I’m currently in the process of becoming a foster carer; there are only days left on the countdown until my application faces the fostering panel who, I’m hoping, will approve me as foster carer.
I’m a single, childless 24-year-old who works full time so having a child will be a huge but exciting change to my life.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous, but the thorough programme of training and support I’ve had has left me feeling as ready as it’s possible to be for such a seismic shift.
The process has opened my eyes to a world that it’s very easy to go through life not seeing.
It’s a world none of us would want to live in. Like a parallel universe, it exists right alongside us, but we’re totally oblivious to it. The world of child abuse.
While we know it exists, it’s easy to forget that around the world there are millions of children experiencing violence right now.
In the UK alone there are over 50,000 children who need protection from abuse, with an estimation that for every one of those 50,000 children known to need protection, there are another eight suffering abuse, unknown to anyone.
Across the world, a child dies every five minutes as a result of violence.
Every five minutes - it’s nearly impossible to comprehend, isn’t it?
Unicef, the world’s leading children’s rights charity, won’t let this continue. In the UK, they have started their End Violence campaign to call governments around the world to account to make sure that violence against children doesn’t continue to be a silent and invisible issue.
The campaign brings us to realise that violence against children isn’t happening in a parallel universe, but rather it’s happening on our doorsteps.
In realising this, we can also realise our role in being part of the solution.
Unicef UK have made it easy for each of us to make a huge difference, by visiting www.unicef.org.uk/violence we can add our voice to the thousands of other people who have called for our government to make a commitment to ending violence against children.
While I look forward to becoming a foster carer, I would much rather live in a world where there wasn’t a need for foster carers to look after children who have experienced abuse.
Let’s work towards that future. Join the petition. How could you not?
Interested in becoming a foster carer? Visit www.rotherham.gov.uk/fostering or call 01709 823976.