When every door is closing on a child, can you open yours?
Children deserve to feel safe. They deserve to be cared for. They deserve the opportunity to work towards achieving their potential. They deserve to be happy. They deserve to have a stable home.
While we have been working hard to reduce the number of children coming into care through sector-leading transformation programmes, in Hampshire the gap between the number of children needing a loving home, and the number of Foster Carers available, continues to widen.
In response and to close the gap, Fostering Hampshire Children have launched our #OpenYourDoor campaign. Dedicated to discovering these new foster carers across the county in 2022 and 2023, our campaign works with local communities across Hampshire to galvanise local residents to help support vulnerable children who need our help.
With a spare bedroom, patience, resilience, open-mindedness and positivity, you could begin your journey to foster a child today.
Since 2018, the number of children in the care of Hampshire County Council has grown by over 200 and is still rising. Meanwhile, the number of fostering households in the county has plateaued. The numbers just aren’t adding up anymore and the need for more Foster Carers is becoming increasingly urgent. We now need an additional 150 fostering households by the end of 2023.
Many of our Foster Carers are in their 50s, 60s or 70s. There’s no upper age limit on fostering and these knowledgeable and experienced carers are providing loving homes for some of the county’s most vulnerable children. Inevitably though, there will come a time when these carers are thinking about retirement and need to hand the baton over. As of March 2021, Foster Carers in their 20s and 30s accounted for 13% of all Foster Carers in England (National Statistics ‘Fostering in England 2020-2021', 2021) although this number is increasing as more young people are realising, they too have the skills and values to change lives and we hope that continues!
Our Foster Carers are a wonderful group of people from a range of backgrounds, who come together to support each other and the most vulnerable children in Hampshire through the bad times and the good.
Fostering isn't always easy..
Fostering isn’t always easy, there are challenges to overcome and difficult days, but it’s also a chance to build new relationships, learn about other cultures and offer stability to a young person at the time it’s needed most. The support and training opportunities provided by Hampshire County Council are excellent, and the peer-to-peer support networks are second to none.
Our doors are open to all enquiries - you don’t need to own your home or be in a long-term relationship. You do need to be over 21, but sexuality and ethnicity don’t matter. You don’t have to do it as a ‘full-time job,’ and you certainly don’t need to be ‘practically perfect in every way.’
We’re looking for ordinary people who want to help make positive changes within our community, across the county.
As part of the campaign, Fostering Hampshire Children are proud to be working in partnership with some amazing organisations, charities and local businesses. These partnerships provide opportunities for community engagement, access to specialist support networks, and cultural and literacy training for existing foster carers, prospective foster carers and professionals alike. Additionally, it is thanks to these partnerships and support offered that we create and pursue opportunities for foster children to learn, experience and explore.
Collectively, Fostering Hampshire Children and our partners offer our thanks to all foster carers for supporting Hampshire’s most vulnerable children.
Home For Good
“Home for Good believes that we all have a part to play to ensure that every child and young person has the home they need. Home for Good works to mobilise the Church in the UK to respond to the needs of vulnerable children through families stepping forward to foster, adopt or provide supported lodgings for teenagers and churches wrapping around families with support, and to influence wider society through advocacy and engagement to create systemic change.”
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Enquiry team: 0300 001 0995
My Foster Family
“My Foster Family is a bespoke recruitment organisation and training specialist service designed to help ethnic minority families in England looking to begin their own journey in fostering.”
My Foster Family supports the recruitment of foster carers within the local Muslim communities through community engagement and events, and faith and cultural support for foster carers, offering cultural and literacy training, educational gift boxes for religious occasions, and a network of Muslim foster carers.
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Phone: 0208 935 5095Email: email@example.com
Hampshire Cultural Trust
Hampshire Cultural Trust run a huge variety of workshops, classes, events and projects for both young and old, in schools and in communities, with particular emphasis on reaching people who are vulnerable or disadvantaged and would not normally be able to access arts and culture. From museums to galleries to arts centres, we manage and support 23 attractions across the county that were previously operated by Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council.
Phone: 01962 678140
“Beaulieu is an award-winning family visitor attraction at the heart of the New Forest National Park operated by Beaulieu Enterprises Ltd. There are over 800 years of heritage to be seen on the Beaulieu Estate, which has been in the ownership of the Montagu family for over four centuries.”
The National Motor Museum boasts a world-famous collection of vehicles and associated motoring archives. Beaulieu Enterprises Ltd is also the operational custodian of Beaulieu’s sister attraction Buckler’s Hard.
Address: Beaulieu, New Forest, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN
Telephone: 01590 612345
Opening Times: 28th May – 11th Sept 10am – 6pm, All other times 10am – 5pm (closed Christmas Day)
“A visit to Marwell Zoo is a chance to get close to the wonders of the natural world. In addition to wonderful animal encounters, Marwell offers wide open spaces, animal walk-throughs, adventure playgrounds, and a variety of cafes and shops to help you make the most of your visit.”
