Blog by David Roth, Fostering Senior Practitioner
Fostering an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker Child
Waltham Forest is a local authority which is taking its' share of responsibility for finding homes for children who arrive alone in the UK, to claim asylum because it is unsafe for them in their home country.
These children are mostly teenagers, and mostly boys. They have come from countries where there is war, persecution or other events that have put their lives at risk. Most of these young people were enjoying a good family life before the events that caused them to flee their home country.
We have found that generally speaking they know how to fit into a family and have good relationships with family members. However they may still be feeling the after-effects of living through traumatic events. Some have seen members of their family killed or arrested, or their own lives have been put at risk on the journey to the UK.
We are looking for foster carers who can offer a place in their home and in their heart to one of these young people. They all have the same basic needs as any child living away from their family - a loving home where they can feel safe and secure. As their foster carer you will need to help them adjust to a way of life that may be very different from the one they have known, and help them pick up or improve their English.
If this is the type of fostering you are interested in, you will get specialist support and advice, both while you are being prepared and assessed for the task, and after the young person comes to stay with you. If you would like to know more, please come along to one of our Information Evenings, apply online (form toward the bottom of this page) or phone 020 8496 3437 and speak to one of our Recruitment Officers.
Blog by Shada Panjabi, Hub Home Carer
On Friday 6 December, one month after the launch we had the first Mockingbird Hub home meeting with all the carers and their young people. It was a bit tense when the young people were placed together in a group. I took the lead and we did an ice breaking activity just asking everyone to introduce themselves and say something they enjoyed doing. It got people talking then it went quiet again. I asked the children to make a list of what they would like to do in future events. The children were left on their own and they started to interact and play games amongst themselves and sharing experiences. There was a physical divide between the children and the carers and some of the children did find it awkward to be with young people they did not know but that was expected in the first activity I feel the next one will be much more relaxed because the young people will know each other.
Overall I believe it went well, it's not easy attending events where you don't know anyone and all the young people made an effort to come and see what the Mockingbird project is about and the foster carers did a great job in preparing the young people to attend. I believe this is the beginning of an exciting journey we have all embarked on, let's see where it will lead us.
Read more about the Mockingbird project.