Salary: £33,561 pa + £1,500 Out of
Hours Rota Allowance
Closing Date: 16/06/2019
Interview Date: 27/06/2019
Hours: 35 hours per week
Full Time - Permanent
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 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: Sunday 16th June 2019
Interviews: Thursday 27th June 2019 at TACT South West (BS16 2QQ)
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 and application documents here
Our Midlands Office based in Bromsgrove, West Midlands, is looking to recruit an exceptional person to support our Foster Carers and Children. The successful candidate will work closely with our social work and administration team.
Bromsgrove, West Midlands (B60)
We are a progressive organisation who promote a friendly and supportive working environment, where you will be rewarded for your hard work and results.
As well as a competitive annual salary (up to £37,000 dependent on experience) plus a very generous car allowance (£4,800 per annum) and out of hours allowance (£1,200 per annum), we offer a comprehensive benefits package including 30 days Annual leave plus bank holidays, 35 hour week, up to 5% contributory pension, occupational sick pay, private health care, dental care, employee assistance programme, enhanced maternity pay, life assurance, long service awards, childcare vouchers and free office parking.
Permanent, full time. 35 hours per week (Monday – Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm, Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm)
Our staff are an integral part of our success and we are seeking to recruit a Principal Social Worker to cover our West Midlands area.
Based at our Midlands Office in Bromsgrove you will recruit, assess and support our Foster Carers as well as make placements in response to referrals from Local Authorities. Our low caseload management system ensures that we achieve good outcomes for our children and maintain a high quality service. This role involves supporting the Registered Manager by supervising and supporting less experienced staff on professional matters and undertaking tasks delegated by the Registered Manager.
Please see the full job description listed below for further details.
This is an exciting opportunity for a HCPC registered Social Worker with at least 2 years’ experience in a social work environment that includes some fostering social work experience. Someone who can work flexibly as part of a busy team and wants the opportunity to provide a quality service to our children, young people and Foster Carers. Supervisory experience would be advantageous.
The Children’s Family Trust is an equal opportunities employer and committed to promoting the welfare and safeguarding of children, ensuring that they are kept safe. As you will be in an environment which involves child protection and working with Looked After Children, you will need to be covered by DBS clearance, which the Trust will undertake. This position is also subject to receipt of satisfactory references.
How to apply
To apply please email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. If selected for interview candidates will be required to complete an Application Form and Equality & Diversity Monitoring Form available from our website. We are a great company to work for and this is a rare opportunity to make a ‘real’ difference in children’s lives. To read more about our unique history, please click here.
Closing Date: 10th June 2019
Full details and application documents here
The Fostering Network's annual 'Foster Care Fortnight' is taking place across the UK and the 2019 theme is #ChangeAFuture
We are proud supporters of the campaign, as an agency member of The Fostering Network, and an advocate for promoting foster care across the country. There are thousands of children and young people in need of a home, and we are proud to be part of a network that aspires to recruit and train new foster carers to look after them.
We've been sharing some real stories and testimonials during the campaign, including from our staff, foster carers and even young people that have been looked after at Team Fostering.
We know that, for those considering fostering, there are often unanswered questions about types of fostering and how these work, and we thought we'd share some information on some of the types of fostering that our agency offers:
Short Term Fostering
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.
Long Term Fostering
Long Term Fostering provides substitute care when a child or young person is unable to return to their birth family and are unlikely to be adopted. Long Term Placements can be planned in advance or might be the result of a Short Term Placement converting to longer term.
In this case, the foster carer will care for the child or young person permanently until they move onto independence.
All of our foster carers are offered the support, training, fees and allowances that allows them to look after young people in their care, and this does not lessen with long term fostering. For more information on the support we offer, click here.
Short Break Care
We recruit foster carers who are able to offer short break care for children and young people, which enables their main foster carer to take short breaks. When arranging short break care, we try to match the children with the same short break carers each time so that they get to know the family and look forward to their time away.
Parent and Child Fostering
This is where a young (often teenage) parent and child live with a foster carer until the Local Authority feel that they are able to manage on their own or with alternative support. The foster carer in this instance would look after the parent, protect the parent's child and work with the Local Authority's plan for both. This is an alternative to placing young parents in residential units and without this support, relationships can often break down and lead to separation of the parent from the child.
