Break are delighted to announce that MENTA has chosen Break as its charity partner for 2019.
MENTA is a multi-award winning not-for-profit company – not a membership
organisation. They provide business advice, business skills training, bespoke business courses and networking opportunities. Their services help grow your business.
MENTA has invited Break to its networking events, Coffee Means Business in Woodbridge, Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill during the year and the charity will exhibit at the MENTA Business Show on Tuesday 1st October at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds.
CEO of MENTA, Alex Till said, “I’m delighted MENTA will be partnering with Break during 2019. They are providing vital services and support to those who really need it.”
Michael Rooney, Head of Commercial Services at Break said, “We are thrilled to be working with MENTA as their charity partner for 2019. We look forward to raising awareness of how businesses, their staff and individuals can make a difference to vulnerable children’s lives by volunteering and fundraising for Break.”
Olympians Daley Thompson CBE and Snowy Brooks joined Barnardo’s Vice President Baroness Floella Benjamin and more than 20 runners for a training session preparing them for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.
The event at Battersea Park’s Millennium Arena, was held by Barnardo’s to thank participating runners for their support, offer fundraising advice and give them a chance to meet their fellow Barnardo’s teammates before the big race on April 28th.
The runners were put through their paces with Olympians Daley and Snowy while Baroness Benjamin gave a motivational speech and essential running advice and tips.
Double Olympic gold medallist Daley said:
"The training day showcased the runners’ spirit and determination to raise money for the vulnerable children and young people our services support, which will stand them in good stead on the day of the London Marathon.
Barnardo’s is a wonderful charity to raise money for and I wish every single runner good luck on the day. We know you can do it."
Former Barnardo’s boy Snowy, who represented Barbados in the 1972 Olympics in the decathlon, said:
"The London Marathon is a mental and physical test of endurance. To achieve it they will not only be taking part in an incredible event but raising money for a brilliant charity.
“I was really impressed by the runners taking part, they all did really well and I send them best wishes for the big day."
Actress and Barnardo’s Vice President Baroness Floella Benjamin, who has run 10 London Marathons for the children’s charity, said:
"The runners have a big challenge ahead of them but with every mile they conquer and every pound they raise they will be making a huge difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.
We will all be cheering you on – good luck, we know you will be brilliant and keep smiling because winners smile."
One of the amazing runners to take part in the training day was Pauline Jones who lives in Greenwich. Pauline signed up for the London Marathon after her church raised money for Barnardo’s at Christmas with a series of carol concerts.
Pauline, 70, said:
“At the time I was increasing my own running distance which was just for personal enjoyment, but I thought maybe I could turn that into further fundraising for Barnardo’s.
I had learnt a little bit more about what the charity does these days to support children and young people and I was really impressed and inspired.
This will be my first marathon. I have always loved running outside and if running is your thing and you find it really enjoyable then you should definitely give it a go.
At the end of the day, it’s not about completing the race in the shortest possible time; it’s about reaching the finish line. I have been able to increase my distance by exploring the Thames path in both directions from where I live in Greenwich. Slowly but steadily my training is coming along."
With last year’s race raising £295,000 the charity is hopeful that as many people as possible will dig deep and donate to help vulnerable children across the UK.
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:
"I would like to say good luck and a huge thank you to everyone running the London Marathon for Barnardo’s.
The funds you raise will go towards our frontline services, which support some of the most vulnerable children and families across the UK. We couldn’t do this vital work without the generosity of supporters like you."
Sue Jennings joined our organisation on 3rd February 2014 as an Administrator for our West Midlands team. Initially joining us at our Droitwich office, Sue has been a part of our office move to Bromsgrove as well as the continued growth of staff, carers and children in our Midlands region.
On Sunday 3rd February 2019, Sue will be celebrating her 5 year CFT anniversary with us. As Sunday is a non-working day for Sue, we caught up with her in advance to find out how she is feeling reaching this incredible milestone!
How are you feeling having reached 5 years at CFT?
“I feel as though I have really accomplished something. It doesn’t feel like 5 years have passed since I joined The CFT, the years have really gone by very quickly. You know what they say… time really flies when you are having fun!”
What initially attracted you to the organisation?
