Help foster a better future for children in need
Our Charities Coordinator recently met with Gillian McConnell, of Sanctuary Care, a fostering service run by Boys’ Town, to learn about fostering in Singapore.
Why do the children you help need foster parents?
We provide foster placements for children whose families are in need of short term assistance during a difficult time. This includes financial difficulties incarceration, illness or a crisis pregnancy. The families voluntarily seek foster families to help them get through a period of crisis. We hope that by providing a short-term solution and community support, it would enable families to stay together in the long-term.
What is a typical foster placement like?
Our placements tend to run from a few days up to one year. Most of the children we place are infants but we take children from newborn up to about 7 years. As we are a small service, we endeavour to remain flexible so that we can meet the needs of our clients. A lot of the time families who use this service manage to avoid another crisis, and can take the time they need to stabilise their housing, financial or health issues while knowing that their children are safe and well. We are committed to providing at least weekly access between the children and their parents and of course this is the highlight of the week for many.
But can expats foster children?
Our amazing foster families come from all over the world and typically anyone who resides in Singapore is eligible to apply. We have families from all cultures and faiths and this is a crucial element to our success.
What if I can’t commit to a long term placement or I am worried I couldn’t cope with a challenging child?
As long as you have the space in your heart and home for a child you can contact us to find out more. We will meet with you to discuss the requirements and expectations of fostering and to answer any questions you may have. We make sure we take the time to understand your availability, skills and expectations for fostering so we can make sure any placement we arrange will suit both you and the child.
If you feel fostering isn’t right for you, there are other ways you can support our work. For example, we have some very committed volunteers who help us to drive the children from their foster home to their parents for visits.
How can people help?
At the moment, we are seeking foster families and volunteers. As a result of having so many expat foster families, our turnover rate is high as people leave Singapore. Also during the school holidays, many people travel and we find ourselves unable to meet the demand for placements.
If you think you would like to find out more about our service, we would be delighted to speak to you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 6221 0588.