Are there eligibility criteria for fostering?
To become a 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 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
During #FCF19 we are exploring all things fostering.
Who can be a foster carer?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to fostering. The answer is simple. We welcome foster carers from many different backgrounds in terms of relationship status, ethnicity, age, sexuality and religious belief.
You can become a foster carer regardless of whether you have had children of your own. We welcome people who have never been foster carers or who are experienced foster carers.
Whatever your experience we will support and develop you. We always work hard to match foster carers and child very carefully.
If you want to find out more about becoming a Break Foster Carer in Norfolk get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01603 670100 or download our Foster Carers' Guide. Find out who can be a Foster Carer here.
Meet Eddie's foster parents - Case Study
My partner and I have been caring for 10-year-old Eddie since 2018. He has really started to grow in confidence and is even learning to make friends since he has been part of our family.
Eddie was confused and anxious when he came to us. He had been through terrible trauma, which shaped his behaviour. It was hard for us to see him become upset and angry and hard to be the target of his angry behaviour. But things are getting better now as he settles in.
Eddie’s sense of humour is coming to the fore and we have great fun together. We enjoy taking him out on his bike, to the beach, trampolining... Recently we all went on holiday to Dorset. He is doing better at school and loves his maths, reading and writing. He is more able to talk about his feelings and to cope with life’s ups and downs.
We take Eddie to see his parents, brother and sister and the rest of his family, who live a long way away. We feel glad that his mum and dad are happy with the care we are giving their son.
The Break Fostering service has been very supportive. It’s extremely useful getting together with other foster carers to share experiences at the monthly support groups. We have a supervising social worker who meets with us regularly and there is training and support covering all aspects of caring for children in a therapeutic way. We find all of this invaluable and we have learnt a lot about parenting children who have experienced trauma.
We are really glad we decided to foster and we would recommend anyone applying to Break to be a foster carer. The assessment process is very thorough and we cannot tell you that caring for a child is all plain sailing, because it can be tough and it’s important people know this. But we can tell you that the personal rewards are great, and when we see Eddie’s progress it’s a wonderful feeling.
We feel Eddie is beginning to understand our commitment to his learning and growth. He has begun to talk about the future, planning for his secondary school and, most importantly, he is enjoying being a young boy again.
Could you become a foster carer?
If you care about children and believe you can help us to change young lives. Fostering can play a huge part in transforming a young life, helping them to become happy, secure and successful young people.
Foster carers need to be able to value young people and to be able to commit to care for young people with sometimes complex needs and all this entails. We want foster carers who are aware there will be challenging times, and also rewarding ones, and who are able to work with the child at the child’s own pace and, above all, be able to provide a loving and caring home.
Find out more today by emailing email@example.com call 01603 670100 or download our Foster Carers' Guide.
Location:Northern Ireland Regional Office
Salary :£43,096 - £55,371
Closing Date:14 June 2019
Interview Date:W/C 1 July 2019
At Barnardo's, we believe in children. Our purpose is to transform the lives of the UK's most vulnerable children and our vision is to realise Thomas Barnardo's dream of a world where no child is turned away from the help that they need.
In order to achieve our purpose we require Senior Managers who can demonstrate their ability to lead teams of talented and committed staff; who are able to work within the complexity and uncertainty of commissioning and tendering in the voluntary sector and who are able to display business acumen in a social care setting.
The Assistant Director of Children's Services post represents an opportunity for the successful candidate to be a strategic business leader and ambassador for Barnardo's Children's Services within their locality, delivering the vision and purpose of Barnardo's and ensuring that safe, effective and quality services are delivered consistently to children, young people and their families.
Salary: £43,096 - £55,371 per annum
Hours: 36.25 per week
Closing date: 14 June 2019 (midnight)
Interview date: Week commencing 1 July 2019
A waiting list will be held in the event that similar vacancies arise during the next 9 months
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
At Barnardo's we believe in children – no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through. Please read about our basis and values following the link below. You will be asked questions relating to them as part of the recruitment process for this role.
Barnardo's is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce for staff and volunteers. We actively encourage applications from disabled, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and male candidates as they are under-represented within Barnardo's.