“Before I joined the organisation I used to work as a School Secretary in a Primary School and so I was already passionate about working with children. I chose to apply for the position at The CFT as the charitable status really appealed to me and I didn’t want to work for a profit company. I knew that working for a fostering organisation meant that every day would be different and there would be a new challenge around every corner.”
When you joined The CFT, what did you hope you would achieve and do you feel you have done this during your time with us?
“I wanted to help the team make a difference in children’s lives and make their lives better. I feel like I have achieved that and I feel that as a team we have grown and do our very best to help the children in our care.”
Do you have any ‘stand out’ memories from your time with us?
“I don’t think I have one particular stand-out memory, the whole time has been interesting and different. I especially enjoy doing the family event and seeing the children growing. As an administrator for the organisation I don’t always get to see the families or children on a regular basis even though I hear lots about what is going on. When it comes to our regional parties that take place over the year, I’m always amazed to see how much the children have grown in not only age, but also in confidence and enjoy seeing them having fun.”
What will you be doing to celebrate your 5 year anniversary?
“I think I will celebrate with the team and reflect on my time with the organisation.”
How would you like to see the organisation progress in the next 5 years?
“I hope that The CFT will be able to carry on doing the work that we are doing and helping more children. I hope that we see more children placed within the right foster families and see more young people through to adulthood and independence and do well for themselves in their adult lives.”
Is there anything else you would like to add?
“My favourite part of working for the organisation is being part of a team who feel like family. I’d just like to thank my colleagues, the carers and The CFT for the support and kindness you have shown me over the years, it really means such a lot.”
We would like to thank Sue for all of her hard work and commitment to the organisation over the past 5 years. We would also like to thank her for her friendly and smiling face which is such a pleasure to have in our offices! Congratulations on this fantastic achievement Sue!
The life skills team has been working hard over the last year to make sure young people at St Christopher’s have the right skills and AQAs to help them reach their goals.
When we talk about preparing young people for independence, what we are really doing is supporting them to be interdependent, feel good about themselves, and have the confidence and strength to keep going whilst asking for help when they need to. We are not just preparing them for a specific transition – we are preparing them for life and all the changes and bumps in the road that come with it.
In 2018 young people across the organisation completed 422 AQAs. Because young people are staying in placement for longer, we can work with them for a more extended period of time and support them to engage in more meaningful AQAs that take longer to complete but offer a bigger sense of achievement at the end.
As part of our strategic commitment to improving emotional wellbeing, the team have been making sure young people understand mental health, self-esteem and stress management. Young people and staff said they felt unskilled in this area, so workshops have been delivered to both of them alongside each other as equals.
There have been more than 200 sporting activities including football, swimming, boxing, gym, badminton, yoga and the annual St Christopher’s sports day, which also contribute towards improved emotional wellbeing. Other relevant awards in this area include 32 health and wellbeing sessions and more than 50 creative activity sessions to help young people relax and have fun.
Through our Staying Close pilot, which supports young people with our third strategic aim of lifelong learning and thriving, the life skills team co-created a new transitions programme with young people to support them with practical aspects of preparing to move into their own home. One young person has completed this and is now successfully living independently, and nine others are about to start their journey on the programme.
Other achievements relating to lifelong learning and thriving include 21 tenancy and home sessions, 28 money, budgeting and debt management certificates, and more than 50 employability skills sessions including assertiveness and work experience opportunities.
Other achievements include six sessions on drug and alcohol use, eight human rights and democracy sessions, 16 equality and diversity sessions, and more than 200 cooking activities.
However, these achievements from young people would not be possible without the hard work of our staff. The life skills team made changes to better support staff in running AQA sessions, like providing training as part of the introductory training course. There are now 85 AQAs in the catalogue so that staff can deliver one-to-one and group sessions, and there are life skills workbooks for fostering, children’s homes and care leaver services.
The Peacock Charitable Trust provide £10,000 per year to St Christopher’s, which contributes towards salaries for the life skills and participation team. Without them, all of this work would not be possible, so we want to say a huge thank you for their continued support.
Chief Executive Jonathan Whalley said: “Our young people have achieved so much in 2018 and it definitely deserves to be celebrated. Well done to everyone for these brilliant accomplishments – I cannot wait to keep creating brighter futures in 2019!”
