Location: Malvern, Worcestershire
Hours: 20 hours per week – across 4 days
Salary: £46,970 – £49,942 (pro rata) per annum
(dependent on experience)
+ 45p a mile travel, 40 days annual leave (inclusive of bank holidays) and 10% employer contribution pension scheme
FCC are excited to recruit an exceptional new Head of Finance, who will be a key member of our leadership team, to join our successful growing fostering agency.
The role holder will be a member of the SLT, will work closely with the CEO and will be expected to be a strategic thinker, lead on key aspects of financial and resource planning and reporting, provide effective business partnering, analysis and decision support, and ensure that the finance team work as valued partners across the organisation in support of their work with foster carers and the children in their care. The Head of Finance will provide leadership to the Finance team working as an enabler to the business, through ensuring effective practice and excellence in all areas based on our core values.
The successful candidate will be a fully qualified accountant, with strategic overview, and operational delivery, of best in class practices in financial management. They will also be able to demonstrate collegiate leadership and management experience of a finance team, with a collaborative and flexible approach, be a strong team player, demonstrate excellent technical skills, and have strong experience of financial reporting and preparation of year end accounts.
FCC are a not for profit fostering agency, driven solely for the purpose of making a difference to children’s lives and place strong emphasise on our ‘people focused’ values. We seek to recruit the right person with the right skills and experience, with a flexible attitude to working hours, alongside someone who is able to demonstrate a commitment to our key values. Does this sound like you? If so, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Application Closing Date: Friday 29th January 2021
To discuss this role further, please contact Barbara Bull – Head of HR/Deputy CEO, on 01684 892380.
If you have issues downloading the above files, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send all completed application forms to:
The Foster Care Co-operative
Spring Lane North
Or via email to: email@example.com
FCC is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children; applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Disclosures Barring Service clearance at enhanced level. CVs will not be accepted; all applicants must complete an application form.
FCC is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace – a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit.
Full details and application documents here
The 26th October marks the beginning of National Care Leavers week, a time when we highlight and celebrate the successes of care-experienced young people.
Here at The Foster Care Co-operative, we are lucky enough to hear some fantastic stories from young people who have left our care to move on with their lives, and forge successful careers.
Louis, one of our care leavers, said: “No matter how much of a bad start you have had in life, however many setbacks you have experienced – with the right kind of help you can achieve your goals.” Louis very kindly shared his story with us. You can read it here.
Ciara, who recently left university, has been offered a job as a qualified midwife. She sent this wonderful message: “Just want to say a massive thank you. I wouldn’t have met my family and been as successful as I am without your help”.
Many of our foster carers keep in touch with young people who have left their care. Maintaining this relationship can be so important, and it truly reflects the bond that has been established between a carer and a young person.
Ultimately, it is the resilience, determination and sheer ambition of these amazing young people that has brought about their success.
As a co-operative, we truly value the input of our foster carers, the children in their households, and our staff. We have a carer forum, a newly-formed children’s forum – and plenty of opportunities for our staff to make suggestions and help shape our agency.
One such example of this co-operative approach was when we invited one of our young people to help deliver a presentation to a local authority. What better way is there of representing children, than by inviting a young person to provide their voice, their opinion and their story?
The young person accompanied our Director of Child Care, Steve Field, and spoke so confidently to local authority representatives about her experiences.
We were so proud of her.
As a result, we were successful in being accepted onto a care provider contract, meaning that we can help more children in the North of England.
‘You can be gay, straight, single, married, living together, with or without your own children, from any ethnic background and you can hold any religious belief.’
This is a line directly lifted from The Foster Care Co-operative’s brochure, designed to be read by perspective foster carer applicants. It is an attempt to highlight the need for diverse foster carers – from all sections of society. In reality, it doesn’t even come close to an exhaustive list.
Why does FCC need such diverse foster carers?
To start with, fostering should always be inclusive. Anyone, no matter what background, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious belief, should be encouraged to make a difference to a child’s life. Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of what The Foster Care Co-operative stands for, extending to all areas of the agency, including staff recruitment.
