Location: UK Wide – Home based or Barnardo's office
Contract type: Permanent
Salary: £45,218 to £58,297
Closing Date: 6 July 2019
Interview Date: 15/07/19
The Head of Service Development and Quality will play a pivotal role in the development of the family placement business across the UK, ensuring high standards of quality assurance. Secure commercially viable contracts in conjunction with the Business Development unit and ensure recognition of Barnardo's as the go to expert in the field of family placement.
Location of postholder: This is UK wide role and hence there is no fixed location for the post holder. Consideration will be given to candidates being home based, or subject to agreement at a Barnardo's office close to home base. As the role is a UK wide post, the post holder will be expected to undertake regular travel across the UK, including overnight stays.
Barnardo's believe in creating equality of opportunity in the workplace and supporting people to manage their work-life balance; we are therefore are open to offering flexible working arrangements.
When completing your application please refer to your skills knowledge and experience in relation to the Person Specification, Job Description and Additional Information document. This should be done with an understanding of the context of the service described.
At Barnardo's we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and we expect all staff and volunteers to share in this commitment. Our safer recruitment processes mean that the safety and welfare of the child is paramount at every stage of the process and therefore, we adopt rigorous scrutiny in our pre-employment checking. This post is subject to a range of pre-employment checks including a Criminal Records Enhanced Disclosure for the successful candidate.
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
Member News: Team Fostering - How are social work caseloads established to meet the needs of foster carers?
By Patsy Wainwright, Team Manager
At Team Fostering, foster carers are allocated a designated supervising social worker once they have been approved at the agency. We will not change a carer’s social worker unless necessary, to ensure consistency and to allow the fostering family and the staff member to build a relationship and strong level of familiarity.
As an agency team we want all carers to feel that their social worker has time to support them and the children that they are looking after. The Team Managers carefully monitor how many families are allocated to each worker to make sure that caseloads do not increase to a point where support and availability offered to each family is hindered. We have systems that allow us to balance workloads between staff. As each new carer is approved we consider which office is most local to them to ensure their designated social worker is close by, and then we look at which social workers have capacity for a new family. If all members of the team are supervising the maximum number of fostering households for providing thorough support, the agency considers whether additional hours or staff are needed.
This is incredibly important to Team Fostering as we pride ourselves on our provision of direct, comprehensive support that is delivered by staff who know the families that they supervise well. In turn, this increases the stability and level of support provided to the children and young people in their care by increasing their own support and satisfaction levels. It means that if our carers are struggling, they can contact their worker and know that their issue will be dealt with promptly and professionally, in a timely but calm manner.
Team Fostering is a not-for-profit, independent fostering agency with offices across the North East, Yorkshire and East Midlands and a mission statement of ‘Putting Children’s Futures First’. We pride ourselves on offering comprehensive support, innovative training and competitive allowances, all strengthened by our not-for-profit status that allows us to invest surplus funds into the services provided.
If you’d like to speak with us about becoming a foster carer, you can reach us:
By calling 0800 292 2003
Via email at email@example.com
By submitting an online enquiry form here
By Steve Elliff, Education and Support Service Manager (Yorkshire and East Midlands)
'We all know that many young people in care face barriers to succeeding in education. Indeed, this is why we have an Education and Support Service at Team Fostering. In addition to supporting young people with their education whilst they are with Team Fostering, we also encourage them to think about what their education might look like once they have left care.
In 2013, only 6% of care leavers in England accessed higher education, compared to approximately 40% of the general population.
We know that leaving care is a big change for any young person to overcome, and this life event often falls at the same time that young people are thinking about, or planning to go to, university. University is not the right pathway for everyone, but I would challenge every foster carer to at least sow the seed with their young person, as it could be something that is right for them, whether they embark on the journey now or later in life.
Some obvious barriers that limit the chance of going to university include failing exams, dropping out of college or leaving with lower grades than expected, but I've met care leavers who've gone to university who overcame these very situations. For example, some re-sat exams or completed Access to Higher Education courses, while others have completed voluntary work or other placements that have given them a different entry route.
The following support is also available:
Salary £29,700 pa plus £1,500 Out of Hours Allowance (once participating)
Closing Date: 30/06/2019
Interview Date: 09/07/2019
Hours: 35 Hours Per Week
Full Time - Permanent Supervising Social Worker
Homebased - South West Wales
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-profitable 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.
Duties of the Supervising Social Worker will include:
We welcome applications from Welsh speaking supervising social workers as we are currently under-represented in this area.
The successful supervising social worker will be required to have the following:
TACT offer an excellent benefits package including:
Please see the job information pack for further information.
