Together Trust, a Cheadle-based charity that provides care, special education and support services across the North West of England, are on a mission to get more people to consider becoming foster carers.
Their new digital advertising campaign, developed in collaboration with Manchester-based agency Creative Concern, hopes to show the public that they could provide a young person with the stability they need to succeed in life. Highlighting the support the charity can offer its foster carers, it demonstrates how this translates into better outcomes for the child or young person in foster care.
There are over 70,000 children in foster and residential care across the UK. Fostering agencies receive hundreds of referrals each week but are unable to provide homes due to the shortage of foster carers, particularly in the North West.
Together Trust’s fostering service specialises in finding foster homes for children aged 10 years and over, sibling groups and those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Lisa Grundy, Fostering Manager at Together Trust, said: “We’re looking for people who can offer stability, warmth and guidance to children and young people who, through no fault of their own, may not have had the best start in life.
“Even in 2018 there are still a lot of misconceptions around fostering and who can be a foster carer. Young people come in all shapes and sizes, and so do foster carers. We want to encourage people from all walks of life to consider it. If not now, then in the future.
“If you’re interested in fostering but think you might not be eligible, or if you have questions about fostering, get in touch so that we can give you the information you need.”
You can find out more about Together Trust’s foster carer recruitment campaign at https://www.togethertrust.org.uk/thinking-about-career-fostering
If you’d like more information about becoming a foster carer, call 0161 283 4800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re celebrating the different types of fostering this September, highlighting some of the #waystocare with Team Fostering.
This week we’re celebrating Short Term Fostering
What is it?
Short Term Fostering is needed when a Local Authority Care Plan identifies that a child or young person needs to be looked after short term, rather than until they reach independence at 18. There is no time limit set for short term fostering placements, as they will continue for as long as is needed. When arranging Short Term Fostering Placements we work hard to ensure that children or young people placed with your family are well-suited, and you receive an abundance of support from our agency. You can read more about our support package by clicking here.
In some cases, if it is identified that the foster carer/s and the child or young person are suitably matched, and both parties are happy with the decision, the fostering may become a long term fostering placement. If this were to happen there would be an assessment to ensure the change to long term was appropriate.
Are there eligibility criteria for becoming a Short Term Foster Carer?
To become a Short Term Foster Carer with Team Fostering it is essential that you are over 21, have a spare room, and are able to drive with access to a car.
At Team Fostering we take pride in recruiting foster carers from all walks of life. Our foster carers have different backgrounds and life experiences and there is no ‘model foster carer’.
We welcome all enquiries and do not discriminate against anyone because of their age, race, gender or sexual orientation. There are basic criteria that foster carers should meet (click here for further information), however we do take time to consider all circumstances, and our team are always happy to discuss eligibility concerns and solutions with those interested in joining us.
How can I apply?
If you’re interested in becoming a Short Term Foster Carer, you can send an enquiry to us in one of the following 3 ways:
Send an online enquiry by clicking here
Call us on 0800 292 2003 to speak to a friendly member of our team
Email us via email@example.com
The Foster Care Co-operative is delighted to welcome Sumerjit Ram (Sam Ram) as their new CEO.
Sam brings with her over 25 years’ experience of senior leadership at CEO and Director levels. Sam has established a reputation for being innovative and developing a wide range of partnerships, collaborations and professional relationships.
Sam’s roots are embedded in community development work; often being drafted into deprived areas, her objective was to work directly with communities to help rebuild and strengthen them – using key ‘early intervention’ techniques to try and break any negative cycles of deprivation.
Sam’s career has always focused on achieving positive outcomes for children, their families and the wider community. More recently Sam was the CEO of a national ‘Outstanding’ Adoption Agency. She has had the opportunity to touch many people’s lives, and has been privileged to see the impact of her work – particularly on the children she has helped. Her manta has always been that every child should be given the chance to experience family life.
Last month the government released its response to the fostering stocktake and education select committee inquiry, Fostering Better Outcomes.
