Exciting things are happening at Community Foster Care, we have big goals and big plans in making sure the children and young people in our care have the best opportunity at a bright future. To keep improving and driving towards this mission, we need more hands on deck, so we are thrilled to announce two new arrivals to our team and very excited to introduce them both to you.
We are pleased to welcome our new team member, Evelyn, to Community Foster Care. Evelyn is joining as a Marketing Assistant in our Gloucester office. She will be a voice behind some of our posts, so you will be hearing from and interacting with her on our social media platforms.
Evelyn has a background in communications and marketing within organisations in England and Kenya. She is most happy when working within organisations that are making a positive impact in the world, and she is passionate about using marketing as a channel to promote social change.
A little something about Evelyn:
I enjoy spending time with friends and family, the pandemic has truly shown me how important they are to me. I love traveling and the new experiences it brings, especially when it comes to food, and I hope one day to travel more around Africa and the Middle East. I also relish in the arts which absolutely includes YouTube and Netflix.
We are delighted to welcome Kate to our team, who has joined us as a Finance Assistant in our Gloucester Office. Kate’s role will support us to improve our financial capabilities, so we are better able to achieve our goals.
Kate has worked in admin and finance for seven years in various settings, and she finds the most rewarding part of her career journey has been with charities with an artistic or community focus. She is happy to be part of the team and is looking forward to using her skills to support our work.
A little something about Kate:
I have a husband, two teenage girls, a dog and two cats, all of which keep me plenty busy! I love to sing, anything from karaoke show tunes to big choral society stuff. I love being entertained and can’t wait to be able to visit theatres and comedy clubs once life gets back to some kind of normal again.
If you would like to join our expedition, please see our available roles on our jobs board.
Member Job Opportunity: Community Foster Care - Senior Supervising Social Worker / Supervising Social Worker Gloucester and Lancaster
Gloucester and Lancaster
We are looking to recruit 1x social worker in Gloucester and 1x social worker in Lancaster to fulfil either a Supervising Social Worker role or a Senior Supervising Social Worker role, dependent on experience.
A (Senior) Supervising Social Worker at Community Foster Care will be driven to promote the Child or Young Person’s Ambitions and Dreams. They will do this by recruiting, enabling and enhancing foster families to provide safe, stable, loving, nurturing family homes. Children and Young People seeking to live within these families will have often experienced significant trauma and abuse. Enabling Children and Young people to thrive in our foster families will therefore require a number of special ingredients, which you will need to develop and nurture.
Senior Supervising Social Worker: £31,871-£36,540 + £1095 (car allowance) pro rata + c.£2.4k Out of Hours payment based on 73 nights. Total package approximately - £35,366-£40,035
Supervising Social Worker: £28,318.50-£30,551.50 + £1095 (car allowance) pro rata + £2.4k Out of Hours payment based on 73 nights. Total packahe approximately - £32,013.50-£34,246.50
Please complete an application form and email it to email@example.com
Closing date: 5th February with interviews on the 9th February
Full details and application documents here
As Panel Chair you will be required to chair panel meetings monthly (or as required); meetings will take place in either of CFC’s main offices located in Gloucester and Lancaster.
Panel meetings are currently taking place via Zoom; during 2021 it is likely that CFC will adopt a ‘blended’ approach, and panels will include face to face as well as operating remotely.
As a Panel Chair you will be expected to take responsibility to:
Chair panel meetings (to include panel briefing), ensuring that all items of business are covered and that the panel operates in accordance with regulations and CFC’s policies and procedures
Prepare for all panel meetings, reading papers thoroughly and identifying key issues and alerting the panel advisor if necessary, to ensure that the case is adequate for submission to panel.
Facilitate the active participation of all panel members in contributing to the panel’s consideration of cases and to the making of clear and well evidenced recommendations with the reasons for these.
To address diversity issues and to promote anti-discriminatory practice at all times
Ensure that clear and accurate minutes are written, which record the views of all panel members and to be involved in the checking and agreeing draft minutes with other panel members before they are sent to the agency decision maker
To liaise with the ADM and other senior managers as required
Ensure that the ADM and registered manager are aware of any areas of concern, in relation to individual cases and more general matters
Be involved in the recruitment and appointment of central list members and in any consideration about terminating the appointment of a member
Review, alongside the panel advisor, the performance of central list members as the need arises, and at least annually.
Assist in developing, promoting and monitoring policies and procedures and high standards of work in fostering services in the agency.
Assist in planning training for members and to participate in this at least one day a year
Safeguarding the confidentiality of all panel papers and panel discussions
Be involved in:
Participation in Fostering Quality Assurance meetings (3 times a year), to support the agency monitor and review areas of practice across the fostering service, to include the panel’s performance.