• Closing: Midnight on Sunday 30th June 2019
• Interviews: Tuesday 9th July 2019 - taking place at TACT Cymru (CF11 9LJ)
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 pack can be found here
Contract Type: Fixed Term Part-Time
Closing Date: 26 June 2019
Salary: £20,100 per annum, pro rata
Up to 7 weeks of annual leave (including bank holidays), pro rata
How do we work?
Action for Children does what's right, does what's needed and does what works for children across the UK. Every year, our team changes the lives of 301,000 children, young people and their families – but for every child who needs help to get help, there's plenty more to do. That's where you come in.
What is the role?
At the heart of the Action for Children Fostering Wales service is the well-being of the fostered children and young people, the foster parents, our staff and colleagues.
We use Attachment theory and principles and our knowledge of the impact of trauma on early childhood development in our work to help children, young people and foster parents to make a meaningful emotional connection.
As a Fostering Support Worker you will be part of a ‘sector leading' therapeutic service providing one to one practical and emotional support to 15-25 year old young people to make the transition from foster care into independent living. You will coordinate and direct the support to young people by agreeing and providing interventions, enabling positive and agreed outcomes to be achieved, in accordance with organisational policies, procedures and regulatory requirements.
This role is offered on a fixed term contract and will be working 22 hours a week. The hours of work can be flexible/negotiable depending on the service needs.
How will you make a difference?
You'll significantly improve young people's lives:
By providing a high quality service to young people based on an assessment of need and is outcomes driven.
By attending and participating at relevant multi agency meetings, providing a lead role ensuring reflective and analytical practice review.
By establishing and developing effective relationships and channels of communication with young people, colleagues, community organisations, partner agencies and other external agencies.
By ensuring a safe and positive work and service environment is achieved through compliance with all safeguarding, safer recruitment, health and safety policy and procedure.
What will you need?
What are the rewards?
This is a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference to vulnerable children's lives and to build a fulfilling and meaningful career with a leading UK children's charity.
If you really want to make a difference and be a part of an amazing team, don't hesitate, apply now!
Please note: Interviews are planned to be held the week commencing 8th July 2019.
For more information on this opportunity please contact Moni on 07741 742249 or email her at Moni.Ali@actionforchildren.org.uk
Application details can be found here
Ray – TACT Foster Carer since 2009
My life has always been very child focused. I have a 19-year-old son with my wife Anne who works in childcare, two older girls from my previous marriage and four grandchildren. My brother and sister-in-law fostered with TACT for 23 years before they retired this year and we often spent time with children in their care. As we had a spare bedroom in our house, we decided that we would love to give a child a chance of a family life, with support and love, and so ten years ago i became a foster dad.
Shortly after we were approved to foster, we received a phone call regarding a young man from Afghanistan who was at a police station after being found on a lorry. We only had 15 minutes notice before a social worker brought him to our house so we quickly put fresh bedding on and waited. To say we were nervous would be an understatement.
This boy came to our house with only a plastic bag containing a few clothes given to him by the police, and he had no knowledge of English. We did our best to make sure his needs ere met and we learnt a lot very quickly. First, we went to our local mosque where we found help and advice from some lovely people. Then we visited a halal shop where we received tips on what he could and could not eat. Finding him a school was particularly difficult as not many had places available, and the fact that he didn’t speak or write much English made it even more complicated.
However, I did my best and phoned and chased people until a place was found. When children are in my care, I will always do all I can to support them and get them the best outcomes possible. As three out of four of the children we have cared for were unaccompanied asylum seekers, being their foster carers meant taking them to legal meetings and supporting them throughout intense and stressful times. The list of processes we have had to undertake when a child moves in with us could be very long, but the way I look at it is just the same as with any other family member. You fight for them to get what they need.
Being a foster carer means everything to me. I have loved helping the children in my care, supporting them and watching them gain confidence and achieve great things at school. This doesn’t end when the young person leaves our house. We are still in touch with all our former foster sons. They know that we are still here for them and they are welcome to pop in anytime.
I am proud to say all the boys are doing well in life. Our first foster son has his own family now and he still calls us mum and dad. The second one is working really hard but makes sure to find time to come visit us. Our third son received his leave to remain status last year and he is now studying for a degree at university.
Our own son is now 19, and to him the boys are just like family. I still remember when our first foster child arrived at the house, the two boys spent the evening playing on a game console. No talking was needed, they were communicating as children do.
I would recommend to anyone who is considering fostering not to overthink it and just go for it. And when you get that phone call about a child that might be placed with you don’t listen only to negatives. All children are different but they have one thing in common – they all need support and a family.
Read more carer stories here.
