Don’t be put off becoming foster carers because you have to move often or are frequently deployed. Military life needn’t be a barrier and many local authorities and agencies welcome applications from those in the armed forces.
Tracy Middleton is a fostering support worker for Wiltshire Council. She says: “We have many, wonderful military families who foster in Wiltshire. We invite applications from couples, individuals and families with children, who can offer a safe haven for our foster children.
“You would be responsible for their day-to-day care and all their educational, emotional, health and social needs. You would help the child keep in touch with their birth family and attend meetings to discuss their welfare and future plans. This could be an ideal career alternative for many people needing to juggle that work-life balance!”
Tracy recommends watching one of their regular information sessions to find out more – fosteringwiltshire.uk – or calling 0800 169 6321.
Nicola and Mark have been interested in becoming foster carers for some time and when they moved to Wiltshire, they were happy to discover that the council accepted applications from military families.
They were impressed at how quick the process has been. They began in May and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, underwent online training, with the support of regular visits from their social worker.
After recently being promoted, Mark has informed his chain of command about his intention to be a foster carer. “I’ve now been assigned to the same location for three years, so we’re able to continue with the fostering process,” he explains.
Mark also felt that he would have liked to hear from other military foster carers to get some idea of who to contact, what fostering involved and the support available. “Developing an army fostering network could help others and provide a safe place to share experiences and information,” he adds.
If you would be interested in setting up a fostering network or are happy to share your experiences, contact AFF’s health & additional needs specialist, Karen Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org