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.
We are very pleased to announce that MJR Events have chosen Break as their charity of the year for 2019/20.
Break will be at the Norfolk Bump & Beyond Baby and Toddler Fair on 29th March 2020 at The Norfolk Showground.
Sarah Bunn, Break's Events Manager said, "We are very excited to be working closely with MJR Events in the run up to the event. The funds raised will enable Break to continue to make life better for vulnerable young people and families living in our local communities".
Over the past 5 years, MJR events have raised over £3,500 for local baby & child related charities in Norfolk.
There will be lots of fantastic prizes up for grabs in a raffle held on the day in aid of Break. The raffle will be drawn in our Live Stage area.
Watch this space for details of what's happening at the fair.
For exhibitor information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to BOOK TICKETS!
This #CareDay19 we talk about our Staying on Track service
At Break, we make life better for vulnerable young people across East Anglia. We provide a range of services to help young people in care and moving on, children with disabilities and families who need support.
Today is #CareDay19 a celebrtion of care-experienced young people. We would like to showcase Break’s Staying on Track service. This service is available to young people who have left or are about to leave the care system. It aims to help young people to have more stability and support at what can be a scary time. Thanks to funding through the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Break is able to offer this free service to care leavers in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK by funding the charitable work of organisations that are building an inclusive, creative and sustainable society.
Break is delighted to have received funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and it helps the charity to continue to improve its provision for care leavers. Rachel Leslie, project manager, said “Care leavers were telling us that they needed more help in feeling prepared for independent living. They wanted to feel more emotionally ready and have links with other care experienced young people to help them. Thanks to Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Break is now delivering this vital support. It will help them to feel more confident going forward and help them move to independent living successfully.”
The Emotional Wellbeing Service, delivered by Break Family Centre, is available to care leavers aged 16 and over. This support is to help care leavers prepare for transitions, such as moving into independent living, becoming a parent, or starting employment. Sessions will provide them with a safe and confidential space, tailored to meet the young person’s individual needs and preferences; this might be to help them understand and manage their emotions, process past experiences or develop positive coping strategies. This will enable them to feel more positive on a day-to-day basis, maintain healthy relationships, and successfully engage with education, employment or training.
Break’s Emotional Wellbeing team: left to right: Jessica Myhill, Fay Danesh and Laura Hughes
Break’s Emotional Wellbeing Practitioners work at a variety of locations across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, here’s what they had to say this #CareDay19
“I like this service because it is reaching those young people who could potentially be missed and who do not meet the threshold for NHS mental health services. I feel it gives an important safe space for the young person to focus on their emotional wellbeing throughout the difficult transition from being in care to becoming an independent adult. This service is great because it is completely led by the young person and individualised to their needs.” – Jessica Myhill
“This service is a great, flexible way of working together with young care leavers, who might need some extra support. I think that historically there has been a gap in services for young care leavers and there is a real need for this service now. I really enjoy meeting with the young people each week and like the fact that we are able to get to locations close to where the young person is living. This helps the young people feel safe and relaxed in sessions.” – Fay Danesh
“Having worked with care leavers for a number of years, I’ve seen first-hand the impact it can have upon this particular group of young people if their emotional wellbeing is low, and I’m so pleased we’ve got funding to address this issue. I love that this service can be flexible to work around the young people. If a young person doesn’t want to ‘just talk’, we can do handmade projects together, play games, go for walks – essentially, anything that gives them a safe space to be heard.” – Laura Hughes
Break are delighted to announce that MENTA has chosen Break as its charity partner for 2019.
MENTA is a multi-award winning not-for-profit company – not a membership
organisation. They provide business advice, business skills training, bespoke business courses and networking opportunities. Their services help grow your business.
MENTA has invited Break to its networking events, Coffee Means Business in Woodbridge, Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill during the year and the charity will exhibit at the MENTA Business Show on Tuesday 1st October at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds.
CEO of MENTA, Alex Till said, “I’m delighted MENTA will be partnering with Break during 2019. They are providing vital services and support to those who really need it.”
Michael Rooney, Head of Commercial Services at Break said, “We are thrilled to be working with MENTA as their charity partner for 2019. We look forward to raising awareness of how businesses, their staff and individuals can make a difference to vulnerable children’s lives by volunteering and fundraising for Break.”
For over 50 years Break has been working tirelessly to help young people in care and moving on, children with disabilities, families in need of support and children at risk.
Hilary Richards Break’s CEO said “As Break continues to grow and diversify to meet changing needs, this is the perfect time for us to recruit. We are looking for a variety of Trustees that want to help improve the lives of young people in our community. We look forward to welcoming our new Trustees who will join our experienced skilled managers and longstanding Board.”
Frank Shippam, one of Break’s Trustees said “Being a Break Trustee has been a fascinating, challenging and hugely rewarding experience for me. I have learnt many lessons from the charity’s employees and fellow Trustees and am proud that I have made a contribution to the brilliant work Break undertakes in changing young lives.”
Break welcomes CV applications from individuals with strategic and clear thinking skills, the ambition and dedication to drive Break forward, and ability to contribute effectively as part of a team and with innovative ideas.