Member News: Young People at Heart - We’re expanding and using this platform to introduce our new recruits.
Young People at Heart is a not-for-profit Independent Foster-Care Agency (IFA) that’s expanding! At Young People at Heart outcomes for young people are paramount for the organisation and everyone associated with it. Quite simply, everything the organisation does has the interests of young people at heart and that’s the way we want it to stay. On that basis the people who work with us have to have exactly the same ethos. Today we’d like to introduce you to one of our latest recruits Estelle Cashin, our Placements Officer.
My first experience of an IFA was in the late 1990’s when I got my first job at a small IFA local to where I lived. It had a real family feel to it and it was a great place to work. I worked as a Receptionist/Administrator before being lured back to my previous employer and then starting a family.
I had grown up in a family who fostered and was one of four myself. As a result I have some fantastic memories of all of us piling into the car and going to see my grandparents in Great Yarmouth, sometimes as many as seven children and our dog. I always admired my parents for fostering and the children and young people we looked after were very much a part of our family. I think having this experience as a child has helped me to grow as a person.
After having my second child I went back to the local IFA and worked a few hours a week populating their new database (mostly I went in on a Friday afternoon to entertain the troops whilst doing the odd bit of data input!) and looked on, longingly, while someone else fulfilled my dream job, Placements Officer. I continued to be a full time mum of two and went on to have two more children.
When my youngest was at school I had a conversation with a friend, who worked at the agency, who told me that a Training Administrator position was about to become available. I applied and got the job.
During my working life I have had a handful of bosses who’ve had a positive impact on me and, the way I work. Dale Cooper, my new boss, was one of these and I am thankful that, although no longer my boss, he is now my friend. It was during my time working with Dale, in the Training Administration role, that I had an opportunity to help, and cover for, Sarah the Placements Officer. I was in my element as I had finally got to be, albeit in an adhoc way, a Placements Officer. Over time the role grew and I was given the opportunity to be the full time Placements Officer. Seven years later I still love my job.
Not long after being given the role full time the agency we worked for was sold to an investment company, who went on to purchase a number of different fostering agencies. The area and number of agencies I covered grew and I had a team of seven to manage. Although incredibly proud of what I achieved while I was there (the number of children I had found fantastic carers for, carers who gave the young people placed the lives they deserved) I slowly started to feel that the role was becoming less about the children and the carers and more about how many children could be placed. I always really wanted to make a difference and I didn’t feel I was anymore. So I made one of the toughest decisions I have ever made, to leave the organisation (where I’d worked for years and where I had met some incredible people).
I reached out to Dave Bailey and Gary Cox at Young People at Heart because I had worked with them before and admired what Young People at Heart stood for. So here I am, working for a not for profit organisation where everyone’s opinion, and feelings, matter. A place where I feel listened to, valued and am encouraged to put the young people we work with at the heart of everything I do. I meet the children I place and spend time talking to the carers on the phone so I can match them better by understanding their needs (which makes the placement more sustainable). I’m doing what I love most and making a difference again! But I never forget that I couldn’t do this job without the foster carers and their families. They are the people who volunteer to care for the looked-after children and young people who need them. The people whose children have to share everything including the time they have with their parents. The people who are in extremely short supply because each and every year the number of referrals increases. If you’d like to foster with young people at heart then give me a call.
Member News: Team Fostering - Guest Blog: John Sands discusses the importance of offering psychological support to foster carers
As an agency that prides itself on ‘Putting Children’s Futures First,’ we continually seek ways to strengthen the support package we provide to foster carers in order to meet the needs of the children and young people in their care. In 2018 we launched a psychological support service with John Sands, a clinical psychologist whose work is underpinned by attachment and resilience theories, in order to provide support to carers and staff that will enable them to individually tailor care for children and provide an opportunity for them to recover from their early traumatic experiences.
John Sands discusses the importance of this support…
'Why is it important for a fostering agency to offer psychological support?'
"Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory and knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing and relieving psychologically based distress. Clinical psychologists have been central to the understanding and development of attachment theory, and to the application of clinic practice to lessen attachment insecurities.
The majority of children and young people looked after by foster carers usually arrive in care with significant attachment insecurities. This can make a relationship with their foster carer/s feel unsafe to them, and the strategies they adopt to try and make themselves feel safer are often those behaviours that carers find challenging.
Clinical psychologists can work with all parts of the care system, from child to foster carers, social workers and the rest of the support network. The aim of such work is to lessen insecurities, strengthen relationships and ultimately reduce disruption in the home. The stability of the fostering placement is recognised as a critical factor in improving outcomes for children and young people in care.