More specifically, FCC seeks diverse carers because the children who need foster homes are equally as diverse. Of course, foster carers have the ability to be flexible with any child in their care. Some adjustments may need to be made within the home to cater for, say, a religious-specific diet. But generally, foster carers are able to adapt, adjust and care for a child no matter what their background or needs may be. And that’s why they are amazing people.
East Riding, York, Pontefract and other surrounding areas
37.5 hours per week)
£31,401 – £36,272 per annum
(dependent on experience)
+ 45p a mile travel, ‘out of hours’ payment
40 days annual leave
(inclusive of bank holidays)
and 10% employer contribution pension scheme
We are seeking to recruit an experienced and enthusiastic SSW for our friendly team, working primarily from home.
There will be involvement in recruiting, assessing, supervising and supporting Foster Carers to support us in maintaining our quality fostering service for looked after children. The role involves recruitment of foster carers, travel to the homes of our foster carers as required (which will sometimes involve travelling distances), leading occasional projects, running and delivering training and support groups, and taking part in an ‘out of hours’ duty system (3 times a year).
Applicants need to be able to take a flexible approach to working, have proven fostering experience (demonstrating significant experience of working within Children’s Services) and be able to demonstrate outstanding people, report writing, organisation and recording skills. Applicants must hold a Diploma or BA in Social Work (or equivalent Social Work qualification) and are required to be registered with Social Work England.
To allow our Social Workers to provide a thorough, personal and meaningful service to our fostering families, FCC believe that caseloads need to be manageable. We are a ‘not-for-profit, value-based organisation’, putting the needs of our children and carers first and are looking to appoint a Social Worker who is as passionate about this as we are.
Application Closing Date: Monday 19th October 2020
To discuss this role further, please contact Steve Field – Director of Child Care or Barbara Bull – Head of HR/Deputy CEO, on 01684 892380.
Full details and application documents here
That was the question asked over two years ago by the University of Worcester, in collaboration with Shaping Our Lives and The Foster Care Co-operative.
It instigated a ground-breaking piece of research into the barriers disabled people possibly face when wanting to become foster carers, and can these barriers be overcome?
Gail Granger (pictured above), one of FCC’s social workers based in the Midlands, lent her experience to the project in order to provide an ‘industry perspective’ and an ‘employer’s voice’. Her work supported Dr Peter Unwin, Principal Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Worcester, and the research he initiated.
The research, entitled ‘Mutual Benefits: the potential of disabled people as foster carers’, was funded by a grant from the DRILL programme (Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning) – part of a £5 million research programme funded by the National Lottery.
It is very important that the fostering task should be as inclusive as possible. Not only does this enable more people to become carers, but it also provides diverse carer-to-child matching options when looking to provide children with a home. In theory, the better the match, the more stable the placement should be.
Other than some very wide criteria and a full assessment and checking process, the main requirement for becoming a foster carer is to be able to care for children in your home. If this criteria can be met, there shouldn’t be any reason why a person can’t become a carer – no matter what disability they may have.
At time of writing, the jury is still out. But we won’t have to wait much longer as the results are due on 8th October 2020, with a ‘sneak preview’ being broadcast on BBC Woman’s Hour at 10.00am on 5th October.
FCC were overjoyed to be a part of this research, and are SO proud of Gail for her involvement in this important further step towards inclusion and diversity – for people interested in fostering.
FCC will be linking to the research findings as soon as they are published.
Did you know that as foster carer, you can foster both a parent and their children? It’s called PACT (Parents And Children Together), and there is a great need for PACT trained foster carers. Jane, one of FCC’s Supervising Social Workers and PACT trainer, explains why.
As a Supervising Social Worker for FCC I have supported many foster carers providing a variety of placements.
Recently, we have provided an increased number of Parent and Child placements. This is where a parent is placed alongside their child in the foster home. This can be one or two parents and a baby or a child. We have also had a mother and two children placed with us. This type of fostering is very different to the usual placement of a child or young person in the family home but is as equally rewarding.
