Could you find your future in fostering?

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Becoming a foster carer may not seem like a career option, but it could prove personally and financially rewarding.

With new job redundancies in the county announced every week, fostering agency Compass Children’s Services says fostering could be a viable career choice.

Compass receives over 300 referrals a month for children needing foster care in the Midlands, yet nationally there is a shortfall of 10,000 foster carers.

Mel Aked, head of service, said: “Foster carers can provide placements and receive a fee in respect of their skills and work that they do in looking after that child.

“It is a very unique role because they are self-employed when they work for us. You cannot compare it to anything else, there is no other job like it.

“It is an extremely challenging job because you are dealing with some of the most vulnerable children in society but it can be extremely rewarding.”

A foster carer will receive between £43.62 and £61.20 per night depending on their experience and can even be paid a retainer when they have no children staying with them.

Mel said: “Carers will receive a fee that reflects the complex nature of the work they do in their own home.

“You are working with human beings who don’t always respond the way you can control and the sort of people we would be looking for are preferably experienced parents, though we would also accept someone who has not had their own children.

“We want people who enjoy being with children, who have levels of flexibility because each day is different and who are resilient and might have worked through their own difficulties in life.

“Sometimes the rewards are a long time coming and sometimes it isn’t until the child is an adult that they look back and realise what their foster carer has done for them.

“It is definitely a full-time job and we don’t want people who just come into it for the financial rewards but it is certainly a unique job.”