The Trustee positions are on a voluntary basis with appropriate expenses reimbursed. For further details or to view the full job description visit
To find out more about becoming a Trustee email Sally Butler for an applicant pack email@example.com
The closing date for applications is midnight on Monday 18th February 2019. Interviews will take place on Thursday 7th March 2019.
Staff and members of the public were invited to pop into one of the Hays Travel branches to donate new toys, gift sets, toiletries, household goods, stationery items and books.
It was the firm’s sixth annual Santa’s Sleigh appeal to help vulnerable children, young people and families supported by the charity across East Anglia.
Break’s CEO, Hilary Richards said: “It is overwhelming to see so many kind gifts and toys donated. These gifts will be wrapped and given to so many deserving families, children and young people who have moved on from care.”
Branch manager of Hays Travel Aylsham and appeal coordinator, Jo Dobbie said: “All of us at Hays Travel are so appreciative of everyone who supported us with this appeal and would like to say thank you.”
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.
Rachel supports young people as they leave residential care
On Tuesday 13th November, Break's Project Implementation Manager, Rachel Leslie tells her story and shares her views on the challenges young people face as they leave residential care at just 18.
"I wonder what it is like not knowing where you will live when you turn 18; not knowing what is in front of you, your future and where you are going, whether the people who stand next to you and make you feel safe will disappear from your lives because you’ve got to move on. When I left home at a similar age it felt so different; it was so supported and safe. Tonight I will be tucking into home-cooked food with my Mum and Dad, sleeping in my old room that I left when I was 18; that’s 24 years ago."
Head over and take a look at the full article with the Social Care Institute for Excellence now.
Thanks to the 'Staying Close, Staying Connected' project.
At 18 years old, young care leavers prepare to make the transition from their children’s homes to independent adult living. This can be a scary time for most teenagers but with the help and support of ‘Staying Close, Staying Connected’, care leavers can look to the future with hope, knowing they no longer have to face life’s milestones alone.
‘Staying Close, Staying Connected’ is a pilot housing scheme and package of support delivered in partnership with regional children’s charity Break, and Cambridgeshire and Norfolk County Councils. The scheme has been made possible by a grant of 1.3 million awarded to Break by the Department for Education’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Fund.
On Friday 28 September, Break officially opened its first ‘Moving on House’ in Cambridge. The event was attended by senior managers from the Cambridgeshire Children and Young People’s Service, Trustees and members of the Break leadership team, as well as young people who are already part of the project and local partner representatives.
The home is already occupied by two of Break’s young care leavers and was officially opened by Councillor Simon Bywater of Cambridgeshire County Council. Simon, Chairman of the Children and Young Peoples Committee said, “I’m really pleased to open Thorleye Road. The house provides a vital stepping stone from residential care to independent living for young people leaving care in Cambridge. The Staying Close, Staying Connected project supports young people across Cambridgeshire and Norfolk helping them to develop life skills and fulfilling the role of an extended family for young care leavers, providing them with support as they make the transition into young adulthood.”
Rachel Cowdry, Break’s Director of Care and Development said “We know leaving home can be difficult at the best of times, and when a young person has been in care, it can be very challenging. This project, Staying Close, Staying Connected, aims to support young people on this journey. With our partners, including Cambridge City Council who have been very proactive in sourcing properties for us, we endeavour to walk alongside young people and ease the transition."
The project focuses on young people from Cambridgeshire and Norfolk but it is hoped that it will become nationally recognised as best practice in support for young care leavers.
The funding will pay for a pilot project in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to test out effective ways to support children leaving care until March 2020.
Young care leavers in west Norfolk will benefit from a new housing scheme and package of support that will help them to make the transition from their children’s home to independent adult living with the opening of the first ‘Staying Close, Staying Connected’ home in Kings Lynn. The house was officially opened by Jarone Macklin-Page, age 29 (a Break care leaver and Actor) on Friday 18 May. It will be home to three young care leavers.
Staying Close, Staying Connected is a partnership between regional children’s charity Break, Norfolk County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council. The aim is to change the way young care leavers are supported, by putting a framework around them when they leave their children’s home including housing, peer-to-peer support, mentoring, help with independent living skills and emotional support. Young care leavers have traditionally been some of the most vulnerable young people in society experiencing high levels of homelessness, isolation and mental health issues. ‘Staying Close, Staying Connected’ aims to address these issues and to fulfil the role of an extended family for young care leavers, supporting them for as long as they need.
The project focuses on young people from Cambridgeshire and Norfolk but it is hoped that it will become nationally recognised as best practice in support for young care leavers moving on from residential care.
The scheme has been made possible by a grant of 1.3 million awarded to Break by the Children’s Social Care Innovation Fund which aims to develop more effective ways of supporting vulnerable children, specifically those leaving children’s homes.
The project aims to open 20 houses in the next two years supporting 70 young people across the region.
Rachel Cowdry, Director of Business Development at Break says “This is a landmark moment for this very important project that will transform radically the support for young care leavers. We are really excited to be able to work in partnership with Norfolk County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council to support some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities. Break has already been supporting our own care leavers for six years through our Moving On Team and this builds on the experience we have built up in this area. The need to support young people who have lived in care has been evident for many years. These young adults are much more likely, than their peers, to struggle in all aspects of their lives such as finding and sustaining work, physical and mental health, and building positive relationships.”
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