TACT is celebrating the news that its service in Wales has been ranked by The Children’s Commissioning Consortium Cymru (4Cs) as the Number One fostering service on the first tier. This means that TACT are the top rated fostering agency used by the 4Cs.
To find out more about TACT in Wales visit tactcare.org.uk/about-us/where-we-work/wales/
The news in Wales follows on from TACT achieving Tier 1 status on recent tenders in Kent and South West England.
Children’s minister Edward Timpson MP is taking afternoon tea with foster carers today to celebrate the Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight.
The minister, who last week announced a £250,000 contract for the Fostering Network to take foster carer recruitment to the next level in England, is also the son of a foster carer.
In support of Foster Care Fortnight the minister, who has responsibility for fostering in England, said: “I wholeheartedly support Foster Care Fortnight. I know from personal experience what difference good quality foster care can make to the lives of society’s most vulnerable children.
“I hope that those who haven’t considered fostering before, or those who have been thinking about offering a child a stable, loving home, will take this opportunity to put themselves ‘in the frame’ to foster.”
Vicki Swain, campaigns manager at the Fostering Network, said: “We’re thrilled that the minister has invited a group of foster carers to tea at Parliament. The opportunity for them to tell him about their experiences on the frontline of foster care is a superb one.”
At least 7,350 more foster families are needed across England this year alone to look after the rising number of children in care who need fostering. There are now more than 41,000 children who are fostered in England, a number which is rising year on year.
Foster Care Fortnight is the Fostering Network's annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and highlight the need for more foster families. To find out more about fostering, people should visit www.couldyoufoster.org.uk
Last week the minister got in the frame to show his support for fostering and Foster Care Fortnight – see our online gallery to find out who else is supporting the campaign.
Children’s minister Edward Timpson is today announcing a £250,000 contract for the Fostering Network, which will take foster carer recruitment to the next level in England.
The contract will enable the Fostering Network, working with consultancy iMPOWER, to further develop its expertise, and to improve the sector’s knowledge and understanding of how to recruit and retain foster carers. The aim is to help boost local recruitment of foster carers to meet the diverse needs of children needing foster care and to help fostering services share good practice.
A core activity of Supporting Fostering Services to Recruit More Foster Carers will be gathering new information and insight into recruitment activity and the foster carer population.
The first step is a survey of foster carers which will provide new understanding of the workforce and what motivates and drives foster carers. The results will inform the production of innovative resources that will directly benefit fostering service recruitment of new foster carers.
Secondly, a benchmarking survey of fostering services, the first of its kind, will help paint a national and regional picture of foster carer recruitment activity and results, and will allow fostering services to compare their performance with national benchmarks, and identify areas for improvement.
Following analysis of the surveys, the Fostering Network and iMPOWER will provide one-to-one support up to 2015 for 25 local authorities across England.
Announcing the launch of this project and other measures to help improve foster carer recruitment, the minister said: “Growing up with over 80 foster brothers and sisters, I know from my own experience that foster care can provide an incredibly valuable opportunity for children to experience stable family life.
“Fundamental to this challenge is the successful recruitment and retention of carers – in particular, those capable of caring for sibling groups and children with complex needs. We know that three quarters of children in care are fostered, and that some local authorities need more help to get this right.
“This Foster Care Fortnight we are announcing £750,000 over the next two years to help local fostering services recruit a broader range of foster carers.”
Lucy Peake, director of external affairs at the Fostering Network, said: “The Fostering Network has been at the forefront of foster carer recruitment activity over the past decade, and is delighted to have been awarded the contract for this ground breaking new approach.
“Over the next two years this work will tell us more about what motivates and drives foster carers, so that we can support fostering services to get better at recruitment and retention.”
iMPOWER director Jeremy Cooper said: “We’re thrilled to be working with the Fostering Network and DfE to change fostering across England, starting by listening to foster carers.
“We believe councils need to transform their relationship with citizens to deliver sustainable public services given the huge challenges they are facing, especially in providing the best opportunities for our most vulnerable children and young people. We have seen that just listening more to foster carers can be the catalyst to start this transformation.”