The inclusion of clinical psychology in support offered by fostering agencies like Team Fostering can complement the knowledge and skills already present, adding significant value to the care offered by foster carers. This can considerably improve the emotional health and outcomes for some of our most vulnerable children and young people."
Team Fostering is a not-for-profit fostering agency. Operating in this way allows the agency to provide a multitude of support services, training opportunities and competitive fees and allowances. The implementation of our Psychological Support Service has been extremely well-received by foster carers, who value the workshops and consultations that John is providing. We look forward to continuing our work with John.
If you are interested in fostering, we would love to hear from you. This psychological support is just one of our initiatives that is not offered by all other fostering agencies.
You can speak to us about training to become a foster carer, or transferring to us as a current foster carer, in the following ways:
call us on 0800 292 2003
send an online enquiry form by clicking here
email us via firstname.lastname@example.org
speak to our Live Chat advisers by opening the Live Chat box
Stella, a Southwark foster carer shares her experiences of opening her home to vulnerable children
Stella has been fostering for nearly 18 years and has looked after over 60 children. Here she shares an insight into what it takes to open your home to a vulnerable children.
“If you woke me up in the middle of the night and asked me about the children I’ve cared for, over 60 children, I can tell you each ones date of birth and why they came to me. I can tell you that, but ask me what I had for breakfast and I can’t remember! That’s how they are to me. I always want to know what they are doing and how they are, even after they leave me. This Christmas we had over 20 of our children back. This time they came back with their partners and their children. Seeing them now and remembering them how they were- that’s the reward.
“Over the years I’ve cared for unaccompanied minors. When they arrive they can’t speak English and then later I’ll hear them calling 'Auntie, auntie I’m going out!' I cannot explain the feeling to hear that! When they first arrive I’ll buy a good dictionary and we used the phone to translate what each of us was saying. My grandma used to say, ‘Food is the heart of the child!’. It brought us together because we are in the kitchen together and we learnt things from them too. By listening to the child about what the type of food they want to eat for example it helps them feel more settled.
“One night a one boy showed me his home in the Middle East and how it had been destroyed. It took a long time for him to trust me and show me this. He told me about how his home and family were gone and everything he had been through since. When he arrived he was very anxious and kept saying he had a headache. We took him to the doctors but the headache medication didn’t work. I could see how on edge he was, on the bus he would always stand by the door ready to get off. I spoke to a Southwark social worker and was referred to Care Link. We had a very nice person who worked with his to get him the help he needed. People said to me ‘why do you keep him?’ but we developed a relationship with him, we couldn’t tell him to go. This experience helped me feel more confident in opening my door to someone else with mental health problems.
“I always say, fostering is not just a young person or a child coming into your home and you providing a roof and a safe environment: its love. Especially with teenagers, they need someone to love them. You show them this tiny bit of love will help a teenager go a long way.
“The best thing about fostering is seeing the child thrive in their own way, not comparing them to anyone else. To see them out there, being independent and coping with life- that’s the reward.”
The Together Trust’s very own Wendy Coomer has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List.
Wendy has volunteered for over 22 years in various governance roles, supporting the Together Trust in its vision to see people thrive because they are valued within their communities. During this time, she was chairman of the board of trustees for five years until 2018. Wendy has been awarded her MBE for services to young people in Cheshire.
Wendy first became involved with the Together Trust as a manager in one of the charity’s special schools in Stockport. In 2012, she was chairman of Bridge College’s governing body when it moved to state of the art facilities in East Manchester, and was a crucial part of the team who lead the campaign to move the charity’s specialist further education college to Manchester. Today Bridge College supports over 80 young people with profound learning difficulties and complex health needs.
“Her support has been crucial over the years and Wendy has been a loyal advocate for the young people we support. Her Honour is well deserved.” Mark Lee, Chief Executive
Although Wendy has now retired from the board of trustees, she continues to support the work of the Together Trust as a volunteer member of its fostering panel and supporting people subgroup.
Chief Executive, Mark Lee, commented: “Wendy has made an enormous and valued contribution to the Together Trust and we are delighted that this hard work and commitment has been formally recognised.
“Her support has been crucial over the years and Wendy has been a loyal advocate for the young people we support. Her Honour is well deserved.”
"This has always been important to me and I hope to continue supporting and volunteering at the Together Trust for many years to come.” Wendy Coomer
Wendy said, “I am surprised, delighted and honoured to receive this MBE. It has been a privilege to work with a fantastic group of staff, volunteers and young people over many years. The team at the Together Trust continue to support me thus enabling me to champion care and independence for people with disabilities, complex needs, autism and their families.
"This has always been important to me and I hope to continue supporting and volunteering at the Together Trust for many years to come.”
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