Financial Package: £35 per hour plus £75 reading for each panel
For more information and to apply, please visit: www.communityfostercare.co.uk/panel-chair
Member Job Opportunity: Community Foster Care - Practice Manager (Fostering), Gloucester and Lancaster
As a Practice Manager (Fostering) at Community Foster Care you will be driven to promote the Child or Young Person’s ambitions and dreams, offering support to your team of Social Workers and reporting to the Registered Manager.
You will do this by recruiting, enabling and enhancing foster families to provide safe, stable, loving, nurturing family homes. Children and Young People seeking to live within these families will have often experienced significant trauma and abuse. Enabling Children and Young people to thrive in our foster families will therefore require a number of special ingredients, which you will need to develop and nurture.
In addition to the above you will also take lead responsibility for leading and developing in connecting more families with children - foster carer recruitment - and fostering better outcomes – therapeutic practice, learning and development. Please see job description for further information.
Salary Scale: £37,656-£40,600 + £1095 (car allowance) pro rata + c.£2.6k Out of Hours payment based on 122 nights. (up to c.£44.5k)
Out of Hours:
Managers OOH rota participant.
Weekday night Cost £15.00
Weekend night cost £30.00
Total finance package: Up to c.£44,345
Please complete an application form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date: 15 January with interviews on 22 January
Click here for more information and application form.
The chair of Community Foster Care's fostering panel, John Powell, has retired. We would like to thank John for all his hard work and the role he has played for the last seven years. Below are a few words from John on his experience.
"I have, in December 2020, retired from my position as Chair of CFC Fostering Panel, a post I have held for the past 7 years.
Throughout that time I have always been impressed with the very professional approach taken by the agency, in terms of being strongly child centred, ethically sound and supportive.
I am particularly pleased to be leaving an agency that has a single panel approach, that is robust in nature, independent, transparent and has significant knowledge about the Fostering Task. Panel has grown, with the support of CFC always available. It's a Fostering Agency that I would recommend as having the right balance of care, innovation and good professional standards.
I have really enjoyed being the Chairperson and will, forever, remember the qualities they bring to enhance the lives of children looked after by their excellent set of dedicated carers ."
Member News: Community Foster Care in the news - An increase in demand sees foster care charity move to bigger premises
Community Foster Care (CFC), has moved into larger premises so that they can accommodate an increase in demand for foster carers in West Cumbria.
The new space, which is located on Tarne Howe Building West on the Derwent Howe building estate in Workington, will allow the local team to meet the needs of more young people who need loving homes, as well as the foster carers who look after them.
“The decision to move reflects the need and our growth in West Cumbria,” said Emma Weaver, a Registered Manager for CFC. “Our ethos is to ensure that wherever we operate, we have small caseloads for our social workers and have strong, solid local support in place for all of our amazing carers.”
Community Foster Care’s new home will house a dedicated area for play sessions, as well as space for monthly carer support groups and regular training events.
Viv Gibson, CFC’s placement support worker in West Cumbria, said, “We want to be accessible to our carers and children, and we want to provide a warm family feel too. This new space has a wonderfully welcoming environment so people can pop in for coffee and have a chat.”
Currently, there are about 700 young people who are looked after in Cumbria. Around 160 of them are from Allerdale and 150 from Carlisle.
“When CFC was set up in 1989, we wanted to do things differently,” said Emma. “Our goal was to disrupt the status quo around foster care recruitment and provision.
We continuously challenge ideas about who can foster because we think it is so vital that children in care have the chance to stay in their local area with people from similar backgrounds. As a result, we work with a variety of carers, but we need more.”
In particular, CFC is looking for people who can look after sibling groups, older children, and parent and child placements. Specialist training is provided for all carers, along with access to monthly support groups, financial allowances, and regular consultations with a child psychotherapist.
Supervising Social Worker, Loren Hannah, said, “This move is so important on several levels. But one thing I’d say is if people want to find out more about fostering – just come along and see us – the kettle is always on.”
Community Foster Care’s Rebecca Robson has won a top national award for her outstanding work as a social worker.
She clinched the honour at an awards ceremony run by The Fostering Network – the UK’s most prestigious foster care awards which shine the spotlight on those who make an exceptional contribution to the sector.
She was nominated by CFC foster carer Andrea Jones who said: “Rebecca is dedicated, caring and so very often goes way above and beyond any expectations of a social worker. She is an all-round fantastic example of a decent human being and exceptional social worker.”
The judges concluded that Rebecca, based in our Lancaster office, is an outstanding social worker in how she exceeds expectations time and again. For example, when a child was in hospital, she sent the carer home to get some much-needed rest and sat in hospital with the child until almost midnight. The next evening, on her day off, Rebecca returned to offer support and stayed until 3am.
Rebecca also takes time to consider the feelings of the birth children of foster carers, sometimes taking them out to give them an opportunity to talk about how things are going.
