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Research reveals English towns where people are the most Caring

Martin Leitch, Head of Fostering Operations, writes: We at Five Rivers have been keeping up a campaign to highlight and counteract the widespread misconceptions that hinder our recruitment of foster carers. In our latest research into people‘s attitudes,  we asked people if they had fostered, or considered fostering a child. At the same time, we inquired whether they knew that fostering is a paid profession.

It’s really interesting to look at the country’s view on fostering as a whole and compare views on a city by city basis and it’s encouraging to see that so many people are receptive to the idea of fostering: for example, the number one city with residents most likely to foster is Hull. Here, an amazing 78% of the residents we asked said that they had or are considering fostering a child, despite the fact that only one third are aware that fostering is a paid profession!

This was followed by Oxford in second place at 76%, Derby in third at 64% , Southampton, fourth with 60% and Bristol, fifth with 60%.

One of the key challenges we, and the fostering industry as a whole, are facing is the ongoing misunderstanding of who can be a foster carer and the career benefits it offers.

Despite the majority of Hull residents saying they had thought or are thinking about fostering, almost half of those surveyed had misconceptions about who is allowed to foster: for example forty-four per cent thought that those in rented accommodation, those without children of their own and those from LGBT communities are not eligible to be foster carers.

Actually, people from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age, including single people, cohabiting couples, same-sex couples and people living in rented accommodation.

Providing you have a spare room and you’re over the age of 21, then you could be eligible to foster. It’s an outdated belief that foster carers need to own their own property, have children of their own and foster as a couple – this is simply not the case any more.

We believe that everyone could have the potential to be an amazing foster carer and every vulnerable younger person deserves the chance to find their perfect foster carer!

To find out more about the benefits of a career in foster care such as the competitive rates of pay and flexible working from your own home, please read our FAQs.

If you’d like to get in touch, call us, Five Rivers Child Care recruitment and selection on 0345 266 0272 or visit our Fostering page to order an information pack

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