Fostering services interested in getting involved in the project should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Foster carers can complete the survey now at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/foster-carer-recruitment
Responding to the BMA’s Growing up in the UK report calls for more early intervention to support vulnerable families. Policy Manager, Emma Scowcroft said:
“We know the number of vulnerable families facing multiple problems in the UK is growing. Our research with the Children’s Society and NSPCC predicts that the number of children living in families with five or more vulnerabilities is set to rise by 54,000 to 365,000, an increase of around 17% by 2015.
“We strongly support the BMA’s calls for early intervention. From our own work with families and communities all over the UK, we know that it transforms lives and creates real savings in the long term – up to £1.3bn a year.”
*This figure was calculated using the SROI developed by NEF (2008) to primarily provide figures on Action for Children’s East Dunbartonshire Family Support service, assessing the programme’s success in preventing children from going into care. This figure takes into account the savings of £0.8 billion the Coalition Government would make from not providing family support services to every child across the UK at risk of going into care. Cutting these services would be a false economy, as many more children would be taken into care at a cost of £2.1 billion. This gives a net cost of £1.3 billion (£2.1 billion minus £0.8 billion). Commissioned by Action for Children, research was conducted by New Philanthropy Capital.
Broadcaster, journalist and PACT Ambassador, David Akinsanya is backing PACT's Foster Care Fortnight (13-26 May) campaign.
David grew up in care and spent time in prison but credits his social worker for giving him the determination to turn his life around at the age of 19. He is involved in voluntary work and is passionate about adoption and fostering, and acts as a mentor/respite foster carer for many children and young people in care.
David said: “There are many children around today who have huge potential but have been given a challenging start in life and I have great respect for all the patient and professional social workers, foster carers, adopters and teachers that work to support children who are facing difficult times through no fault of their own.
“Having been in care, I know only too well how important it is for those who end up being looked after to have kind supportive people in their lives. I urge those with space in their homes and hearts to become foster carers or adoptive parents to help give these youngsters a better start in life. That’s why I’m backing Foster Care Fortnight and charities like PACT.”
PACT is currently recruiting foster carers to help meet the national shortage of 9,000 new fostering families. PACT is running information events for people to find out more about this rewarding vocation. To hear from a PACT foster carer, learn about the support and training on offer, and how to take the next steps to becoming an approved foster carer with PACT, come to one of our Foster Care Fortnight events.
David will be speaking at PACT’s Adoption & Fostering evening for people from the black and minority ethnic community on
As the latest unemployment figures are announced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today, Action for Children, says that more needs to be done for vulnerable young people, particularly those with no or poor qualifications.
Whilst overall the figures have gone down, the analysis published today by IPPR shows that while the graduate unemployment rate up to the end of 2012 stood at almost 13 per cent, among those without good GCSEs it was almost 35 per cent, and worse still, 41 per cent for those with no qualifications at all.
Emma Scowcroft, Policy Manager at Action for Children said: “We agree with the IPPR that for the vulnerable young people who have no qualifications at all the future is deeply concerning, and sadly we’re still seeing many who don't have jobs, or who aren't able to access education, accessing our support every day.
"Many vulnerable young people have to face obstacles that most adults would find too much to bear. They may be living in poverty or experiencing neglect on a daily basis, as a result, this puts employment and education opportunities even further out of reach.
“These young people need to be given a fighting chance. We know that with targeted and timely support we can address their needs and offer the stability and consistency needed to open up opportunities to the right education, training programmes, and jobs.
"We know supported training programmes like Action for Children’s Youthbuild can transform their lives for the better, and can save society huge amounts of money in the long term.”
FtSE Member News: Community Foster Care will be at various venues in Gloucestershire during Foster Care Fortnight
Staff from Community Foster Care will be offering advice to adults at information stands during Foster Care Fortnight (May 13-26).
At the same time, children will be able to take part in face-painting and potting up sunflower seeds.