Even when off duty, Rebecca keeps her phone on and will answer if you need her. She is there for every support group, training day, day out and fostering event.
CFC CEO, Mark Kingston, said: “We are enormously proud of Rebecca. She is an outstanding social worker who emulates the charity’s values. She really does go way above and beyond any expectations we might have of her.”
Rebecca has been a social worker with CFC since 2018. She previously worked in the child protection and court team in Cumbria and Lancashire.
The Fostering Network’s Fostering Excellence Awards ceremony took place in London on 23 October.
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “Social workers play such an important role in foster care and particularly in the lives of those in care. That’s why it is so encouraging to meet social workers like Rebecca who are totally dedicated to their role, foster carers and young people. Rebecca’s commitment to helping carers and young people in times of difficulty is a real credit to her and exemplifies the impact she has had everyone she has worked with.”
There was plenty of cheering when Community Foster Care held an open day to celebrate the opening of new premises in the heart of Gloucester.
As the charity marks its 21st anniversary, Chief Executive Mark Kingston said the move to Kingsholm Road “marks a mighty step in our coming-of-age strategy”.
“When Community Foster Care started life, it was inspired by a belief in the local communities of Matson, Coney Hill and Hester’s Way. The aim was to invest in these communities and together provide loving homes to the children in our care,” he said.
“Since we have moved here from Staunton, we have seen many more children, young people and carers here at Kingsholm - which is brilliant.”
More than 70 people attended the open day which included a buffet, bouncy castle, children’s entertainer and painting room.
Patron of CFC, Dame Janet Trotter, performed the official ribbon-cutting with the help of foster carers Wendy and Steve Impey who have been with the charity since it started, and Gloucester rugby player Henry Trinder who is also a foster carer for Community Foster Care.
“Community is very much part of this organisation,” she said. “It may seem strange that we are here to celebrate a building but it’s important because it is in the middle of the Gloucester community. We want to interact with this community and draw more people into fostering and the wonderful work that Community Foster Care does.”
Chair of Trustees, Judge Charles Wade, added: “Here we are at the heart of the City of Gloucester, enabling our carers and staff to access the centre of operations much more easily than before. I and the trustees are confident that it will have a major positive impact upon the future of the charity.”
Mark thanked everyone who makes the work of Community Foster Care possible. “I am lucky to lead an organisation with such fantastic carers and staff. You really are remarkable,” he said.
Member Job Opportunity: Community Foster Care - Supervising Social Workers in Gloucester and Royal Wootton Bassett
We are searching for new talented inspired people to join our crew.
As a small community-focused fostering charity, exciting things are happening, and we’re look for new crew members to join our expedition.
We’re propelled by our values and our beliefs to explore new ways to realise young people’s potential and achieve our mission.
We currently have posts for Supervising Social Workers or Senior Supervising Social Workers in Gloucester and Royal Wootton Bassett.
£27,900 - £36,000 pro rata, plus car allowance and other benefits.
30 hours or 37.5 hours
Closing date: Sunday 12 May 2019
Interview date: Wednesday 15 May 2019
We employ robust and thorough safer recruitment procedures. To find out more about these exciting charity opportunities, to read the recruitment packs and grab an application form, visit:
Child and adolescent therapist Vicky Blackwell has taken up a new role with Community Foster Care.
Vicky has worked extensively with fostered and adopted children for more than 10 years. Initially trained as a social worker before further training in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy and Theraplay, she has wide experience of children with a range of different mental health issues such as RAD, PTSD, ADHD and anxiety disorders as well as emotional difficulties around loss and grief, attachment and problematic relationships.
“I believe it’s important to work with the whole family system when working with children,” she said.
For Community Foster Care, a not-for-profit agency, she will provide a therapeutic family consultation service for looked-after children, working with both children and carers in and around Workington and Lancaster.
“Integrative psychotherapy can make a big difference to children who have experienced early-life trauma, allowing them to have their emotional developmental needs met, which are often delayed or under-developed because of the impact of relational trauma,” she said.
“Cared-for children can have profound attachment difficulties that prevent them from making a good enough relationship with their carers. Understanding and responding appropriately to the child’s attachment behaviour helps both carers and children to relate to each other differently.”
After qualifying as a social worker in Salford in 2007, Vicky worked primarily with families with adopted children for more than ten years. She retrained in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy in Manchester in 2014. She is also a certified Theraplay practitioner and supervisor. She now runs her own private practice Family Be, which provides clinical therapeutic interventions to children and families with varied backgrounds and family systems.
Registered Manager with Community Foster Care, Emma Weaver, welcomed Vicky: “We’re really pleased to have someone with Vicky’s approach and skills as part of our team. She’ll help us better understand the trauma and broken attachments which children experience and how that affects them,” she said.
“She will play a key role in providing expertise at times of crisis, enabling us to build understanding and resilience within the family.”
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