For over 50 years Break has been working tirelessly to help young people in care and moving on, children with disabilities, families in need of support and children at risk.
Hilary Richards Break’s CEO said “As Break continues to grow and diversify to meet changing needs, this is the perfect time for us to recruit. We are looking for a variety of Trustees that want to help improve the lives of young people in our community. We look forward to welcoming our new Trustees who will join our experienced skilled managers and longstanding Board.”
Frank Shippam, one of Break’s Trustees said “Being a Break Trustee has been a fascinating, challenging and hugely rewarding experience for me. I have learnt many lessons from the charity’s employees and fellow Trustees and am proud that I have made a contribution to the brilliant work Break undertakes in changing young lives.”
Break welcomes CV applications from individuals with strategic and clear thinking skills, the ambition and dedication to drive Break forward, and ability to contribute effectively as part of a team and with innovative ideas.
The Trustee positions are on a voluntary basis with appropriate expenses reimbursed. For further details or to view the full job description visit
To find out more about becoming a Trustee email Sally Butler for an applicant pack firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for applications is midnight on Monday 18th February 2019. Interviews will take place on Thursday 7th March 2019.
It’s one of the toughest jobs around and there are millions who do it uncomplainingly day in, day out.
You would think being a full-time mum was enough but one in Derby is calling on others like her in the area to consider becoming foster carers.
In other words, welcoming foster children into their own households.
According to Debbie Smith, it’s beneficial not only for the foster carer or parent, but for the children too.
Debbie only started fostering a year ago after a wide variety of careers, ranging from being a prison instructor to running a bar and restaurant in Spain.
But she said her current role as foster carer to two siblings, aged seven and 15, has proved to be the most rewarding so far.
Debbie said: “It’s the hugs and thank yous you receive when you least expect them.
“Fostering is a 24/7 commitment, but I don’t get the same type of stress which came with previous jobs I’ve worked in. It has enhanced my life, and best of all it has allowed me to be a kid again.”
Debbie first looked into fostering after deciding she needed a change of career. Having always enjoyed being around children, and being the mum of two daughters, fostering seemed like a good fit for her.
She contacted fostering and adoption charity TACT and, with its help and advice, she passed the intensive assessment process and finally became an approved foster carer in 2017.
In early 2018 the siblings were placed with her.
As well as her two foster children, Debbie has her own teenage daughter living at home, so she has to divide her time between them.
She said: "I did have some reservations when first looking into fostering, relating to the impact it would have on my daughter – having teenagers in the house gave me particular concern.
“However, TACT have made it clear that we are never under any obligation to take a placement if we decide it’s not the best fit for us, and between myself and TACT we put high importance on matching to make sure the placement will be beneficial for me, my daughter and the young people I’m caring for.”
Debbie feels that her daughter is learning some important life lessons as a result of being part of a family that fosters.
She said: “Overall, my daughter has enjoyed her experience of growing up in a fostering household, and although it is sometimes difficult for her sharing mummy, I think the experience has made her more caring and understanding of the world around her.”
And being part of a happy, blended family has had positive repercussions for her foster children too. Debbie said: “I think their experience of growing up in a household like mine with my daughter has enabled them to see what it’s like to live as part of a positive, loving family where they are helped and encouraged.
“They’ve witnessed routines and social norms and experienced an organised rather than a chaotic life, learning about what is expected of them and what is acceptable.”
In terms of professional support, TACT provides lots of training which Debbie has taken full advantage of, and there are also monthly support groups.
TACT staff are always available.
Overall, Debbie feels that she made the right decision to become a foster carer.
The said: “While fostering has at times been challenging I think overall the positive change I’m bringing about to these young people who have had a difficult start in life makes it all worth it. It’s nice to be able to devote all my time and attention between the young people I care for and my own family, allowing me to be a full-time mum and carer.”
“I’d encourage anyone who has reservations about fostering due to having their birth children in the household to go for it – the matching process between your family and the young people is important, but once it’s made well, your children and the foster children can have such a positive effect on one another.”
There is currently a need for 500 more foster families in the East Midlands. TACT says it is “more than just a fostering agency; as a charity we put children at the heart of everything that we do and all of our surplus income goes back into services for our carers and the children that they look after”.
