Child abuse; the Highest Reasons for Vulnerable Children in Care.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Child abuse is the highest reason for vulnerable children in care, with 39% ten years old and above. Sadly, older children are often labelled as ‘children who may display challenging behaviour;’ as a result, these children are harder to place with foster carers who are willing to take a chance on them.

Many of these older children and young people have lived with a lifetime of abuse and neglect; now, they face another challenge. This is the challenge of a label, ‘Challenging Behaviour‘, a label that often bears no reflection on the child or the life they have lived.

The highest reason for children being in care is child abuse and neglect

There were over 80,080 vulnerable children in England’s care system during 2018-2019; the highest reason for vulnerable children being in care is child abuse and neglect. 39% of those children were aged 10-15 years, and the average length of time children was in care was two years and three months. Sadly, this is an additional 29 days from the previous year. The general characteristics of CLA ( Children Looked After) are similar to last year. 56% are male, 39% are aged 10-15 years, and 74% are of white ethnic origin.’ https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions/2020

older child in a blue hooded top looking sad.
38% of young people and children in care are over ten years of age; they are the hardest to find foster homes. Can you foster an older child?

Foster carers remove labels and restore trust to children.

Removing labels and learning to trust is difficult for children who have lived with abuse. For many children, a life of abuse is the only life they know. It is a life where abuse becomes comfort because children know where abuse leads and what happens next; perversely, abuse makes them feel safe.

For many children in care, the biggest fear they have is often a fear of the unknown and being with people they don’t know. Sadly, their abusers become their friends and comfort blanket; their abusers are part of everyday life…abuse becomes normal.

Also, children who have lived with abuse and neglect tend not to expect much; they become conditioned to expect nothing, so they don’t ask. For these children, being left alone is enough. A life without abuse is not normal; therefore, the transition to a life without abuse is often traumatic.

As a result, many children don’t handle the transition well, reacting accordingly. These children ‘kick off’; because they know the reaction a ‘kick-off’ brings, and they’re ready for it.

Other children, however, respond to change differently. These children have had enough and embrace the new normal with a passion they have never felt before; for them, foster care is the difference they welcome and need.

We are recruiting foster carers to support older children.

Some agencies tell foster carers that older vulnerable children and teenagers might have ‘challenging behaviour’; thus, this bias makes it harder to place older children in foster homes. This is wrong, especially as child abuse is the highest reason children and young people are in care; how do they get the help they need when hit with this label?

Thankfully, the foster carers who foster teenagers know what they are doing and why they do it. They have the experience to see the barriers children have put in place; they also have the wisdom and compassion to understand why they have created them.

These foster carers know the path children living with abuse have led. Subsequently, these barriers are now children’s protectors; thus, children can feel vulnerable when these barriers are removed.

I once read that abused children are often likely to become abusers themselves. I’m afraid I disagree with this theory; if anything, these children have a valuable empathy for children; their life experiences can’t be found on Social Media or read from a book.

These children and young people need foster carers who will teach them to trust again and react to consistent kindness, understanding and patience. These traits are the traits of peers that guide vulnerable children. Most importantly, they reduce the influence of those who didn’t…

Foster carers are the difference that children who have lived with abuse need for a better future. Can you foster?

Verve CIC recruit for ‘Not for Profits’ exclusively.

Verve recruits foster carers for the Not for Profit charitable sector; the reason why we do this is two-fold. Firstly, we know that all children in care need support to overcome barriers and heal the pain they may have suffered from their abusive childhoods.

Secondly, these children need foster carers who have a strong motivation to foster, experience caring for vulnerable children, and more importantly, they are in it for the long haul.

Finally, Verve CIC does not believe in large corporate organisations making huge profits for shareholders and directors from vulnerable children. The fees charged to Local Authorities from these Independent Fostering Agencies are often exorbitant, sometimes as much as £2000.00 per week per child.

It’s no wonder our Local Authorities have no money left for support services that helped families and often prevented children from going into care?

Foster carers help children to overcome barrriers.

The dedicated care of foster carers and skilled specialist teams enable children to flourish. Foster carers and support networks work together, sharing experiences and skills, creating therapeutic care strategies to help older children in care overcome their barriers. And this is where Not for Profit charities and agencies excel, and every penny they make goes back into the support services that vulnerable children need.

Your motivation to foster is unique to you.

When speaking to someone thinking about fostering, the most insightful question for me is, ‘What is your motivation to foster? Why do you want to do it?‘ There’s no right or wrong answer; however, the best answer is honesty.

There are many reasons why people foster. Some say it is a way of giving something back and acknowledging how lucky they have been in life. Maybe they can share their good fortune with others not as fortunate? Some people have been in foster care or are the children of foster carers; they may have experience of the ‘care ‘system.’ Subsequently, their life experience shaped them, and they always knew that one day they would foster.

These people understand children, and thus, they know the importance of getting it right for them. However, whatever the motivation to foster is, the reality is that we may not fully understand the fostering role, and we don’t know if it is right for us?

Verve CIC offer you clarity on fostering children with Charities.

We work with the Not-for-profit charities to connect you with existing foster carers to mentor you and share the fostering reality with you. After all, how can you decide if fostering is right for you without this clarity?

Often, the main fear of people who want to foster is the fear of rejection; maybe something in our past will label them ‘unsuitable’?

The demeanours of our past are beyond our control; however, our past doesn’t define us. It shapes us and moulds us to become the people we want to be. However, we can only do this if we face the fear and explore fostering further.

Verve CIC works together with Not for Profit’s to clarify fostering and enable you to decide to foster based on facts. After all, making this decision is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, and we owe it to children in care to get it right. Therefore, for a child who has lived with abuse and is the highest reason for children in care, we must find foster carers who understand children and can look beyond the label.

Foster carers look beyond labels for children in care.

Foster carers know the difference ‘taking a chance’ can make.

Every one of us, at some point, has had someone take a chance on us. Often, we are unaware of the risk they took because we don’t know the full extent of what they knew about us. Therefore, this ignorance meant we never felt judged.

But, for a child in care, every facet of their lives is open, shared, and subsequently, children in care feel judged, often with prejudice. We need foster carers to take a chance on them and give them the opportunities in life they deserve, without discrimination.

When we get this right, foster carers make a huge difference in the future for vulnerable children. However, when we get it wrong, it is catastrophic. For older children in care, time is running out and now is the last chance they have to get it right.

Verve CIC is dedicated to recruiting foster carers who understand that child abuse is sadly the highest reason for children in care; however, they have compassion and experience to improve young people’s futures.

If you have skills in caring for older children and give stability, moral and compassionate support, please get in touch. Together, we will give young people in care greater chances and opportunities to have a better future.

Can you foster?

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