On Friday 28 December our Essex office held another of our popular ‘drop and shop’ events where we arrange an activity day for our young people, while our foster carers have some time to themselves.
We held this one at a scout hut next to a park and it was attended by 12 young people. Our 2 Alisons, Doug and Gary joined the young people in activities including craft, charades, board games and a sing along to the songs from the Greatest Showman. Outdoors we played ball games and enjoyed the swings and climbing frames.
As always, the young people made their own lunch as part of their life skills development. This time sandwiches from a selection of cold meat, cheese and jam, together with a selection of fruit and choice of drinks. Hot chocolate is always a favourite and one young person chose to make their sandwich out of crusts (entirely their choice – just for the record!)
We receive excellent feedback from our foster carers who enjoy the short break and from young people who enjoy the opportunity to meet and socialise with other young people in care.
The ‘Drop and Shop’ activities are run in addition to our family activity days and we plan to hold more ‘Drop and Shop’ events during 2019, at weekends during school term and weekdays in school holidays.
Young People at Heart will be opening an office in Yorkshire in May 2018!
Following the success of the Essex and Herefordshire offices, Young People at Heart have decided to open an office in Barnsley, Yorkshire. Sue Williams, an experienced and well respected Registered Manager in the region will lead the office, which is currently applying for its own Ofsted registration, and will initially support foster carers and young people in the wider Barnsley, Doncaster, Leeds and Sheffield areas.
Gary Cox, Founder of Young People at Heart, said the not-for-profit and family ethos of the organsiation had found favour with Local Authorities and foster carers in the areas where Young People Heart was established and it was now time to offer the organsiation’s services, and ethos of putting young people before profit, in the Yorkshire area. Gary said that with Sue’s reputation for providing an outstanding service, he was confident Young People at Heart would soon start to achieve great outcomes for young people in care in Yorkshire.
If you would like to be a foster carer with Young People at Heart, whether you are new to fostering or you are an existing foster carer with or without a young person in placement, please get in touch with us via the ‘contact us’ form on this website, or call us and we’ll happily to talk to you about joining the Young People at Heart family.
Member News - Young People at Heart are recruiting a social worker and Form F assessors in Herefordshire
Dave Bailey, Fostering Manager at our new Young People at Heart office in Hereford, has experienced an unprecedented amount of interest from foster carers wishing to transfer to Young People at Heart from a number of other fostering organisations in the region, as well as applications from people wishing to become foster carers.
Dave said the not-for-profit ethos of Young People at Heart, together with our ability to provide local support, training and activities for foster carers and young people, was a huge attraction and he looked forward to welcoming more enquiries from prospective Young People at Heart foster carers, whether they were new to fostering or experienced carers wanting to transfer to the organisation.
In order to support the huge level of interest in joining Young People at Heart in the Herefordshire region, Dave said the organisation was looking to bring forward the appointment of a supervising social worker to January 2018. He invited applications from suitably qualified individuals via the link below to our recruitment partner, TOP Recruitment:
Supervising Social Worker – Herefordshire
Dave also said he would like to appoint more Form F assessors to the Herefordshire Young People at Heart family and he again invited applications from suitable qualified candidates through the following link:
Form F assessors – Herefordshire and surrounding counties
Gary Cox, who founded Young People at Heart with his wife Davina, said they were both delighted with Dave’s appointment and the immediate impact he was having on the fostering provision in Herefordshire and surrounding counties. Gary said it was a testament to Dave’s practice that a number of foster carers from his previous for-profit, venture capital backed foster care employer had contacted Young People at Heart requesting to follow Dave but added that he was equally pleased they had received enquiries from foster carers for other organisations who wanted to be supported locally and that he was particularly excited that Dave was receiving enquiries from applicants new to fostering.
Young People at Heart recently approved another two foster carer households new to fostering, bringing the total number of foster care households to 12.
Founder and Chief Executive Gary Cox said he was delighted to welcome the new foster carers into the Young People at Heart family. Both were single carers who brought skills and experience to the organisation that would undoubtedly benefit young people placed with them.
Young People at Heart has another two families in assessment, both of whom had come to the UK from abroad and whose home languages are Spanish and Portugese respectively, adding to the diversity and skill set of the organsiation.