Address: Marwell Wildlife, Thompsons Lane, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1JH
Phone: 01962 777407
Opening Times: Explore our zoo all year round (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day). Open from 10am every day and last entry is 90 minutes before the site closes.
HCC – CCBS: Countryside Service
Website: Enjoy Hampshire's countryside
Hampshire’s country parks and nature reserves offer fun days out and things to do for all the family, with picnic sites, visitor centres, play areas, nature trails and plenty of fresh air.
Sites include: Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Royal Victoria Country Park, Lepe Country Park, Titchfield Haven, River Hamble Country Park, Manor Farm, Staunton Farm and Staunton Country Park.
Many of the country parks are open all day every day and are free to visit (parking charges apply)
HCC – CCBS: Sir Harold Hilliers Gardens
Website: Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
“The award-winning Sir Harold Hillier Gardens specialises in horticulture, conservation, education and recreation. Outstanding features include the splendour of the seasonal planting displays set in 180 acres, with over 42,000 trees and shrubs.
There are numerous places to eat, with the Garden Restaurant, the Courtyard Café and the Tilia Tree Café to choose from, all made with fresh and locally sourced seasonal ingredients.
The Gardens are full of exciting places to explore and play in and amongst nature. There’s something here for the whole family to enjoy!”
Address: Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Ampfield Nr Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0QA
Phone: 01794 368787
Opening Times: April – October 10am – 6pm, November – March 10am – 5pm, Christmas Eve 10am – 4pm, Closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day
HCC – CCBS: Library Service
Website: Hampshire Library Service
With 40 sites across Hampshire, the Library Service offers access to learning, support and resources for all. Hampshire libraries offer free WiFi in all libraries, and access to computers and printing services. There are also numerous events and learning opportunities as well as study spaces and room hire for classes or meetings.
HCC – CCBS: Outdoor Activity Centres
Website: Hampshire Outdoor Centres
“Hampshire Outdoor Centres is a leading provider of outdoor education and recreational facilities both in Hampshire and beyond. Each of our centres offers a range of adventurous activities, comfortable accommodation, and stunning locations for all to explore and enjoy. Whether you're looking for tranquil woodland, a scenic national park or a seaside escape, our centres offer endless opportunities for adventure or relaxation.”
Calshot Activities Centre: We offer a wide range of exciting water and land-based activities for all ages and abilities. Our historic hangars accommodate the tallest climbing wall in the South, an indoor velodrome, dry slope and so much more. With beautiful beaches, views of the Isle of Wight and instant access to both sheltered and more challenging waters – our unique location, experienced instructors and high-quality equipment means we’re the perfect place for everyone to make the most of the open water.
Address: Calshot Spit, Fawley, Southampton, SO45 1BR
Phone: 02380 892077
Runway’s End Outdoor Centre: Our first carbon neutral site, Runway’s End sits beside the Basingstoke Canal and boasts a wide range of environmental and adventure activities on land and water. Nestled in the tranquil woodlands of north Hampshire, between Farnborough and Aldershot the site offers a range of accommodation, from traditional camping to heated camping pods, or the use of our fully equipped lodge house.
Address: 1 Laffan’s Road, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 2RE
Phone: 01252 344421Tile Barn Outdoor Centre: Tile Barn provides an exciting range of adventure activities where you can scale our climbing tower or try your hand at archery, mountain biking and much more.
Address: Church Lane, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7UB
Phone: 01590 623160
The Mayflower Theatre & MAST Studios
The Mayflower Theatre is the biggest theatre on the south-coast. With just over 2270 seats in the auditorium, The Mayflower Theatre presents a mixture of spectacular touring performances, from musicals to dance, opera, drama, ballet and comedy.
Community-led, with engagement and consultation at the heart of everything they do, The MAST Studios is a multi-art form cultural hub presenting and producing theatre, dance, musicals, music, comedy, circus, cabaret, spoken word, visual arts and family shows.
Address: The Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 1GE / The MAST Studios, 142-144 Above Bar Street, Southampton, Hampshire, SO14 7DU
Phone: The Mayflower Box Office – 02380 711811 / The MAST Box Office – 02380 711833
Paultons is the UK’s Number 1 Family Theme Park - with over 70 exciting rides and attractions, set within 140 acres of beautiful parkland on the edge of the New Forest National Park. Paultons is also home of the UK's only Peppa Pig World with 9 fun Peppa-themed rides, great for an amazing day out with the kids. Enjoy roller coasters, thrill rides, family rides, indoor and outdoor play areas, water splash parks, entertainments and an astonishing collection of birds and animals at our amusement park.
Address: Paultons Park, Ower, Romsey, The New Forest, Hampshire, SO51 6AL
Phone: 023 8081 4442
Support the campaign
We need your help today. Support our campaign by sharing it across your social media channels, telling your friends and family about us or even reaching out directly about providing stability to a Hampshire child today.
If you have ideas of how we can find more foster carers in Hampshire or want to work in partnership with us to reach our target by the end of 2023, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org