We were pleased to see that the government puts children’s needs and views at the heart of their vision for foster care. High quality, stable and trusted relationships are also a welcomed priority. However, we, along with the Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers, were disappointed that the government did not outline how they would deliver this vision, or make a commitment to funding. Something which we agree is needed to achieve the best outcomes for children in care. We would welcome clear guidance from the government over how they hope to make this vision a reality.
A priority for our own fostering service is to ensure that we offer stable placements so we are pleased to see the introduction of the National Stability Forum. We agree that a joined-up approach by leaders from across the sector will improve the outcomes for children in care.
We would like to see the government to place more emphasis on the Staying Put policy. Having worked with other charities on the Staying Put report, this remains a priority focus for our own placements. We would like to see the government address the barriers that exist for the Staying Put policy.
Along with our colleagues in the Alliance, we are happy to see a commitment to improving fostering and look forward to working with the government so we can achieve an equal chance in life for the children and young people in our care.
Jill Sheldrake, Service Director
At Action for Children, we are pleased to welcome our new CEO, Julie Bentley.
Julie joins us after 6 years as chief executive of the charity GirlGuiding UK.
"Action for Children works with some of the most disadvantaged children and young people in our society," she said. "Its work is crucial and it will be an honour to join the trustees, staff and volunteers to take the charity forward."
"I am passionate about children and young people reaching their potential and young people have always featured heavily in my career. It is clear that Action for Children makes a real and meaningful difference to the lives of those you support and that as a result their life chances, quality of life and well-being are improved."
John O’ Brien, chair of Action for Children, said: “Julie Bentley is a fantastic appointment. She will bring with her much valued experience and skills. Action for Children is proud to have her on board to help transform the lives of disadvantaged children across the UK. I know she will help us to make a huge difference to the lives of the children, young people and families we support.”
We said a fond farewell to our CEO, Ian ‘The Colonel’ Brazier last week!
Ian retired after a celebratory lunch at FCC headquarters in Malvern, attended by staff and foster carers. We even managed to source the correct marching music from his days in the army!
Ian helmed the FCC ship for 9 years. In that time he solidified FCC as an ethical, transparent, not-for-profit organisation. Always cheerful and upbeat, Ian was always a problem solver, and built morale with his infectious optimism. His knowledge of business and contracts ensured that FCC marched on (excuse the pun), achieving many accolades, including an Inspiring Co-operative of the Year award.
Ian always knew how to get the very best from his staff – and he encouraged input from all staff members every step of the way, without exception. Ian never micro-managed – he just managed well. One of his most endearing qualities was the praise he heaped on individuals who had done a particularly good job. There was never any doubt that this man was proud of FCC, and this pride was truly infectious.
As Executive Director, Ian was truly inspirational. One day he would be attending Local Authority meetings, the next he would be participating in an activity day for our carers and their children. He didn’t behave like an Executive Director – and that was the key to his success.
Ian has left an indelible mark here at The Foster Care Co-operative, and will be truly missed by everyone.
Thank you Ian, for everything!
The Foster Care Co-operative (FCC) – a national foster care organisation – are very pleased to announce that the wonderful Neil Morrissey will be the ‘voice of FCC’ – for its national radio commercials over the coming year, and possibly beyond.
Neil recorded his voice at Global Radio’s Leicester Square studio in London earlier in July. The recording session was attended by Dan Rosewarne, who handles all the marketing for FCC.
The radio commercial is actually a poem, written from the point of view of an adult that used to be in care. Neil was genuinely moved by the poem, and commented that the FCC were ‘doing a great job’.
Neil himself was in foster care as a child, and was very generous and open to share a little of his experiences whilst at the recording session.
The ads will be aired nationally in September to promote FCC as a not-for-profit, unique and transparent fostering organisation. The agency will be promoting its foster carer recruitment events using the commercials.
Steve Field, FCC’s Director of Child Care for England, said: “We are delighted that Neil Morrissey is the ‘voice of FCC’ for our foster carer recruitment campaigns. Neil has a real understanding of the fostering task, being a care leaver himself – and his passion for raising awareness about the national need for foster carers makes him a great ambassador for the fostering sector.”
