Morley residents are being given the chance to house a refugee child by a Gildersome foster agency.
Foster Care Associates is looking for homes for young, unaccompanied asylum seekers from war zones including Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Local authorties have a legal responsibility to care for under-18s who arrive in the country without parents or guardians, but they face a shortage of fosterers. The company is now asking local people with a spare bedroom to volunteer their services
“At FCA we have a strong heritage of working with sanctuary-seeking children from many countries and religious backgrounds. These children and young people are often extremely traumatised after a dangerous and long journey. As a society we have a legal, and more importantly moral, obligation to care for them and they should not be viewed as just a statistic,” said the agency’s Lynn Webb.
“We believe that fostering is a positive alternative to a residential unit or supported accommodation while the child or young person is seeking refugee status. Fostering will also give them the best possible opportunity to live and be part of a new community in the UK. We urgently require specialist foster carers who can provide the security and stability that these children and young people need, whilst helping them to adjust to their lives in a new country.”
They are also hoping that people from a range of cultures, who may speak the same languages as the children and may even have arrived themselves as asylum seekers, will help out.
“As a specialist foster carer you’ll need to support the young person in developing their English language skills, understanding local customs and attending appointments with solicitors, the UK Border Agency and other immigration agencies,” added Lynn.
Foster carers receive frequent visits and contact from a qualified social worker. Support is also provided through an education officer, support workers and therapist to help carers. Ongoing training, a financial allowance, access to carer support groups and organised family activities are all provided. For more information call 0800 022 4012 or enquire online at www.thefca.co.uk.