TACT East Midlands has been rated Outstanding by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), for its work with foster carers and looked after children in the East Midlands.
Outstanding is the highest judgement that an Ofsted inspection can bestow on an independent fostering agency. In summing up why TACT East Midlands deserved such an accolade Ofsted stated that it ‘provides highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good. The actions (of TACT) contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people.’
Among the many elements of TACT East Midlands’ service that warranted high praise from Ofsted were:
TACT CEO Andy Elvin said: “I am extremely proud that our East Midlands service was rated so highly, and I know that in terms of quality of provision it is the same story across the whole of TACT. It is brilliant that Ofsted has recognised the skill, commitment and expertise of our Outstanding East Midlands staff and of course our fantastic foster carers.”
LGBT foster carers and adopters join Barnardo’s in urging people to welcome a child into their life during awareness week
This week Barnardo’s is proud to support New Family Social as it urges more LGBT+ people and couples to consider fostering or adoption.
This year the theme for LGBT+ Fostering and Adoption Week, which runs from 4th to 10th March, is ‘7 days to love’. In support of the awareness week, some of Barnardo’s LGBT+ foster carers and adopters have spoken out to encourage others to consider fostering and adoption.
One such couple is George and Martin Lusty, from London. They adopted two little boys when they were three and four in July 2014 and say it has “tipped our lives upside down – in a good way!”
George said: “It’s possibly the biggest challenge you will ever undertake but it’s so worth it. We have two cheeky, kind, inquisitive boys who are the centre of our lives. One is incredibly sharp and he loves music. His brother is more reflective, loves the natural world and can gasp at the beauty of the everyday. We are so pleased we adopted two brothers – they are an incredible duo with a fierce loyalty to each other and such a strong bond.”
George said he would strongly urge any LGBT+ person or couple who is thinking of adopting to take that first step and contact Barnardo’s.
He said: “This is the most life changing decision you can make and to be honest you do have to make a leap of faith. I’d say contact Barnardo’s and look on websites like New Family Social to make contact with other adoptive parents, it’s so helpful to talk to people who are going through the process.”
Sue Mason and her partner Fay Munson, from Essex, have been permanent foster carers for Andrea, who has cerebral palsy, since she was 2 and a half.
Fay said: “So many children are in need of good homes and we really wanted to help make a difference to a child’s life”.
Sue added: “The first two months were challenging – nothing can prepare you for becoming a parent - but fostering Andrea is extremely rewarding for us as a family. Andrea has made a huge difference to our lives and has given us so much. We couldn’t imagine life without her.
“Andrea has made such amazing progress from the little girl who first came to live with us. She continuously amazes us with how far she has come. Despite her disabilities Andrea has a thirst for life and has a fantastic sense of humour, she loves Disney, pirates, lions, and her iPad!”
The couple also said they would encourage anyone thinking about fostering to get in touch with Barnardo’s to find out more.
Sue said: “I would advise anyone considering fostering or adoption to follow their heart. It has been the most rewarding thing Fay and I have ever done and we have also got back so much in return. I would say be brave and go for it”.
Barnardo’s has more than 100 years of experience at finding families for children, offering support and training for both foster carers and adopters from the first point of enquiry and beyond.
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan is proud to support LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week.
He said: “At Barnardo’s we find loving families for vulnerable children in communities across the UK, and we give foster carers and adopters the training and support they need.
"Fostering and adoption 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 would urge anyone from the LGBT community who is considering becoming a foster carer or adopter to get in touch to find out more. Incredible things happen when you believe in children.”
To find out more about fostering and adoption visit www.barnardos.org.uk/fosteringandadoption
Child and adolescent therapist Vicky Blackwell has taken up a new role with Community Foster Care.
Vicky has worked extensively with fostered and adopted children for more than 10 years. Initially trained as a social worker before further training in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy and Theraplay, she has wide experience of children with a range of different mental health issues such as RAD, PTSD, ADHD and anxiety disorders as well as emotional difficulties around loss and grief, attachment and problematic relationships.
“I believe it’s important to work with the whole family system when working with children,” she said.
For Community Foster Care, a not-for-profit agency, she will provide a therapeutic family consultation service for looked-after children, working with both children and carers in and around Workington and Lancaster.
“Integrative psychotherapy can make a big difference to children who have experienced early-life trauma, allowing them to have their emotional developmental needs met, which are often delayed or under-developed because of the impact of relational trauma,” she said.
“Cared-for children can have profound attachment difficulties that prevent them from making a good enough relationship with their carers. Understanding and responding appropriately to the child’s attachment behaviour helps both carers and children to relate to each other differently.”