We are thrilled to announce that a video featuring TACT ambassador Solomon O.B. performing his new poem Raising Celebration has made it onto the shortlist for the Charity Film Awards! These prestigious awards have been created to celebrate the success of film in fundraising, to increase exposure of charity films and to encourage donations for good causes.
Thank you to everyone who has supported TACT in the public voting round.
Shortlisted films will be now judged by a panel of judges who will select the finalists in March.
Solomon O.B – 25 Years of TACT Fostering & Adoption
Member News: Barnardo's calls for more foster carers as number of children in care rises by 27 percent in a decade in England
More children are being taken into care with fewer foster carers to look after them, says Barnardo’s as it launches its 10th annual fostering campaign fronted by TOWIE’s Lydia Bright and Debbie Douglas.
The number of children in care in England has risen by 27 per cent in the last 10 years, says the UK’s leading children’s charity as it urgently appeals for more people to consider fostering as part of its Barnardo’s Fostering Week 2019, which launches on January 21st.
In the past decade, Barnardo’s foster carers have looked after thousands of children, giving them the best chance to have a happier and positive future. However, the charity is concerned there are not enough suitable foster families to take care of the increasing numbers of vulnerable children in care.
Increasing child poverty, a lack of early intervention and support for families before they reach crisis point, and a heightened awareness of abuse and neglect are among the complex reasons more and more children and young people are being taken into care.
But figures from Ofsted show that the number of approved carers has dropped by 950 in just one year. If these trends continue it will become even more difficult to find good foster placements for vulnerable children.
Now, Barnardo’s is celebrating ten years since its first UK fostering campaign and the charity’s foster carers have welcomed vulnerable children into their families more than 8,288 times across the UK.
The charity’s celebrity fostering ambassadors Lydia Bright and Debbie Douglas are fronting this year’s campaign calling for more people to step forward to take on this rewarding role to ensure that vulnerable children have a loving family to support them when they need it.
The mother and daughter from TV’s TOWIE have been a fostering family for more than 25 years for more than 250 children.
Debbie said: “Having a safe and caring family is so important when you are growing up. With so many more children coming into care, it’s so crucial that more people become foster carers. Knowing you can provide that loving family for a child when they need it most is so rewarding and can really help to transform their lives – and yours.”
Lydia added: “We have loved having foster children as part of our family; it is incredible to see the difference having a caring, supportive family can make. We are proud to play a part in helping them to have a happy childhood and positive future.”
Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “As the number of children in care continues to rise, we need more foster carers than ever before. At Barnardo’s we find loving families for vulnerable children in communities across the UK, and we give foster carers the training and support they need.
“Being a foster carer can be a challenge but it’s also incredibly rewarding and gives children the love, care and life skills they need to build better and brighter futures.
“I want to thank all of our amazing foster carers for helping us transform children’s lives. And I would urge anyone considering becoming a foster carer to get in touch to find out more. Incredible things happen when you believe in children.”
In England, on 31 March 2008, there were 59,370 children in care – 70 per cent of which were in foster care . By 31 March 2018, it had increased to 75,420– up by 27 per cent in a decade and with 73 per cent of those children living in foster care at that time. The number of children in foster care itself has increased by 31.4 per cent in a decade.
In contrast, the number of approved foster carers is decreasing, with the latest available figures from Ofsted showing that in England, as of 31 March 2017, this number reduced to 61,415, compared with 62,365 in March 2016. The reasons behind the decrease are complex and can include birth children living at home for longer and rising house prices meaning that prospective carers do not have the required spare room; and older foster carers are reaching retirement age while younger families are becoming increasingly responsible for their own parents care as they get older.
A continuation of these trends will mean it will become more difficult to find the best foster carers for vulnerable children when they most need a loving family. Carers need to have the right training and skills, live in the right location and be available at the right time for a child who is disabled, are siblings, older children, or from a religious or minority ethnic background.
This could mean children have to wait longer before finding the best match or that they may need to be moved to a different family several times because the most appropriate carer is not available, which can have a negative impact on a child.