Often these placements have been requested by the court where there have been concerns about the mother’s ability to parent and are usually requested for a 12 week assessment period, but due to circumstances this can vary.
Issues that we have dealt with include concerns around a parent’s previous drug or alcohol use, learning disabilities or inappropriate partners. Maybe the parent has previously had a child removed from their care. Having a parent live in the foster home gives them a chance to learn new skills and build their confidence to enable them to parent their child adequately.
Carers assist them with learning routines with regards to feeding, laundry, play and sleep times etc. Parents are involved in all aspects of family life with the carers acting as appropriate role models. Parents have been supported to attend local baby groups, visit the clinic and doctors etc. They have taken part in family activities to include meals out, cinema and barbeques. The carers need good observation and recording skills. They need good communication skills as they will need to build a relationship with the parent but also remain clear that they have to report back to the Social Worker on a regular basis.
We have seen children return with their parents to live in the community successfully with some keeping in contact with their carers afterwards. Sometimes this is not possible and the child’s needs have to remain the most important throughout. If the plan is for the child to live elsewhere the foster carers have an important role in supporting them to transition to a new family. Myself and an experienced PACT carer provide training and support specific to this role. PACT carers will have regular Social Work visits and 24 hour phone support. They will also have peer support from other PACT carers. It can be hard work but also very rewarding knowing that you have been part of a team making the best decision for a child.
One of our most experienced PACT carers said: “The thing I enjoy about PACT placements is that I’m not the babysitter. It’s my job to encourage the parent to be a good mum or dad and it’s rewarding watching them learn new skills.”
If you feel that you could become a PACT foster carer, or if you have an interest in fostering generally, you can make an initial enquire here.
We’re thrilled to be able to allocate our charitable fund to The Spark Foundation, a charity that offers grants to children in care and care leavers.
We wanted to choose a charity that not only aligned with our values, ethics and approaches, but would also enable us to help care-experienced children on a national scale.
The Spark Foundation aims to give young people in care and care leavers the same chances as everyone else. They do this by providing one-off grants, giving young people a helping hand when they most need it.
Sam Ram, FCC’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Spark Foundation are offering a lifeline to young care leavers who may not have any one else to turn to. We know what a huge, and in some cases life-changing, difference these grants make to the lives of young care leavers. It is with great pleasure that we are able to assist the foundation in their excellent work.”
You can read some of the thank you letters and notes received by Spark here.
To make a donation to The Spark Foundation, click here.
At The Foster Care Co-operative (FCC) we remain committed in supporting our children, current foster carers and anyone who may be interested in fostering in the future. This means that despite the current lockdown measures, FCC’s wealth of knowledge and experience is still here for you!
We moved to working from home for all staff members to prevent spreading the COVID-19 virus. Despite recent lockdown easing announced by our Prime Minister, we are continuing to work from home at the current time. However, you can continue to reach us as normal on our central office telephone numbers and 24hr support remains in place at all times.
Now, more than ever in these uncertain times, we need your help. Children are in desperate need of care. You could make a real difference to a child’s life.
New foster carer enquires and applications, are very welcome and the following steps are in place:
Additionally, as applications can take between six and eight months, now is a great time to apply.
Why not make a no-obligation enquiry HERE to see if you qualify?
At FCC, we have always prided ourselves on being diverse and inclusive, where all our members are treated fairly and equally – regardless of ethnicity, religious belief, gender or sexual preference.
Our article, entitled Fostering Diversity and Inclusion, details why we need diverse foster carers to come forward to care for vulnerable children.
We’re also undertaking racism, discrimination and intolerance training on an agency-wide scale. This means that all staff, foster carers, panel members and board members will complete this training – which has a specific focus on young people within the care system, and the effects that any kind of discrimination can have on them.
Many of our members work directly with children, so would already be equipped with the skills and experience to identify, manage, and take the appropriate actions if confronted with any racism, discrimination and intolerance. However, at FCC we felt it was important for all our members to undergo this training.
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