Christmas can be difficult time for young people who have left care. They may not be able to be with their family, and face being completely on their own on Christmas Day. But St Christopher’s staff go above and beyond to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Last year, 16 year old Ella had just moved into her own flat. It was scary for her to have to look after herself suddenly – paying bills, cooking all her own meals and living like an adult, even though she was still very young. Though Ella really wanted some safety and security, she didn’t have a strong relationship with her adoptive parents and didn’t feel comfortable staying with them for Christmas.
She called her children’s home to tell them that she was worried she would be on her own on Christmas Day. Without a second thought, the staff invited Ella to come and spend Christmas with them. They arranged for a taxi to pick her up and drop her back, and Ella spent a happy, cosy day at her children’s home which they’d decorated with a Santa’s Grotto theme.
You can help a child like Ella feel loved on Christmas Day. Your donation to our Christmas Appeal could help pay for a taxi or train ride home, and make sure that there’s a present waiting for them under the tree.
Today St Christopher’s Fellowship announced our Christmas Appeal 2018. No child should feel lonely at Christmas, and with your help we can make Christmas special for children in care and young care leavers.
For many of the children and young people we care for, Christmas can be a lonely time. The time of year when others are happy and spending the day with family can be very difficult for our children. And for young people who have left care or are homeless, they can find themselves on their own with no family to be with – just like Ella, who was worried about spending Christmas alone.
You can help make sure none of our children and young people feel lonely at Christmas.
As part of our strategy for the next five years, St Christopher’s has committed to lifelong learning and thriving for all the children and young people we support. One of the aims of this is to collaborate with young people to make their journeys to independence easier. By fundraising so that young people can spend Christmas where they want, with the people they feel closest to, we are making this aim become reality.
Jonathan Whalley, Chief Executive of St Christopher’s, said: “Many of us take it for granted that we can be with our families on Christmas Day, but sadly this often isn’t the case for young care leavers. So we want to make sure our young people are welcome at their children’s home and don’t have to spend Christmas alone.
“Every donation to our Christmas Appeal will make a difference, and help us to make sure our young people feel safe, happy and loved – not just at Christmas, but every day.”
How you can help
Thank you to all of St Christopher’s supporters.
Community Foster Care has welcomed a new supervising social worker to its team in Lancaster.
Rebecca Robson, 31, was brought up in Kendal and qualified with a BA Hons in social work at the University of Lancaster in 2010.
She has since worked with homeless adults in Lancaster and in residential care. For three-and-a-half years she worked in the child protection team in Cumbria. She joins Community Foster Care in Quarry Road, Lancaster from Lancashire Children’s Services where she was a member of the child protection and court unit.
“I like the ethos of Community Foster Care – there’s a good family vibe and everyone is passionate about improving the life chances of children in care,” she said.
Registered Manager of Community Foster Care, Emma Weaver, welcomed Rebecca to Community Foster Care, a not-for-profit agency and charity.
“She’s a great addition to our team. Her experience with children and young people will be invaluable,” she said.
Community Foster Care provides foster carers for children all over Lancashire and Cumbria.
Fostering Social Worker - FS3180
Expiry date: 23:59, 14 December 2018
Location: Norwich, Norfolk
Salary: £28,418.00 - £32,158.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Job Pension, Life Assurance, Sick Pay Scheme, Child Care Voucher Scheme
This is a unique opportunity to join our established not for profit fostering service which provides therapeutic placements for young people, parent and child placements and short breaks. Our carers are also supported through the Break Family Centre who facilitate our support groups.
You will be dynamic, hardworking and committed to achieving the best outcomes for vulnerable young people. Break Charity is seeking a full time HCPC registered social worker, to assess, support and supervise foster carers in our fostering team.
Salary: £28,418 - £32,158 per annum depending on experience and qualifications
Hours: 37 hours per week
There will be two interviews for this position which will take place early January 2019.
Please note this position may close early if sufficient applications are received before 14th December 2018.