“We want to plant the seed about fostering into the minds of adults, and we’re giving children something to do at the same time,” said Chris Cawkwell, Registered Manager for CFC, based at Staunton .
From 10:00 am until 16:00, you can come along and ask CFC staff any fostering-related questions at the following venues:
Monday 13 May 2013
Blooms Garden Centre, Haresfield, near Stonehouse, GL10 3DP
Wednesday 15 May 2013
Regent Arcade Shopping Centre, High Street, Cheltenham
(We'll be on the ground floor by the glass lift)
Friday 17 May 2013
Blooms Garden Centre, Evesham Road, Cheltenham
Monday 20 May 2013
Dobbies Garden World, Siddington, Cirencester, GL7 6EU
(We'll be by the exit)
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Brockworth Garden Centre, Shurdington Road, Brockworth, Gloucester
“Hopefully people interested in foster care will come and talk to us,” said Chris. “They may not have had children of their own, but could have the life experience that would make them a great foster parent. We’d like people to go away thinking that fostering could be for them.”
Look for our pink and purple stand!
Click here for more information on Future Events in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Swindon, Cumbria and Lancashire.
FtSE Member News: Community Foster Care will be at various venues throughout Lancashire during Foster Care Fortnight
Staff from Community Foster Care's Preston office will be on hand to offer fostering advice at a number of events around Lancashire during Foster Care Fortnight (May 13-26).
Thursday 16 May 2013
Firswood Community Centre, Longford Park, Great Stone Road, Stretford, M32 8QS - Information Evening (18:30 - 20:00)
Saturday 18 May 2013
Dobbies Garden World Preston, Blackpool Road, Clifton, PR4 0XL - Information Stand (11:30 - 15:30)
Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 May 2013
Chipping Steam Fair, Green Lane Show Ground, Chipping, Lancashire - Information Stand (All Day)
Monday 27 May 2013
Great Harwood Show, The New Showfield, Harwood Lane/Whalley Road, Great Harwood, Lancashire, BB6 7TB - Information Stand (All Day)
Also, CFC staff and carers will be on BBC Radio Lancashire on Monday 13 May 2013 (10:45 - 13:00), talking about their experiences with CFC and fostering in general.
Click here for more information on Future Events in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Swindon, Cumbria and Lancashire.
Three St Christopher's foster carers from Essex have explained why they decided to foster, how rewarding it is to see a young person make progress and why they'd recommend St Christopher's. If you'd like to find out more about fostering, enquire today:www.stchris.org.uk/fostering
We are very proud to announce that Team Fostering foster carer, Maria Catterick, has been awarded the Prime Minister's Big Society Award.
Maria Catterick has been fostering with us for 9 years and has looked after 26 of Team's children and young people. We are very pleased that her dedication and selfless support to help improve the lives of young people in care, has now been recognised by this fantastic award.
Maria's work with young people helped her gain first hand insight into the impacts of FASD (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) which led to the launch of the FASD Network, a support group made up of a cooperative of families affected by this disability all are advocating for awareness and change.
With about 70% of children with FASD going through the foster care and adoption systems, Maria, ambassador for the cause, has helped educate groups of teachers, social workers and other professionals about the needs of children and adults with FASD, focusing her time supporting families and caregivers as well as speaking at conferences around the country and abroad.
“I am truly humbled by this award. I see lots of people in my town doing extraordinary things, often in a voluntary capacity. said Maria
"Joined together we can meet most needs from housing, food, family support etc. The essence of the Big Society is that whatever little we have or however ordinary we are, we can make a difference. We don’t have to have loads of power and money but what we do doesn’t have to be massive. All we have to do is just share a little of what we have to respond to a need that we encounter in our everyday life and before we know it change happens. I do what I can because I can… because we all can.”
Commenting on the award Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Maria is an amazing woman. She has shown tremendous generosity of spirit and dedication to all of those children that she has looked after.
“She has also had a wider impact on the community, raising awareness of FASD, a serious condition which unfortunately is becoming increasingly common.
“Maria embodies the spirit of the big society in showing how one person’s altruism can have a much wider positive impact on the whole Stockton area”.
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