After qualifying as a social worker in Salford in 2007, Vicky worked primarily with families with adopted children for more than ten years. She retrained in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy in Manchester in 2014. She is also a certified Theraplay practitioner and supervisor. She now runs her own private practice Family Be, which provides clinical therapeutic interventions to children and families with varied backgrounds and family systems.
Registered Manager with Community Foster Care, Emma Weaver, welcomed Vicky: “We’re really pleased to have someone with Vicky’s approach and skills as part of our team. She’ll help us better understand the trauma and broken attachments which children experience and how that affects them,” she said.
“She will play a key role in providing expertise at times of crisis, enabling us to build understanding and resilience within the family.”
Amanda Culverhouse has joined Community Family Care as Project Lead for the new Family Group Conferencing Service launched in North Somerset.
After a 16-year career in Human Resources and six years as a mediator in situations such as bullying and harassment, Amanda trained in Family Group Conferencing in 2017. Since then she has also provided advocacy for young people in Somerset.
She and a sessional team of FGC co-ordinators will deliver the service from Worle for a minimum of 24 referred families per year for North Somerset Council.
“Most of the families we work with are put forward for support by social workers, usually when relationships have broken down and a child may be about to go into care,” said Amanda.
“We bring together the family’s relatives, friends and maybe neighbours and help them to come up with solutions that keep the family together in a safe and supported environment. The service is often a lifeline to families who don’t know where else to turn.”
Manager of Community Family Care, Sasha Hart, said: “We’re proud to have Amanda to lead on our new Family Group Conference service. Her experience and ability are invaluable and we’re excited to have her on board to launch the service.”
Community Family Care won the three-year contract for North Somerset Council, worth £150,000, by competitive tender.
The independent, not-for-profit agency provides bespoke support services for children and families, building on families’ strengths to help make positive change and bring about lasting outcomes.
Click here for more information about Family Group Conferences at Community Family Care.
(9.00am – 2.30pm 4 days a week)
£10,544 – £11,070 pa(£17,972 – £18,870 FTE)
+ 21 days annual leave, inclusive of bank holidays (35 days FTE)
+ 10% employer contribution pension scheme
We are seeking an experienced administrator, who can demonstrate sound IT knowledge, outstanding organisation skills, a customer focused approach, and a professional attitude.
The successful candidate will provide a comprehensive administration service to all staff, primarily taking ownership and responsibility for the administration surrounding children in fostering placements. The role holder will be communicating with local authorities, external organisations and management, to ensure a flawless service.
Do you have at least 2 years administration experience within an office environment, have excellent IT skills, consider yourself highly organised with a friendly ‘can do’ attitude? If so, we look forward to hearing from you.
Closing Date: Monday 11th March, 2019
We are a ‘not for profit’ organisation, putting the needs of our children and carers first and look to appoint individuals who are as passionate about this as we are. If you would like further information about our unique/ethically minded organisation, an application form or job description, please view our website www.fostercarecooperative.co.uk or contact Barbara Bull (Head of HR) on 01684 892380.
Full details and application documents can be found here
The FCC is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and operate a Safe Recruitment policy; applicants must be willing to undergo Safeguarding screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and Disclosure and Barring Service clearance at an enhanced level. CVs will not be accepted, all applicants must complete an application form.
St Christopher’s is delighted to be sharing feedback from APEX inspections at our 16+ services showcasing the brilliant practice and support on offer to homeless young people and care leavers.
The APEX inspections include feedback from young people, staff and other stakeholders, as well as reviews of paperwork, recording and compliance.
Semi-independent housing for care leavers is not regulated in the UK. However, St Christopher’s believes that all children and young people deserve safe, high quality homes. We welcome the opportunity to learn from the inspection’s findings and improve our work.
That’s why we inspect all of our 16+ homes every year.
The inspector identified areas of good or outstanding practice in all of our 16+ homes, with particular commendations for how we support young people to engage with the community, sustain education, training and employment, and stay in touch with our services after they move onto independence.
"Being here made me think there is a future and these people will help you get to that future."
Lian, young person in APEX inspection report
Geneva Ellis, Director of Corporate Services, said: “There is some fantastic feedback in the inspection reports. It is clear that our 16+ teams are providing caring, personalised support for young people living in our homes that is helping to prepare them for adulthood.”
This #CareDay19 we talk about our Staying on Track service
At Break, we make life better for vulnerable young people across East Anglia. We provide a range of services to help young people in care and moving on, children with disabilities and families who need support.
Today is #CareDay19 a celebrtion of care-experienced young people. We would like to showcase Break’s Staying on Track service. This service is available to young people who have left or are about to leave the care system. It aims to help young people to have more stability and support at what can be a scary time. Thanks to funding through the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Break is able to offer this free service to care leavers in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK by funding the charitable work of organisations that are building an inclusive, creative and sustainable society.