For more information regarding this position, please contact Paul Corina, Operations Manager on 01603 952552 or Sarah Green-Plumb, Fostering Manager on 01603 971328.
We've put together 50 stories for 50 years!
On Wednesday 28th November, Break celebreates 50 years of changing young lives. We've put together 50 stories of young people and families who have come though Break's doors.
We hope that you enjoy reading and discovering more about Break and the young people we've supported over the past 50 years.
From supporting children from Chernobyl in Ukraine, who came for a health-restoring break in Sheringham in the 1990s to stories from parents who have enjoyed a welcoming break from the 24/7 demands of caring for a child with complex needs.
All of these are true stories and many of them are in the contributors' own words. Some names have been changed to protect our young people's identities.
Following the publication of the Care experienced children and young people report by the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly for Wales, Jackie Sanders, communications and public affairs director at The Fostering Network said: ‘We welcome the recommendations of this child-focused report and its concentration on ensuring that there is an emphasis on improving stability and outcomes for care experienced children. We also welcome the focus on prevention and investment in edge of care services and CAMHS.
‘We are pleased to see that the report recommends developing a set of indicators to assess the outcomes of care experienced children as this will enable an assessment of the value for money of various interventions and activities and allow better comparisons across geographies.
‘One of things we raised with the committee through our evidence was the lack of end of placement reviews, which is statutory requirement in Wales. We believe end of placement reviews are key to improving stability and to ensuring the voice and wishes of the child are heard. We therefore welcome the recommendation that the Welsh Government should evaluate how often end of placement reviews take place and how effective they are, with a particular focus on the impact on looked after children.
‘We also raised the funding and implementation of When I am Ready arrangements which allow a young person in foster care to remain with their former foster carer beyond the age of 18. We would have liked to have seen a recommendation specifically linked to When I am Ready. Recommendation 7 of the report does suggest that the Welsh Government commission a review of spending on looked after children, but we are concerned that When I am Ready will get lost within this review and that the other implementation issues will not be addressed in such a review.’
Member News: A positive move for fostering in the East Midlands with the opening of Team Fostering's new South Normanton Office
Team Fostering reaches out for foster carers with the opening of new South Normanton office.
Team Fostering is a not-for-profit fostering agency, established in 2001 and operating across the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East.
Due to continued success across the East Midlands the agency will be opening a new local office in South Normanton this December. Moving from a previous site just west of Papplewick, the new base will provide a more accessible office for foster carers to attend in-house training and support groups which will continue to take place regularly in South Normanton.
More foster carers are needed across the region and Team Fostering’s new office will provide a fantastic location for those considering the role, with the opportunity to join an agency that has a strong reputation for comprehensive support, innovative training and competitive benefits.
Kathleen Walley, Assistant Director at Team Fostering, said ‘I am really excited about our move to South Normanton. Purchasing this office is a sign of our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of children and young people in the East Midlands area, while providing a high quality space for foster carers. The building includes a large training room and a room that we will be using as a young person’s room for activities and individual work. There’s also a specially designed kitchen to encourage young people to come together to make and share meals as part of developing their skills.
‘A dedicated team of social workers in the region will continue to support foster carers from this new base. We’re looking forward to recruiting more foster carers locally who believe they have the skills and experience to work with us in Putting Children’s Futures First.’
This is an extremely positive move not only for the agency but for the fostering industry across the East Midlands. The agency already employs a number of foster carers in the region and this is a perfect opportunity for the recruitment of new foster carers as well as for existing carers locally who are thinking about joining a new agency.
Fostering is a challenging but rewarding role, and Team Fostering is an agency known for its commitment to providing foster carers with the tools and skills to flourish, truly making a difference to the lives of children and young people.
If you live in the East Midlands and would like to become a foster carer for a not-for-profit agency with an outstanding reputation for putting children's futures first, contact us to learn more about the salary, training and support we offer.
