the process of becoming a foster carer. There will also be a chance to ask questions about fostering.
The young people needing a foster home will be largely male, from 15 to 17 years of age and from a wide range of countries. They will not be part of the Syrian resettlement that the government announced some time ago.
There are currently 21 young, unaccompanied asylum seekers in foster care in Gloucestershire. Sixty per cent are from Afghanistan and 20 per cent are from Iran. The rest are from a range of other countries.
Foster carers will need to provide the young people with a culturally-sensitive home where they can be helped to adjust to life in the UK, to overcome any trauma they may have experienced and to practice their religion.
In order to become a foster carer, you need to be over 21 and have a spare room.
Cllr Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people, said, "These young people have gone through a great deal and I know there are people in Gloucestershire who would like to help them.
"The information evening will provide you with information about how you can do this by becoming foster carers and giving them a stable and supportive home."
If you are interested in attending the information evening, please contact the fostering recruitment team on 01242 532654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.