Fostering opportunities in Milton Keynes
Did you know that there is a national shortage of foster carers across the UK? Each day sees 63,000 children living with over 52,500 foster families but more foster carers are required to keep up with the demand. This is a fantastic opportunity for a career that will alter not only a child’s life but also your own. Milton Keynes Council are continually seeking to recruit to a wide range of foster carer roles.
Becoming a foster carer doesn’t only make a huge difference to a child’s life and society but also makes a difference to the City we live Milton Keynes.
From rags to rifleman: Ray’s story shows the value of foster caring
MK Council is one of a number of local authorities in the UK suffering from a shortage of foster carers. We went to see Jenny and Tony Plummer, who have helped to transform Milton Keynes teenager Ray Hyde into an Army success story. We hope their tale will inspire others to choose a career with Milton Keynes Council in foster caring to help change lives.
Local teenager Ray Hyde knows his life could have turned out very differently if he hadn’t been placed in respite foster care with Jenny and Tony Plummer two years ago.
The 18-year-old former White Spire School pupil has been in a variety of care placements since he was five and admits he was on the road to nowhere as he was too scared to even catch the bus on his own.
But all that changed when he landed at the Newport Pagnell home of health care assistant Jenny and roofer Tony, who welcomed him with open arms and offered him all the love and support he needed to start a career in the Army.
We visited the Plummers and after a quick chat about their passion for fostering, Jenny connected us to Ray via Skype to discuss his radical transformation.
Ray, speaking from his Battalion base in Northern Ireland, said: “Jen has been brilliant. She sat me down and asked me what I wanted to do with my life.“I had been thinking of joining the Army but she gave me the confidence to go for it. She helped me with all the application forms, going through selection and going to AFC Harrogate, and now I’m a qualified soldier in the rifle regiment. “I’ve been in care for quite a while but going to Jen’s has changed me for the better.“I’ve got more discipline and I know that I can make something good of myself now.
I want to learn as many trades as I can in the Army so that it opens more doors for me.”Jenny ended the call by saying ‘I love you’, emphasising that Ray is far more than just a third paid job for the part-time health care assistant and beautician. She explained: “We’ve got Ray until he’s 21 but we’ve told him this will always be his home, regardless of whether he is under MK care or not.“He’s a good kid but he needs a base and a family because he still requires a lot of help – he needs me to take care of all his bills!"Ray initially only came here for a night and is still here two years later, and we’re looking after a 14-year-old boy who came here for a night and is still here eight months later.“That’s generally the way it happens because there are not enough of us foster carers out there.”Both Jenny and Tony have two grown up children each – one of whom still lives with them. Jenny ended our meeting by offering some advice to prospective foster carers. She said: “People should be willing to give kids a chance – especially teenagers – and not be judgemental. “No-one would take Ray or our 14-year-old because of their past troubles but they are good kids who have just had a rough ride. “You will be rewarded by knowing that you are giving the kids a chance to live a good life, knowing that someone has got their back.”
So Who can become a foster carer?
We seek foster carers from a wide range of backgrounds and experience to match the individual needs of children and young people. You need time, patience, tolerance and energy and must be able to share your home and life with others and there's no doubt that a sense of humour goes a long way!
Almost anyone can apply to become a foster carer; however there are some criteria that you would need to meet in order to make you eligible to be considered as a foster carer for Milton Keynes Council.
The criteria to become a Foster Carer:
- You are at least 21 years of age
- You have suitable accommodation which can comfortably accommodate everyone including your foster children.
- You do not have significant health problems that would hinder your role as a foster carer. You will be asked to undertake a medical with your GP to ensure you are healthy enough for the demands of fostering.
- Children aged 5 and under will not be placed in households where a member smokes.
- You have not committed serious offences, offences relating to violent, sexual crimes or have convictions for such offences. We need to check out all potential carers with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. Some people who have a criminal record can foster but careful consideration will be given to the nature and seriousness of the offence, how long ago the crime was committed and how you live your life now. DBS checks are undertaken on people aged 16 years and over living in your household.
- You need to be available to care for children including taking them to school, attending meetings and other appointments. For children who are under school age, you need to be fully committed to fostering and a carer needs to be available at all times.
- For those considering caring for children of school age, you can work part time but you need to be flexible to allow you to respond to the child's needs, meetings and school holidays.
- You have a computer/laptop and have access to the internet.
Our Commitment to you
We will always try our best to:
- treat you politely and considerately
- listen and respond to you
- help you get the right service
- be clear about what we can and cannot offer
- do our utmost to resolve things if they go wrong
- be open and fair with you
Types of Fostering
Time Limited Foster Carers
- Remand Foster Carers
- Permanent Foster Carers
- Respite Foster Carers
- Support Foster Carers
- Family Link Carers
- Private Foster Carers
- Supported Lodgings
Last Updated: 18 July 2018