You can contact us in the following ways:
Call our Recruitment Administrator, Sam, on 0800 292 2003
Send an online enquiry by clicking here
Email us via firstname.lastname@example.org
We are excited that Raising Celebration – a video with TACT Ambassador Solomon O.B – has been nominated for the Charity Film Awards.
Solomon O.B – 27 year old rapper, poet, National Grand Slam Poetry champion and care leaver, has spent the last three years performing for and listening to children and young people in care and their foster carers. This video – Raising Celebration, is centered on a poem that Solomon has written specifically about his experiences and observations, and also celebrates the fact that it is TACT’s 25th birthday.
The Charity Film Awards have been created to celebrate the success of film in fundraising, to increase exposure of charity films and to encourage donations for good causes. The shortlist is decided by a public vote with voting closing on 14th December 2018. The final winners will be decided by a panel of expert judges.
Please vote for TACT video Raising Celebration:
Thank you for your support
Team Fostering's North East team have are delighted to announce that they received Outstanding in their latest Ofsted inspection, which took place in October 2018.
This means that the team have received Outstanding by Ofsted for over 11 years now, since the current grading began!
The report is available on our website and features some wonderful feedback from children and young people, foster carers and staff. We are immensely proud of the work that is carried out across all of our offices, and delighted that Ofsted were able to witness the efforts of the agency first-hand.
Team Fostering is committed to making a difference to the lives of children and young people, with ethical values and a strong mission statement of 'Putting Children's Futures First.'
Well done to our team!
You can view the report here: Ofsted Report 2018 (North East)
If you're interested in fostering with our Outstanding agency, or learning more about the role, you can do so in the following ways:
Call us on 0800 292 2003
Send us an Online Enquiry here
Email us at email@example.com
Almost half of four- to seven-year-olds in care had not had the reason they were in care fully explained to them, while a third of eight- to 11-year-olds also hadn't
Almost half of four- to seven-year-olds in care have not had the reason for them being there fully explained to them, a survey of more than 2,600 children has found.
The survey, carried out by Coram Voice and the University of Bristol and published as part of the Our Lives, Our Care research series, found a third of eight- to 11-year-olds likewise felt they hadn’t had the reason they were in care explained to them. Among 11-18 year olds meanwhile, 18% hadn’t.
“I would like to know more about why I am in care and why I am not living with my mum,” one child was quoted as saying by the survey.
Throughout the study, respondents were broken down into school ages, four to seven (key stage 1), eight to 11 (key stage 2) and 11-18 (secondary school).
The report said one in five of four- to seven-year-olds didn’t know who their social worker was, but that these younger children were still the most likely group to trust social workers.
More than a quarter (27%) of 11- to 18-year-olds had had three or more social workers “in the past year”. Trust in social workers was nonetheless high – 88% or above – among all children surveyed, researchers found.
Responding to the findings, Brigid Robinson, managing director at Coram Voice, said it was “concerning” so many children interviewed “lack a stable relationship with their social worker”.
‘Lives are improving’
Professor Julie Selwyn CBE, director of the University of Bristol’s Hadley Centre for adoption and foster care studies, said: “While there is still much more local authorities can do to improve services, it is important to recognise that most looked-after children and young people felt that their lives were improving, felt satisfied and were positive about their futures.”
Selwyn referenced wellbeing scores from the survey which, while identifying groups of vulnerable young people who needed additional support, represented a positive picture for young people in care.
Of 11- to 18-year-olds, 15% had low wellbeing, while 34% reported “very high” life satisfaction scores, compared with 36% of 11- to 17-year-olds in the general child population in England.
All in all, more than four in five (82%) of children and young people who participated said they felt life was getting better – though 59% of those in the two older age groups said they often worried about their feelings and behaviour.
Selwyn said that young people with levels of low wellbeing need to be identified and additional support provided to ensure their self-esteem improves and positive relationships can be built with adults.
“Those with low wellbeing were disconnected – lacked friends, had no trusted adult in their lives and felt unsettled and unhappy,” she said.
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