Seema Malhotra MP with Melba Grieves of the Hounslow Council Fostering Team
Seema Malhotra MP with Melba Grieves of the Hounslow Council Fostering Team

Feltham and Heston MP Seema Malhotra is calling on local people to volunteer to be foster carers, backing a campaign by Hounslow Council to increase help and support for vulnerable children across the borough.

Hounslow has more than 300 children and young people in care who are unable to live with their own family and the council wants to encourage more residents to consider coming forward to be foster carers, offering a young person support and a safe and supportive home.

Malhotra, speaking in a video message from the Polish Heritage Festival on Saturday, said there was a real need for more foster carers Hounslow.

“To give a child support and a home when they most need it can make a huge difference for the rest of their lives,” Malhotra said.

Melba Grieves of Hounslow’s Fostering Team said young people from all sorts of backgrounds were looking for foster care in Hounslow: “We are in need of foster carers who can offer caring, loving homes to vulnerable children of all nationalities and ethnicities, including unaccompanied asylum seekers.”

“In the last year, there has been a dramatic drop in foster carers across the country,” Grieves said.

Government figures show that there has been a significant fall in the number of foster places offered to young people in all regions on England in recent years. In the five years since 2019, the number of fostering households supported by local councils (excluding carers who are related to or friends of those in care) fell by more than 11 percent in England.

The Fostering Network has estimated that a further 6,000 fostering families are needed in England to ensure all fostered children can live with the right family for them.

The cost of living crisis has put pressure on millions of families and social workers say it has helped discourage some people from becoming foster carers.

But Hounslow’s Fostering Team says that looking after young people and offering them a stable home can be a rewarding and satisfying role.

Foster carers receive 24-hour support, regular training, and a generous allowance of up to £868.60 per fortnight per child, as well as a reduction in Council Tax while a young person is in their care.

To be considered as a foster carer, an applicant need have no previous experience of working with or have children of their own.

If you would be interested in fostering or would like more information, contact Hounslow Council Fostering team 0208 583 3426 and or look on the council’s website:
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