One Barnardo’s carer who knows the difference a safe and stable foster family can make to a child’s life is Helen Elward, 62, from Rugby, who has provided specialist foster care for almost 40 children in the last eight years. They are often some of the most vulnerable in the care system - on bail or remand, or affected by child sexual exploitation - and stay with Helen for anything from a few days to several months.
Helen said: “Young people sometimes feel society has given up on them, so they give up on themselves. It’s amazing to see the difference you can make in such a short space of time.
“We can help them to completely transform their lives. They can talk about their problems if they want to, and we try to build their self-confidence and enable them to be the person they can be.
“They’ve gone on to university, established their own businesses and started families. Sometimes they just need someone to believe in them – perhaps they’ve never had that before.”
Closing Date: 21st January 2019 at 5pm
Team Fostering is a not-for-profit fostering agency, with an annual turnover of £9m, based in the North East, Yorkshire and the East Midlands. We have been successfully supporting children and young people living in foster care to achieve positive outcomes since 2001.
We are looking for a fourth Non-Executive Director, based within this geographical footprint, who has an extensive background in business management in a commercial environment with demonstrable recent success in developing a business with a multi-million pound turnover and proven skills in delivering excellence in customer satisfaction.
This person must also be able to work within our values and behaviours framework, demonstrating an understanding of our Not for Profit status and subscribe to our principles of working as an ethical agency.
This successful candidate will also provide a creative contribution to the Board via objective criticism and independent judgement on issues of strategy, performance and resourcing of the agency, including involvement in key appointments and standards of conduct. The post holder will be independent of any of the company’s interested parties and bring a degree of objectivity and impartiality to the Board’s deliberations and play a valuable role monitoring executive management.
This is a part time role requiring, as a minimum, 30 day’s work per year and a minimum of 1.5 days worked each month equating to £13,101 per annum. Part of this monthly commitment is attendance at a monthly board meeting which will be held in either our North Shields, Middlesbrough, Sheffield or South Normanton office. An annual retainer of £3,218 is also paid and other responsibilities and pieces of work taken on, at the direction of the Board, are paid at an hourly rate of £58.23.
The closing date for application for this role is the 5pm on 21st January 2019, and the interviews are scheduled for the 13th and 14th February 2019 in our Sheffield office.
For further information, please ring Jane Butler, Chief Executive Officer, on 07769 908129 or Walter Young, Non-Executive Director on 07508 055643.
The full job description and person specification for this post are available below.
To apply, please send a completed Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form (below) to email@example.com no later than 5pm on 21st January 2019.
Full details and application documents can be found here
Please note Team Fostering does not accept CVs.
All posts are subject to Enhanced DBS Disclosure.
Please note if you are shortlisted for interview we will contact you via the email you have provided. Please ensure you check your emails regularly.
Senior Supervising Social Worker
Full Time - 35 Hours Per Week - Permanent
£35,061.00 (£33,561.00 per annum + £1,500 OOH)
TACT, the UK’s largest fostering and adoption charity now has over 500 dedicated carers, who look after over 600 children and young people across the country. Our reputation and growth rests upon our strength in providing successful placements. As a charity, we do not have shareholders who receive profits and we invest all of our surplus income into service, staff, carers, and children’s development.
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a national non-profit making organisation at a local level. We are interested in individuals for whom quality of service is paramount and in those who share our commitment to working in partnership with children and their foster carers in the development of the agency.
The overall purpose of this role is to recruit, assess, train and support a diverse range of foster carers and placements.
You are required to have the following experience:
You will need to be DipSW, CSS or CQSW qualified and registered with the SSSC. An enhanced PVG disclosure is also required and is requested for you by TACT.
You will be required to be on an out of hours’ rota and you will be paid an out of hours’ allowance of £1,500 per annum once participating in the rota.
TACT offer an excellent benefits package including 31 days paid holiday, flexible working arrangements, group income protection scheme, x10 death in service, stakeholder pension scheme, child care vouchers and fantastic learning and development opportunities. Please see the job information pack for further information.
Closing: Tuesday, 22nd January 2019
Interviews: Wednesday, 30th January 2019
TACT reserve the right to close the vacancy once we have received sufficient applications, so we advise you to submit your application as early as possible to prevent disappointment.
Full details, including application documents, can be found here
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