Our basis and values
Full details and application documents here
Mick has been a foster carer for the Foster Care Co-operative since 2007. In 2002, he and his partner Sian joined their families together – which in turn guided them towards caring for others. In 2017, he wrote his first book – ‘Are Difficult Children difficult, or just different? What if we can change to help them’ – on the subject of adapting to the needs of children in care. We caught up with Mick to find out what inspired him to take time out to write it.
What inspired you to write the book?
My reason for deciding to write a strategic publication on how adults working with or caring for children can change their approach to suit the differing learning and progression needs of a child in their charge, came mainly from a passion for building strategies for young people ‘outside the norm/realms’ of traditional teaching and parenting styles, which clearly cannot work for all.
Who is the book aimed at?
‘Are Difficult Children difficult, or just different? What if we can change to help them’ is aimed at any adult involved with young people who do not present or behave in line with the majority of expected behaviours and traits in children aged between 5 and 16 years old. They are tried and tested example strategies that have evolved in focused programmes for a variety of young people – displaying what could be described by many as ‘difficult’ behaviour traits. The focus is on the adult changing their approach, in lieu of attempting to change the brain pattern of the ‘difficult child’ – bringing them in line with more traditional methods that quite simply do not work in the long term.
Did you base the advice/guidance purely on your own experiences as a foster carer, or did you draw from other sources?
Having ‘looked after’ the 8 children in our long-term care as a full time Foster Carer (in addition to our five birth children – 13 in all!), I have enjoyed the reparation strategies involving areas of concern, including serious neglect, disorganised/insecure attachment disorders, sexual abuse, domestic violence and special educational needs. I have, over the years, extended my learning to become better qualified in understanding the traits and behaviours that are caused by Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), Autism, Asperger’s and the Human Brain. I have been directly involved in the organisation of conferences for Foster Carers, Adopters, Care and Medical Professionals, and have presented workshops on FASD, Complex Educational Needs & introducing strategies for children with behavioural issues. I regularly present the three day ‘Skills to Foster’ programme that is a mandatory part of the selection process for prospective Foster Carers and my role is very much to allow them to gain the ‘reality’, whilst they work alongside qualified Social Workers learning the legislation and logistics of the task.
Two of our birth children (the oldest girl & youngest boy) along with two of our Fostered children have forged their pathways to attend University, whilst we have adult children currently serving as a Police Intelligence Officer, a Lance Corporal Paratrooper in the British Army (II Para), an RGN Nurse in ICU, a part-time removals man, a Call Centre operative and the Director of a Construction Company. We currently look after three children aged 12, 13 & 17 on behalf of their parents and the Local Authority, whom are all in Long Term Permanent placements here that commenced, 7 (the two youngest siblings) and 9 years ago respectively – all have a very different background story with extremely differing needs, behaviours, complexities, diagnoses and educational capabilities. As a running total I have parented children across approximately 120 years – I hope I do not look that old!
I have also worked closely with at least four Head Teachers, three Virtual Head teachers, several Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs), numerous medical professionals and a large number of Parents, Carers and Adopters. They have consistently but independently voiced ‘you should write a book, Mick’, so I decided to finally take their advice!
Was any of the subject matter hard to write, emotionally?
It was obviously a very emotional process writing the book, but also extremely therapeutic and a great reminder of the successes and positive outcomes that all of the children continue to enjoy as children and well into their adulthood, still making mistakes, but able to review, assess and build on each experience.
How long did it take you to write it?
I penned the book across 6 months in 2017, approached Publishers in early 2018 and signed the Publishing agreement in May 2018.
‘Are Difficult Children difficult, or just different? What if we can change to help them’ is available to order now here, or from all good book stores.
Member News: TACT's Specialist Social Worker spoke with journalism student Harriet Wallace about why foster carers turning to private agencies.
TACT Specialist Social Worker for North West Jo Culley spoke to journalism student Harriet Wallace about why are foster carers turning to private agencies.
An increasing number of foster carers are now turning to private agencies, instead of local authorities, which cost the taxpayer £727 million in 2016-2017.
According to the government report, commissioning placements through private agencies, “needs to vastly improve,” and if this happens, it will “improve quality” in the fostering system.
The report, Foster Care in England, conducted by Sir Martin Narey, an advisor to the British government and Mark Owers, Government adviser on children in care and permanence, was a review for the Department of Education, in February 2018.