The Foster Care Co-operative have previously won a radio commercial award, presented by the Wireless Group. The commercial, entitled ‘Unseen’, featured three different actor voices, charting the emotional journey of a fostered young person all the way to adulthood. The message being that with the support of foster carers, children and young people can turn their own lives around.
FCC’s not-for-profit and co-operative status mean that they do not advertise for commercial gain. All surplus income after expenses are ploughed straight back into providing more training and support for their foster carers.
St Christopher’s has purchased a small, local fostering agency that will merge with the organisation’s fostering service in the West Midlands to expand our provision in the region.
The acquisition of Future Families is part of St Christopher’s commitment to growth and means we can create even more brighter futures for children and young people.
18 foster families will become part of St Christopher’s, meaning we can now look after more than 80 children and young people across our fostering services.
Foster carers play an important role in the lives of thousands of children in care. At St Christopher’s children and young people are at the heart of all we do, and because we are a charity we can focus solely on making sure all of our young people reach their full potential. Last year we provided foster homes for 119 foster children in the West Midlands, Essex, London and Peterborough.
Head of Fostering Annette Richards said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for St Christopher’s to grow our fostering offer in the West Midlands. It also means that the children and young people can stay with their existing foster families, instead of being disrupted by moving to a new home.
“We are looking forward to welcoming the new carers, children and young people to our agency and supporting them over the coming years.”
If you are interested in finding out more about fostering, visit our fostering guide now.
Leading children’s charity Action for Children responds to Fostering Better Outcomes: Government Response to the House of Commons Education Select Committee report into fostering and foster care in England.
Imran Hussain, director of policy and research at Action for Children, said: “Today’s report makes clear the government believes children’s needs and views should be the driving force behind all decisions made about their care. What’s missing is a clear sense on how that change is going to be delivered.
“While the mood music in today’s report is spot on and shows officials and ministers have the right instincts on key issues, without a clear delivery plan and commitment to funding, these aspirations can’t become a reality.
“With council budgets already at breaking point, local authorities simply cannot offer young people the programmes they need without a firm promise of government funds. Looking after the most vulnerable children in the country is a national responsibility and must also be a national priority in public spending, otherwise we risk failing those who need our help the most.
“We very much welcome the fact that the minister has listened to concerns raised by ourselves and others and is keeping the Independent Reviewing Officer, a vital safeguard in the system which helps ensure the concerns of children in care are heard and listened to by the care system.”
St Christopher’s is delighted to receive a £163,000 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to fund a three year co-production project to prepare and support young people for their move from care to independent living.
With the funding St Christopher’s will work alongside young people from their UK residential children’s homes and foster homes to co-produce a programme of support to prepare them for leaving care.
The project aims to:
Young people in care often leave home much earlier than their peers and can have less on-going support, so this transition is really important. In practical terms this could mean sustaining their tenancies, maintaining education or employment opportunities, and feeling hopeful about the future – but we aspire to more for our care leavers. We want them to feel confident living independently, able to cope with loneliness, be resilient and draw on positive relationships and memories during tough times.
To make sure the project is what young people want, we have listened to what they said about independence. They have co-produced and delivered training to staff to tell us what matters when making this transition, so this project will incorporate their feedback from the start. St Christopher’s is committed to participation, children’s rights and supporting young people through transitions, and believe a co-produced project with young people at the helm will best suit their needs.
The project will sit alongside opportunities for young people to experience what life will be like once they leave care, such as by having overnights and weekend stays in a more independent setting. Once the programme has been developed it will be used more widely to support young people to feel prepared for their transition.
"We are hugely grateful to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for supporting this work. The funding will enable us to build on and share the fantastic transition support going on across St Christopher's and ensure more children and young people are properly prepared, confident and secure when they leave care. For us the project will be a success if the young people feel it makes a difference to their lives."
Geneva Ellis, Director of Corporate Services
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