Children and young people face a brighter future after nearly 70 Hampshire families sign up to become foster carers. But more homes are needed.

Nearly 70 new families have been welcomed to Hampshire County Council’s fostering community, helping to give children and young people in care a brighter, loving, stable and secure start in life – but the campaign to encourage even more new families to come forward still goes on.

Aug 11 2023

There is currently an urgent need to provide Hampshire foster homes for children, from babies through to teenagers, children seeking asylum, sibling groups and children with additional needs or disabilities. Every 12 hours, another child comes into care and is in need of a foster carer in Hampshire.

Following the launch of a dedicated Hampshire campaign last year to find and recruit 150 new foster homes by the end of 2023, asking Hampshire residents to open their door to a child in care, around 70 fantastic families have joined the county’s growing foster care community. Each extra home will help the County Council to identify the most appropriate accommodation for the children coming into care.

Councillor Edward Heron, the County Council’s Cabinet Lead for Children’s Services, said: “We warmly welcome all the new foster families who have joined us across Hampshire. However, with a target of 150 families still to reach we are still looking for a further 80 or so, Hampshire homes to open their doors to foster children by the end of this year.

“The work of our foster carers across Hampshire is crucial and the support they provide is second to none – making a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people. I would encourage anyone considering joining our fostering family in Hampshire to get in touch and help change a young life for the better.”

Hampshire County Council is dedicated to making the county an even better place for children and young people where all, including those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged, have the best possible start in life and are supported by the whole community to succeed.

Foster carer John, from Hedge End, explained what it means to him to be a foster carer: “Fostering has been an amazingly fulfilling experience and it has been a privilege to help change the lives of vulnerable young people, so I'm delighted to see more inspiring and dedicated people stepping forward as potential foster carers in Hampshire.”

The County Council’s #OpenYourDoor campaign, which launched in August 2022, highlights how easy it is for anyone to become a foster carer:

There are different types of fostering arrangements people can do – from full-time to more flexible options that fit around home and work-life commitments.

Training is provided every step of the way, to support skills and confidence, together with an allowance for each child or young person in foster care, to cover the day-to-day costs of caring for them.

Anyone of any age can become a foster carer. Applications are welcomed from people aged 21 and above, to make the most of the valuable experience and insight every age group can bring.

Background, ethnicity, religion, relationship status or sexuality are no barrier either. Applications are encouraged from anyone who would like to help make positive changes within their local community.

However, prospective foster carers do need to have a spare room in their home as it is important for children and young people to have their own space.  

If you have the capacity and capability to build new relationships, learn about other cultures and offer stability, kindness and care to a young person at the time it’s needed most, you could be among the 80 new foster homes desperately needed in Hampshire.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer, visit the Fostering Hampshire Children website and download an information pack, or call the team on 01489 587052.