We are so excited to announce that Voices, our creative writing competition for children in care and young care leavers is back for 2019 and we are open for all your incredible entries until midnight on 10 February 2019.
Find out how to enter Voices 2019 here
Voices national writing competition
If you are a child or young person up to 25 years old and have experience of the care system, our annual creative writing competition is for you. It's designed to promote a positive image by showcasing young people’s creativity and improving understanding of their experiences.
The theme for 2019's competition is 'Growing up' and you could win a tablet device and up to £100 in shopping vouchers. Shortlisted entries are also showcased on a special app featuring writing from children in care.
Read our Voices 2018 winners and shortlisted entries here
Watch videos featuring previous winners of our Voices competitions
Want to know more?
Read our Voices Privacy Notice
Sign up to our Voices newsletter for updates and discover more about the competition.
Parent and Child Fostering is a specialist type of fostering where a parent and their birth child are looked after by a foster carer.
The aim of this is to provide support and guidance to the parent, usually the mother, so that they may eventually provide independent care for their child.
Parent and Child Fostering is an alternative to putting young parents in residential units and helps to provide the support they need at the early stages of their relationship.
Without this support, these relationships can often break down and lead to separation of the parent from their child.
The Benefits of Parent and Child Fostering
A foster carer can help with the development of a crucial bond between the parent and child at an important stage in the child’s life. This can be extremely rewarding for the foster carer, who is able to see the attachment and bond grow first-hand. The support given by the foster carer while they look after the family provides the parent with an insight into the lifelong parenting skills required for them to look after their child independently.
Providing this support in a stable environment helps the parent to focus on looking after their child and provides them with vital resources they wouldn’t have access to elsewhere.
In turn, the child benefits from the extra support received by the parent, giving them the best start in life.
Fostering a Parent and Child can be challenging but is a very rewarding experience. At Team Fostering this type of fostering is considered as a specialist role and so is supported with specialist one-to-one support, training and higher fees than some other types of fostering.
As a foster carer with us, you will be:
Our foster carers...
Read our eligibility criteria for fostering with cby clicking here.
Team Fostering is a not-for-profit fostering agency operating across the North East, Yorkshire and East Midlands.
We have strong, ethical values and behaviours and continually look to welcome new foster carers to the team.
If you're interested in learning more about fostering, you can get in touch in one of the following ways:
call us on 0800 292 2003
send an online enquiry by clicking here
email us via email@example.com
One of St Christopher’s strategic commitments for 2018-2023 is to promote lifelong learning and thriving for young people. Part of this is about creating co-produced pathways to independence using young people’s expertise, that can be tailored to an individual’s needs. We are achieving this through a number of ways, such as through our grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Through this project, we are supporting young people in our children’s homes and foster homes to explore what their future may look like when they leave care.
But how can we expect our young people to prepare for this change if they are don’t know what their options are?
Lewis lives at one of our children’s homes. With help from his key worker, he has been thinking about preparing for independence – but as neither of them had visited a 16+ home before, they weren’t quite sure what “independence” looked like.
So a member of staff from our life skills team, a post which is funded by Esmée Fairbairn, arranged for Lewis and his key worker to visit a St Christopher’s 16+ home in another part of the country. They spent the day looking at the accommodation and speaking to staff about how things work in the home.
A few days later, Lewis and his key worker had time to reflect on the experience. Lewis said he now felt “less anxious” about moving onto independence because he had a better understanding of what it would be like. He has thought about the areas he might struggle with and told his key worker about the specific things that will help him so that they can support him in the right way. Now, he will be more prepared for moving on from his children’s home.
The next step for the transitions project is to make links in the local areas so that young people can visit other homes to learn about the practical side of independence. And because St Christopher’s offers a variety of services, there are lots more opportunities for young people to learn about their options for leaving care.
Thank you to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for making this work possible.
Would you like to support our transitions work? Find out how your fundraising makes a difference to children in care.
The post holder will be based in either our Sheffield or our North Shields office. There will be a requirement to travel to our other offices
Team Fostering is an ethical, not for profit fostering agency with a strong reputation and proven track record for providing high quality, value for money foster homes for looked after children. We pride ourselves on our values and our team approach and we expect our staff to commit to and demonstrate these values in their everyday work.
We know that fostering transforms lives. Our mission to keep children at the centre of all we do, and we believe that by providing them with loving, stable foster homes, and supporting our foster carers well, this gives them the best possible start in life. You will have a vital part to play in our future, and theirs.
Taking ownership of our quality assurance systems, you will champion continuous improvement so that we maintain our Outstanding or Good ratings in all Ofsted inspections, whilst monitoring policies and procedures to ensure compliance with evolving best practice. You will supervise our Independent Reviewing Officers, act as Agency Decision Maker for the agency and take a lead role in advising on data protection matters.
A qualified social worker (DipSW, CQSW, CSS or equivalent), registered with the HCPC, you will bring substantial experience of safeguarding and of providing services for looked after children. You will possess extensive knowledge of fostering legislation, regulations, guidance and standards, and have experience and understanding of the management and monitoring of high quality service delivery. You will be very flexible and self-motivated, with a strong commitment to undertake continuing professional development.
For an informal chat about the post please contact Jane Butler, Chief Executive Officer on 01442 617 762.
An application pack, job description and person specification can be downloaded below.
To apply, please send a completed Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 9am on Monday 21st January 2019.
Please note Team Fostering does not accept CV’s.
Candidates are asked to indicate their preference for office base in their application submission (Sheffield or North Shields).
All posts require Enhanced DBS Disclosure.
Closing date: 9am on Monday 21st January 2019
Interviews will be held on Thursday 7th February 2019 at our Sheffield office
Please note if you are shortlisted for interview we will contact you via the email you have provided. Please ensure you check your emails regularly.
No agencies, please.
Full details and application documents can be found here
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.’
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