Gary added that Young People at Heart welcomed enquiries from new and existing foster carers from all backgrounds and encouraged anyone interested in fostering to make contact, either through the website application form, the enquiry line 07518 173083 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to Letesha-Kirton Adams, one of our independent Fostering Panel members, who has been announced as a finalist for a 2016 YBA (Young Black Achievers) Award.
Letesha is a care leaver and is now studying to be a social worker.
Gary Cox, Founder of Young People at Heart, said Letesha provides the Young People at Heart fostering panel with an invaluable insight into the life of a young person in care and her prepartation and contribution at Panel is always examplary. He added that the role of Panel in recommending foster carers for approval is a very important step in the process and that he was immensely grateful to Letesha for the time she continues to made available to help Young People at Heart make a difference to the lives of young people in care.
Gary also thanked the YBA Awards for recognising the contribution of all the finalists. He congratulated them all and wished them well in their chosen endeavours and for the awards evening on 26th November.
3 new foster carer families were recommended for approval as foster carers at the Young People at Heart fostering Panel held last night.
Founder of Young People at Heart, Gary Cox, said he was delighted the new foster carers had chosen to foster with the organisation and he was particularly pleased that one couple had specifically sought to foster with a not-for-profit fostering provider.
He wished them all the greatest of success in making a difference in the lives of young people in care and added that as all the foster carer families currently with Young People at Heart had placements, they would provide much needed availability for the unprecedented level of referrals being received.
Gary also said he was pleased that two of the new foster carer families each had 2 bedrooms available for fostering which gave them and the organisation the opportunity of keeping siblings together.
Young People at Heart are still looking to recruit more foster carers, so if you are interested in fostering, would like to transfer with your existing placement or would like to find out more about Young People at Heart’s not-for-profit ethos, please complete the enquiry form on our website.
At the request of one of our foster carer’s birth children, we held a ‘My Family Fosters’ training course for sons and daughters of foster carers recently.
The program was facilitated by Scott Winham whose Mum fostered when he was growing up, so he was able to bring real life experience to the program content.
The participants learned about their responsibilities as an integral part of the foster family team and were also introduced to foster care from the perspective of the young person in care.
Comments received afterwards were very positive, including, ‘I found it very interesting to hear other birth children’s points of view’ and ‘It gave me a second way of thinking and did help me understand’.
Thank you to everyone who gave up a Saturday to attend the training.
FtSE Member News: Young People at Heart - Why we operate as a not-for-profit fostercare organisation
A recent article published by The Guardian highlighted exactly why we formed Young People at Heart as a not-for-profit fostercare organisation. It makes interesting reading.
At Young People at Heart, outcomes for young people are paramount and our profits are retained in the organisation for the benefit of young people in care.
If you would like to foster for a not-for-profit fostercare organisation, please contact us. We are recruiting new and experienced foster carers and if you already have a young person in placement, they will transfer with you.
Contact us today and let’s keep young people at the heart of fostercare.
We are delighted that Sue Wise has chosen to join Young People at Heart as our Placements Officer and Sue is already hard at work finding matches for our available foster carers.
Gary Cox, Founder and Chief Executive of Young People at Heart, said that matching was the most important factor in making placements and Sue’s years of experience as a Placements Officer, coupled with her early career as a Legal Secretary, made her the ideal person to liaise with our Local Authority customers because of her attention to detail and ability to ask the right questions.
Gary added that while many agencies were centralising their placements function, he believed strongly that matching was best achieved by the Placements Officer understanding and knowing the foster family. Sue would therefore be visiting new foster families so she could get to know them and would stay in regular contact with foster carers while a suitable match was found, thereby giving a young person in care the best chance of being placed with the right family.
He concluded by saying that Sue was a great addition to the Young People at Heart family and he wished her well as she rekindled old friendships with Local Authority placement teams.
Sue can be contacted on or our dedicated placements email address, email@example.com or our daytime Placement enquiry line 07518 173085. We also have an out-of-hours placement line 07518 173084.
Young People at Heart was delighted to make its first placements on 12 August 2015; young siblings placed with foster carers who transferred from another agency without a placement.
Gary Cox, Founder of Young People at Heart, thanked the family for placing their trust in the organisation to find them a placement.
Their last placement with their previous agency ended in September 2014 when the young person living with them returned to the birth family.
Gary said, “as soon as the referral had been received, we knew it was a perfect match and everyone at Young People at Heart is so pleased that these experienced foster carers now have young people in placement again. We look forward to supporting the foster carer family as they work towards achieving positive outcomes for the young people concerned.”
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