About the role: Chain of Hope runs an International Child Referral Programme, providing vital treatment to children from countries where there is little or no access to cardiac care. We bring children from all around the world to the UK for heart surgery. Whilst they are here, children and their families are cared for by one of our Host Families, who provide a warm home environment for them before and/or after surgery.
Time commitment: On average placements last between two to four weeks. This is a serious commitment for a family, and we ask that you consider the practicalities before applying.
Location: The home must be within one hour’s journey of central London, ideally within the M25.
Requirements: The home must have at least one spare bedroom, and at least one family member must have enough time to spend at home with the family during their stay.
Due to the high level of responsibility involved in being a Host Family, applicants will undergo a thorough assessment process to determine whether they are suitable for the role. This process mirrors that of fostering and adoptions services and can take around three months to complete.
- You will begin with an initial meeting and visit to the home from Host Family Coordinator
- At least two visits from an Independent Social Worker
- A health and safety check of the home which may require minor adjustments to be made
- Up to four references, two of which will be interviewed by the independent social worker
- A serious of background checks, including medical clearance and local authority checks
- Safeguarding training
- Enhanced Disclosure and Background Service checks on any adult over 18 living in the home
- Presentation of family at our Host Family panel for approval
- Reviews after the first placement and then once every three years
Opportunities of the role:
- A rewarding experience to open you home to people in need and be a part of their journey
- Witness first-hand the results of the work Chain of Hope does
- Become an integral part of the Chain of Hope community
- Gain experience of supporting both children and adults through challenging experiences
- Learn about working with people from a huge variety of different cultures and backgrounds
- Make connections and form lasting bonds with the children and their families
- Be warm, welcoming, and willing to make other people feel comfortable in your home
- Be flexible and patient, as often things will change at the last minute
- Have excellent communication skills, in particular listening skills
- Able to think practically and use own initiative to solve problems
- Be responsible, self-aware and emotionally intelligent
- Willingness to take onboard feedback in order to provide the best possible care
- Have respect and understanding of different cultural behaviours, practices and religions
Chain of Hope will provide constant, ongoing support throughout the application process and during your time as a host family. We will ensure that you have everything you need to provide the best possible care for the children and families you host.