Break is delighted to have received funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and it helps the charity to continue to improve its provision for care leavers. Rachel Leslie, project manager, said “Care leavers were telling us that they needed more help in feeling prepared for independent living. They wanted to feel more emotionally ready and have links with other care experienced young people to help them. Thanks to Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Break is now delivering this vital support. It will help them to feel more confident going forward and help them move to independent living successfully.”
The Emotional Wellbeing Service, delivered by Break Family Centre, is available to care leavers aged 16 and over. This support is to help care leavers prepare for transitions, such as moving into independent living, becoming a parent, or starting employment. Sessions will provide them with a safe and confidential space, tailored to meet the young person’s individual needs and preferences; this might be to help them understand and manage their emotions, process past experiences or develop positive coping strategies. This will enable them to feel more positive on a day-to-day basis, maintain healthy relationships, and successfully engage with education, employment or training.
Break’s Emotional Wellbeing team: left to right: Jessica Myhill, Fay Danesh and Laura Hughes
Break’s Emotional Wellbeing Practitioners work at a variety of locations across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, here’s what they had to say this #CareDay19
“I like this service because it is reaching those young people who could potentially be missed and who do not meet the threshold for NHS mental health services. I feel it gives an important safe space for the young person to focus on their emotional wellbeing throughout the difficult transition from being in care to becoming an independent adult. This service is great because it is completely led by the young person and individualised to their needs.” – Jessica Myhill
“This service is a great, flexible way of working together with young care leavers, who might need some extra support. I think that historically there has been a gap in services for young care leavers and there is a real need for this service now. I really enjoy meeting with the young people each week and like the fact that we are able to get to locations close to where the young person is living. This helps the young people feel safe and relaxed in sessions.” – Fay Danesh
“Having worked with care leavers for a number of years, I’ve seen first-hand the impact it can have upon this particular group of young people if their emotional wellbeing is low, and I’m so pleased we’ve got funding to address this issue. I love that this service can be flexible to work around the young people. If a young person doesn’t want to ‘just talk’, we can do handmade projects together, play games, go for walks – essentially, anything that gives them a safe space to be heard.” – Laura Hughes
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.”
Karen and John have fostered for Team Fostering in the East Midlands for almost 4 years, and shared their fostering journey with us...
"Fostering was something that we thought about doing over 20 years ago, but with our own children we wanted to spend time bringing them up before starting our journey as foster carers.
We loved raising our family and we wanted to share the safety, love, respect and guidance that we had together with a child or young person who hadn’t had that in their own life. Basically, we wanted to make a difference.
During our time as a fostering family we have learnt so much about ourselves. It’s made us realise how strong and grounded we are as a team and the tight bond that we share. Sharing this with a child and bringing them into a family that cares about them and wants them to succeed is so rewarding and has developed us as a family and individually. It’s brought out qualities that we didn’t realise we had.
The role is just amazing. We feel so humbled in our journey to date. For young people to come into your home nervous, anxious and uncertain and for you to see them grow in confidence, self-worth and self-belief is beyond words.
We are really happy with Team Fostering as an agency. From our first point of contact when we first enquired about becoming foster carers we received openness, honesty and respect. There wasn’t any pushiness or intense pressure to recruit us, we were able to ask our questions, hear the information and then allowed to step back and form our own opinions and conclusion. The staff we spoke to were knowledgeable and professional, reassuring us that no questions were silly questions. Now we’re approved and working with the agency, we really feel like part of a team. A team whose aims and objectives are to meet the needs of each and every child. We're so happy we chose to foster with Team.
Our advice to those considering fostering would be that it’s not something to rush into and it’s important to speak with Team Fostering about how the role will impact your life. Consider those around you and how they might feel about it, particularly if you have your own children. It’s such a rewarding role but not without some challenges, however the agency supports you through these times.
Fostering suits us, we love the lifestyle and looking after our young person and the rest of our family full time. We have more time to invest to the young person in our care which means we can help them with all parts of his life. Having time to listen, guide and support him to make positive life choices and develop his skills is wonderful and we’re so glad we began our journey with Team."
We're on the lookout for foster carers across the North East, Yorkshire and East Midlands.
Whether you have some fostering experience or are completely new to the role we offer innovate training, comprehensive support and competitive fees to help you flourish in your role.
For an informal chat about fostering, our agency and how you could become a foster carer, you can speak with us in the following ways:
Complete our online enquiry form here
Call our Recruitment Administrator, Sam, on 0800 292 2003
Email us via firstname.lastname@example.org
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."
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