During 2016-2017, local authorities spent £1.7 billion providing foster homes for over 53,000 children in the foster care system.
This was 45 million pounds more than the previous years (2015-2016).
£727 million of this was spent on buying placements from 295 private agencies, 235 of which were privately run and the remaining 60 from the voluntary sector.
This means that 235 organisations made profit on commissioning these placements, and 60 organisations have it do it voluntarily, without making or making very little surplus.
A third of foster carers come from private agencies and across the UK, 152 local authorities rely on private agencies to provide foster carers for them, as they do not have enough foster carers themselves.
According to the independent review, there is a “startling failure to obtain best value” for local authorities to manage their budget better. This is down to the private agencies having the upper hand when it comes to financial negotiations, as local authorities desperately need foster carers.
The independent review brought to light that foster carers from a private agency will get paid more than a foster carer who fosters through their local authority – in London, the fees and allowances for a 16-year-old foster child, means the foster carer gets £450 weekly.
However, foster carers from private agencies can expect £585 a week.
The report saw “virtually no evidence of discount pricing for large numbers of placements,” which can cause greater financial strain to local authorities nationwide.
The independent report also found that across the nation, only three local authorities are close to becoming self-sufficient when sourcing placements for foster children – this means that the local authorities have 95% of their foster carers working for them, not private agencies.
On the other hand, the report found some councils have very few foster carers working for them, or in one instance – Doncaster Council – have no foster carers at all, meaning their foster carers are all provided by private agencies.
Out of 76 foster carers asked, who participated in an online survey for The Guardian, which was shared amongst a Facebook support group for foster carers, 48 of them foster through their local authority, and the remaining 28 foster carers, foster through a private agency.
Only 35% of the 48 foster carers that foster through their local authority, would recommend fostering to a friend, despite 66% of them enjoying fostering.
Edward Reed, a foster carer from Bradford, fostered with Bradford council, a local authority, for 14 years. He left due to not being happy with several things and he now fosters through a private agency.
Edward says his new agency “are very supportive, always email, call and see me in person. I feel valued and can focus more on the children.”
Many foster carers enjoy working with the children and providing them with a safe and loving home, but do not enjoy working with the fostering system.
Becky Churchyard, a foster carer, said “I feel that it is a true privilege to be part of our looked after children’s lives – watching them grow, not only physically, but emotionally too and being part of their personal processing of who they are and reassuring that it’s ok.
“I do not have any faith in the system around the children and fear for the honesty and integrity of Social Workers. I feel that although the children are supposed to be at the centre of everything, they aren’t, and it is the families that are given priority, along with financial constraints and fear of litigation.
“I’m also concerned at the amount of money that is made by Independent Fostering Agencies at the expense of the children and Foster Carers.”
Stacey Dolan, a foster carer from Preston, says: “I love caring for the children but that is the only reason I do this – I do not enjoy the ‘fostering’ bit; it’s bureaucratic and foster carers are stuck in a blame culture which often means we are treated awfully.”
Jo Culley, a Specialist Social Worker for North West at TACT, said: “Foster carers are turning to private agencies because of the lack of support they would get from local authorities.
“With a private agency, you do tend to get a lot more support and visits from social workers and you also get more opportunities to access more resources.
“It is such a difficult job being a foster carer sometimes, and they need the support that some local authorities just can’t give.”
Most private agencies charge local authorities fees for a placement, some agencies do this to make a profit, and some do it to cover costs, such as TACT.
Jo says it’s not unusual for foster carers to move on with fostering with local authorities, to private agencies, because of the lack of support local authorities give to its foster carers.
Jo works for a fostering charity called TACT, otherwise known as The Adolescent and Children’s Trust. According to their website, they have been helping to provide loving families to children for over 25 years and are there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to support their foster carers.
If TACT make any surplus money made by charging local authorities fees, however small, it goes back into caring for the children and their foster carers by running events and training. This is different to most private agencies, as they would keep their profits for their company.
Jo adds: “I think it’s wrong in terms of where their money goes, for example, our small surplus goes on the children in our care.
“What you read and what you see is the profit private agencies make is often offset elsewhere and I don’t agree with that because we should not be profiting on vulnerable children at all.”
