A young woman who has spent most of her life in foster care wants to change the way foster carers are recruited to stop the process becoming too ‘business’ focused.
Nancy Jones (21), from the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, has been fostered since she was a little over one-year-old.
But Nancy does not feel that foster care is always advertised appropriately as some adverts miss the important attributes carers need, such as support for the long term educational needs of a foster child, integration into the family they are staying with, and love, honesty and decency.
Nancy, who now works with young people and supports them with independent living skills, is creating an alternative advertising campaign to promote the real values foster carers need.
“The experience of the children who have been fostered is not used directly in advertising and recruitment campaigns,” said Nancy.
“This is wrong as not only does this miss the valuable qualities which are needed to define a foster carer, but it may encourage potential foster carers to become involved for the wrong reasons.
“Being a foster carer is stressful, and the carer needs to consider a whole range of things before fostering.
"This is why focusing on what children need from foster carers is useful – it allows the child to be heard, gives a greater indication of what to expect in the fostering system, and prevents the wrong kind of foster parent from entering the system.”
After the completion of the poster campaign, Nancy hopes to display her adverts across Kent.