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The Fostering Network is urging families across the UK to consider opening their homes to children in foster care, as Foster Care Fortnight™ continues.  

This year’s Foster Care Fortnight, which began on 9th May and runs until 22nd May, is focused on Fostering Communities: raising awareness of the urgent need for foster carers, and the benefits for children who can remain with a foster family in their local community.  

According to figures published by The Fostering Network, there are currently over 70,000 children living with almost 56,000 families across the UK.

And with the number of children entering care on the rise, the demand for foster families will only continue to grow.

In particular, the need for families who can offer children a stable home within their local community, allowing them to remain at their school and close to their friends, is at an all-time high.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, says: “We urgently need more foster carers to come forward to care for children within their local communities.

“Foster carers are the bedrock of children’s social care; they are vital in our society and our young people rely on their care, dedication, passion and skills to support them when they need it most.”

Supporting vulnerable children in foster care

As a leading provider of drug and alcohol testing services, with extensive experience working with social workers, local authorities, and Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs), AlphaBiolabs understands the challenging circumstances that can lead to vulnerable children entering foster care.  

Furthermore, our Giving Back campaign has brought us into contact with several incredible charities that work to support vulnerable children, young people and their families including NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service), Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs (SFAD), Nacoa and TGP Cymru.  

There are many reasons why a child might be put into foster care, from having experienced some form of trauma such as physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, to needing to be removed from their parents’ care due to substance abuse issues.

A report published in September 2021 by the Centre for Justice Innovation titled Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) The business case for roll-out, included a summary on parental substance misuse and the care system, which stated:

“Research suggests that 40% of children under child protection and just over 60% of children within care proceedings* live in families with significant parental substance misuse.”

This is a significant figure, further highlighting the need for foster families that can support vulnerable children who have entered the care system because of their parents’ struggles with substance abuse.

*Care proceedings refer to the court process where a local authority seeks to remove a child from their parents on account of actual/likely significant harm.

Drug and alcohol testing solutions for local authorities and social workers

As a UKAS-accredited laboratory, AlphaBiolabs is well-placed to provide 100 per cent accurate drug and alcohol testing for families affected by drug and/or alcohol misuse.

From our UK-wide network of trained sample collectors to our rigorous testing processes and rapid reporting from our in-house experts, family law professionals, social workers and local authorities can rely on us for a fast, efficient service.

Our trained clinicians can collect a range of samples for testing including hair, nails, blood, urine, and oral fluid (saliva).

All samples collected for legally-instructed drug and/or alcohol testing are obtained under strict chain of custody conditions, ensuring our test results are court admissible.

We also offer free sample collection for legally-instructed drug and alcohol tests at our 11 nationwide walk-in centres, as well as alcohol monitoring via SCRAM CAM® or SmartMobile™.

For further information on our legal drug and alcohol testing services, call 0333 600 1300 or email testing@alphabiolabs.com.

To get involved in Foster Care Fortnight™ on social media, use #FCF22 and #FosteringCommunities. You can also find further resources here from The Fostering Network.

Drug and alcohol testing for local authorities

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