However, Jo understands that most foster carers enjoy fostering with a private agency because they get more resources. She explains that local authorities often come under pressure with government cuts, as it means their resources become very stretched and social workers are often overworked.
Jo says: “Local authorities are already on their knees and every year; the cuts keep coming.
“There’s only so much money to go around every department, and although fostering is one that really needs the funding, it just does not get it.
“Without funding, you can’t provide the right support and resources to foster carers.”
Project Linus delivered a lovely selection of quilts to our Essex office for our young people in foster care recently.
We had previously received quilts in our Hereford office where they have brought a great deal of comfort to our young people, so we are immensely grateful to the local Project Linus team for supporting us in Essex.
Davina Cox, co-founder of Young People at Heart, said that our foster carers in Hereford had told her how much the young people of all ages appreciated the hand-made quilts, so she was delighted that Ellie, one of our Social Work Assistants who supports our foster carers and young people in Essex, had contacted Project Linus and the quilts could now be delivered to our Essex foster children as well.
The photo shows Sarah, our local Admin Manager and Letesha, one of our Supervising Social Workers, both based in our Essex office, sorting through the wonderful selection of quilts
‘The difference Team Fostering made’
An account from Thomas, who was looked after by Team Fostering carers in the North East, in celebration of The Fostering Network's Foster Care Fortnight 2019 theme: #changeafuture
When I was placed with Helen and Neil, my carers at Team Fostering, they welcomed me straight away as part of their family.
While I was with them, the agency became like my extended family. The other foster carers and social workers were like my aunts and uncles, and the other kids were like friends, a little bit like cousins. We would see each other at Team’s parties and activities.
While I was in their care, Helen and Neil got me my first ever passport. With them I was able to visit Italy and Paris. They even put up with my obsession with Lady Gaga!
With them, I discovered who I am and what I can achieve. They really helped me when I came out, and they really helped me to dream big.
Helen and Neil pushed me to work hard at college and it was so worth it.
A holiday in Hong Kong cemented my dream of studying in Shanghai. Without their support it wouldn’t have been possible, but I made it to China!
I ended up taking a year of studying in Shanghai after I left Helen and Neil’s care. It was amazing and even though I was no longer placed with them, I knew Helen and Neil were always at the end of the phone. If I needed help I only had to ask.
I’m now living in Wales, completing a Chinese Studies degree. I still ring Helen and Neil once a week.
They always said I was part of their family, even after I left their care as foster carers, and they will always be part of mine. I feel lucky to have them.
For Foster Care Fortnight 2019, St Christopher’s wants to celebrate the amazing foster families who transform the lives of children every single day. Sharon is just one of these foster carers – here she tells her story of fostering three sisters.
Hello, I’m Sharon I have been asked to talk about my experience of therapeutic parenting as a foster carer. My parents were foster carers when I was younger and my mum looked after 65 children in total before she retired, so I wanted to give it a go too.
A few years ago three girls came to move in with me. At first they was so much sibling rivalry and jealousy, but at the same time they were scared to be separated. They also showed signs of hyper-vigilance, which is when you are constantly looking around you to check for danger that is reminiscent of something you have experienced before.
We knew they had experienced trauma, neglect and abuse before they came into care, which is why they were behaving in these ways. They had spent three years living apart with other foster families and had only been reunited for one year before they moved in with us, so they had to get used to being together again.
Initially we couldn’t leave the children alone together because they would start fighting, so we worked with St Christopher’s therapeutic specialist to see what techniques we could introduce. This support was really helpful and made a huge difference. We started putting firm boundaries and routines in place, like set bedtimes and each girl having the same specific colour for their cup or lunchbox so there can be no jealousy.
We also noticed that if we praise the girls for something, like a drawing, they would destroy it because they did not think they deserve nice treats or items. So now we don’t overreact, overpraise or oversympathise, but we always tell them that they have good hearts.
Since we started with therapeutic parenting, the girls are more settled and calm. They fight less and have become more confident, as well as thinking about the consequences of their actions. But we are all on a journey so we still have a fair way to go.
And my mom made it all look so easy!
Could you change a child’s life like Sharon? Get in touch with St Christopher’s today to speak to a member of our fostering team.
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