Charlotte Pearson children in residential care, Care
Sunday 6th March was Mother’s Day in the UK. Thousands of flowers and chocolates were purchased and given to mums; cards were written; various handmade items were produced at schools and nurseries all over the UK to give to special mums on the big day.
Some may have had breakfast in bed; some might have been cooked for; some might have been taken out for a meal; or even treated to a grand gift like a spa day. As a mum, for me it’s the handmade bits and bobs that the children are so proud of and the gorgeous little drawings they do each year at school that get put in the local paper with a little message, that always mean the most.
Many cuddles and kisses will have been received all over the UK on Sunday, from children wanting to show their mums just how much they love them.
Not all children will have been given the opportunity to show their mums how much they love them though and many will have spent Sunday without their mothers.
For children in the care system in Britain, Mother’s Day will have been very different. No kisses, no cuddles, no one to give a card or a gift to. Just a nothing day.
There are enough children in care in Britain to fill 3,095 classrooms (First News: March 2016), that is around 93,000 children. Can you even imagine how many that would look like if they were all stood together?
We know that there are all sorts of reasons that children end up in care but figures are steadily rising across Britain, without showing any signs of slowing down.
Alongside this, is a shortage of both fosters carers and those willing to adopt, meaning that too many children are going through childhood and then into young adulthood without that feeling of ‘family’ and without being nurtured in a loving environment.
The world is a scary and challenging place and having a caring adult to look after you is so important. Families come in different shapes and sizes but it’s the unconditional love that really matters to children.
There is a particular shortage of families willing to adopt children over the age of four and also a severe lack of families willing to adopt black and minority ethnic children, those with a disability and sibling groups (First News: March 2016). Are you aware of the particular pressures in your area? Do they mirror the ones mentioned here?
During Fostering and Adoption week back in January, Barnardo’s, the children’s charity put out a special plea for more foster carers, where they asked ordinary people to do something extraordinary and give a child a loving home.
Do you have any initiatives locally supporting this?
What are local authorities in your area doing to ensure more children can be given a loving home?
We would love to know!