So, you think you could be a foster carer…?  Well, you probably could!

Hilary, one of our experienced social workers, has been working with Brighter Futures for Children IFA (and the Fostering Service at Reading Borough Council as it was previously) for more than 20 years. She works in the recruitment and assessment team to take new foster carer applicants through the assessment process to become a newly approved carer.

Hilary is passionate about finding the right foster carers to look after our vulnerable children. Hear from her about what she’s looking for in an enquirer:

‘We need carers from all walks of life, who have a desire and the commitment to make a difference to some of Reading’s children of all ages, who are finding life difficult.

‘We look for people to have childcare experience. This may because you have raised your own and feel you could offer something to a child in need. Or if you have experience of caring for other people’s children, either in a personal or professional capacity, then that would be a bonus.

‘You will definitely need to have a spare bedroom, and a car would be useful as our carers take our children to and from their schools and to see their families.

‘Our carers need to be able to work alongside a team of professionals and birth families in the best interests of the child. A sense of humour helps, along with a flexible approach and resilience.

‘Importantly, carers need to be able to understand and connect with children and young people who may be struggling with areas in their lives, due to their past experiences and stick by them. Our carers need to be able to help a child feel safe and loved, whilst plans are made for their futures, and have the time and desire to commit to this challenging and rewarding role.

‘Our need for all sorts of foster carers is constantly growing – it doesn’t matter if you are single, in a partnership, older, younger, or in rented accommodation we would love to hear from you.’