Lucas and Adam’s journey with the Rolls Royce of fostering agencies
Adam and Lucas’s fostering journey started three years ago when they were introduced to New Routes fostering agency.
Adam said, “For us it was really important to play a part in providing a safe and happy environment for children whose welfare wasn’t being met. We were introduced to New Routes by my auntie who has been fostering with them for over 20 years.”
Lucas said: “We were fortunate that we had some awareness of what fostering involved which helped with the initial contact with the agency. Although we were a little apprehensive of the unknown, we need not have been as staff were approachable and friendly resulting in a smooth transition from making the initial call to being approved as foster carers.
“We currently have three children in our care, two of whom are siblings who have recently been matched with us long term. We also had three short term respite placements prior to the three children currently placed.”
New Routes are keen to dispel myths around fostering, particularly who can foster. A spokesperson from the agency said, “You do not have to be married or have had children. You can apply to become foster carers whatever your marital status, sexual orientation, religious background, and so on. The children and young people we find homes for come from a wide range of backgrounds, so we are looking for foster carers who reflect that diversity. What is essential is that you enjoy the company of children and young people and have a genuine desire to make a difference in their upbringing.
“You do need to have a room for each child, undergo various checks and be willing to attend training. We offer training and support at every stage. We also hold social events so you can meet other foster carers.”
Lucas said, “New Routes are genuinely the Rolls Royce of fostering agencies. They provide excellent support training and guidance as well as being there for a friendly chat. To be a foster carer you need to make sure you have sufficient time, love, and a spare room, as well as having a genuine passion to want to make a difference.”
Adam said, “The rewards of supporting looked-after-children are immense and provides them with the foundation to building a good life. We couldn’t recommend fostering enough, it’s the best thing we ever did. The only regret we have is not doing it earlier.”
Based near Birmingham, New Routes welcome enquiries from people living in the East and West Midlands. It is operated by social care charity Father Hudson’s Care, which provides services and local projects that support people facing various challenges and adversity.
If you would like to find out more about how you can help children and young people on their journey, you can contact New Routes on 01675 434025, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.foster-carers.org.uk.
Names have been changed to protect the identities of looked-after children.
On Sunday 2 July, New Routes Fostering marked 25 years of supporting children and young people with a celebration at Coleshill Town Hall.
Invited foster carers past and present, as well as children and young people currently placed through the service, joined us for an afternoon tea party. Also attending were young people who have left the scheme, Trustees, former employees and panel members.
Guests were free to drop in throughout the afternoon and were greeted with a glass of bubbly or juice on arrival. The event was busy from start to end and there was always something to keep people entertained. Craig from MagicAParty helped get everyone into the swing with a magic show and balloon modelling that entertained children and adults alike. There was a display of photos from previous events and guests were delighted to pick out familiar faces from the old pictures.
Tamworth Voices choir, which included our very own Angela Notman, gave a wonderful performance, singing a variety of musical numbers. After the choir finished guests tucked into lunch while Anna Rooney, Head of Children and Family Services, took to the stage to give a speech.
Anna called two sets of carers up to the stage to celebrate them reaching some big milestones, having fostered for twenty and fourteen years. They were presented with certificates, flowers and trophies by Kevin Caffrey, who set up New Routes Fostering in 1992 and who is now a Trustee. Anna also thanked everyone for coming, and those who helped out including Megan Adams, who had catered the event and provided a fantastic celebration cake, Martyn Adams the volunteer photographer and Muhammed the face painter.
After the speeches, a DJ provided music for the rest of the afternoon while guests chatted and reminisced. Usha Mehta, Team Leader, said, “It was an opportunity for carers to chat and have a reunion. We spoke to some people who retired from the service. It was nice to find out what they are doing now.”
Everyone who went had a great time celebrating the achievements not just of New Routes Fostering, but of the children and young people who have passed through its care and the dedicated foster carers, without whom nothing would be possible.
To find out more about fostering with us, complete our expression of interest form or call 01675 434033 to speak to a member of the team.
FtSE Member News: Fostering New Routes is holding an Information Meeting for people who want to foster
This year's National Foster Care Fortnight runs from the 14th May until the 27th May.
We are hoping that many more people will consider becoming foster carers. A challenging, but hugely rewarding activity, fostering changes the lives of children and young people for the better.
Fostering New Routes is holding an Information Meeting for people who want to foster for our small, friendly charitable organisation.
The Information Meeting will be on the 15th May 2012.
If you want to attend, contact us on 01675 434000, and book your place.
Foster carers and the children they care for are our concern - make it yours too.
Tomorrow FtSE members will be considering an exciting proposal to develop the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) Fostering Education material for the 11-16 age group.
This is a proven technique to improve the reading ages of the young people who participate. At the same time it empowers carers, many of whom acknowledge that educational opportunities as a child were limited, and develops the relationship between the carer and the young person.
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