A new independent foster agency has been launched in Bedfordshire which aims to take a different approach to helping children in care.
Harvest Fostering, a developing provider of care and support for children and young people, was launched this autumn to cover Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and London.
Clive Ellington, scheme manager, said: “Our mission is to provide a safe space for young people to live healthy and positive lives. Sometimes, a child can’t be with their own family for a period of time. We work hard to make a good match between the child and foster parent – we want positive role models, parenting skills and warmth so that the young person has every possible chance of reaching their potential.”
“Once we have them settled we endeavour to work closely with the referring local authority, supervising social worker and the foster parents to facilitate their return home wherever possible. We don’t see children as a commodity but as valuable human beings with a right to belong, who need help during a difficult time.”
There are over 100,000 children currently in foster care in the UK, a successful way of supporting a child in need. Research shows that ‘looked after’ children are far less likely to receive convictions, warnings or reprimands than children in other placement types.
Clive added: “Harvest Fostering is not only striving to place children in loving foster homes, but intends to invest into the support to get the children back to their families as quickly as possible, where it is safe to do so. This is a point of difference from many existing agencies.”