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03 June 2013

Father's Day call for more foster carers

Father's Day call for more foster carers

Sports star Kriss Akabusi has got behind the Alliance's Home for Good campaign and as Father's Day approaches, he is encouraging more Christian men to consider becoming foster carers.

As churches up and down the country prepare to celebrate Father's Day on 16 June, the Home for Good campaign – run by the Alliance, Care for the Family and the CCPAS (the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service) - hopes churches will use the opportunity to celebrate foster carers and encourage others to consider fostering.

It seems that men often need extra encouragement to consider fostering, so the Alliance has produced two short videos to enable churches to encourage more men.

The first features Kriss Akabusi, the gold medal-winning athlete, who spent much of his childhood in and out of children's homes.

He was interviewed about the campaign in the grounds of the MK Dons' football stadium, which seats 9,000 – powerfully representing the 9,000 further foster carers desperately needed in the UK.

"I urge you to consider carefully becoming a foster parent," said Kriss. "If it is right for you, you could be the love that a child has never known."

Every day more than 50 children are taken into care in the UK. They are removed from chaotic, traumatic, abusive, neglectful or desperate situations. Some of them need a home in an emergency. Some of them need a temporary home until they can return to their families. Some of them need an occasional home to give their families a break. Some of them need a permanent home with a new forever family.

The Church is uniquely placed to offer its help to meet this need. As a large social network with involvement of large numbers of families, the Church is fertile soil for recruitment. Once carers have been through the full process of assessment, the Church could also provide an excellent community of support to wrap around families who are adopting or fostering children.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has become the latest high-profile person to back the Home for Good campaign.

"I am delighted to commend Home for Good and to encourage churches to play their part in finding homes for children waiting in care," the archbishop said. "We need to help church communities care for families who can give a child in need a home for good."

The second video features Krish Kandiah, the Alliance's executive director: churches in mission, talking about his experience of being a foster carer and urges men to take up the challenge. He said: "From the hundreds of conversations I've had it seems that men are often the brakes in a couple when fostering is being considered.

"We don't certainly don't want to belittle their concerns – fostering is hard work. However, we want to inspire them, and ask them to think about taking up the challenge of becoming a foster carer."

You can view the videos here on the Home for Good website.

Image by Purpix Photography