The Child Care Board is issuing an SOS for foster parents.

This disclosure has come from Senior Child Care Officer, Esther Bayley, who said the Board was looking for a number of devoted persons for its Foster Care programme.

??"Fifty persons would be a good number for us to start with because every person interested in foster care may not wish to do it on a long-term basis, but may choose to be a short-term foster parent, who is willing to take a child within 24 hours notice for up to six months," Ms. Bayley noted.

Fostering means caring for a child in a person’s home as part of the family, either on a short or long-term basis. The children come from the Board’s residences or from families who are in crisis or under some degree of stress for various reasons. They may range from a mother being hospitalised, homelessness, death of a parent or guardian, abuse, a parent’s inability to care for the child or abandonment.

A foster home should provide a level of security that comes from living within a stable, understanding and loving family atmosphere.

Emphasising the importance of foster care, Ms. Bayley explained that it was intended "to provide a home filled with love and give the child a sense of belonging, in

spite of the trauma he or she might be experiencing. A foster home provides some kind of resilience for that child… Statistics show that if there is one person who is there for the child, he or she can act as a buffer and help that child to come out of the trauma, feeling more secured in the knowledge that someone cares for him or her," she stated.

The Child Care Officer has urged Barbadians to come forward and offer parental care to both boys and girls.

Persons who are interested in fostering a child should contact the Child Care Board at 426-2577.

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