More than 70 children and adults went along to an event held by Home For Good Support Group in Worcester

The format of the group is that everyone can come together for lunch, refreshments and chat; then the youngsters all go downstairs and do fun activities whilst the adults stay upstairs.

All attendees are either foster carers, adopters or kinship carers in Worcestershire with no professionals there, such as social workers, so it is very much a relaxed family event for all members of the family.

Fostering in Worcestershire supports Home For Good and their support group and the two have built up a good working relationship.

Richard Proctor, Chairman of H4G Worcestershire, said: “In the past two years it has been a pleasure to support and work with Worcestershire County Council and we have been delighted with the success of the project.

“The recent event was a huge success and both the adults and children enjoyed themselves. We are seeing growing numbers each time and anticipate it becoming a regularly attended group.”

While the children play, the adults welcome the opportunity to openly discuss issues and their own personal experiences.

Richard adds, “Home for Good believe that the Church can make a difference and actively encourages families to provide loving homes for children in care.”

At the event on 14th July, there was a guest speaker Nicola Marshall from Braveheart Education, which educates and assists those living or working with looked after children/adopted children.

The next support group will be on the 20th October at Freedom Church, Worcester and all carers and adopters are welcome.

Worcestershire Fostering value the significance of the local faith communities and seek to build on the relationships formed and develop new openings where possible.

For details of future events organised by Home For Good, go to https:
//www.facebook.com/homeforgoodworcester/
or for all Worcestershire Fostering events visit:
https://www.worcestershirefostering.co.uk/events/

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Worcestershire Fostering joins in the Summer Fun

Are you looking for fun and free things to do over the summer holidays with your family?

We invite you to come along and take part in a number of free activities and hope you will also take this opportunity to come and chat with us at these relaxed and informal events.

Fortis Living is hosting numerous summer fun days for the whole family that are free to attend for everyone!
We will be with them in Malvern on August 10 at Dukes Meadow and the following week at Oasis Academy, Worcester at the Worcester Summer Fun Day on August 17.

Finally, at the very end of summer, we will make our annual appearance at Saltfest, Droitwich and once again will have a member of the team and a foster carer on hand to talk to visitors about fostering and the difference it really makes.

Please come over and say Hello!

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Foster Children are now included in 30 hours of free childcare

As you may be aware the provision of 30 hours of free childcare has now been extended to include foster children, when it is in the best interests of the child.

Children in foster care will be eligible to the additional free childcare if it is consistent with their care plan and foster parents are in paid work outside their role of a foster carer.

To find out more and assess your eligibility you can visit: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/30hoursfostering

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There was a Boy

Fostering services of sixteen neighbouring Local Authorities have been working in collaboration to produce the film ‘There Was a Boy’ – the story of teenager Dan. Launched at the beginning of Foster Care Fortnight, the UK’s biggest foster care recruitment campaign, the film highlights the need for more foster carers who would consider caring for teenagers.

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The Parker Family

We started fostering 7 years ago and I have always been the main carer. Our original approval was 0-18 years, short term and respite care; however, we have recently been asked to take on our two current children, two brothers (aged 11 and 8 years) on a long term basis. We feel that the boys fit within our family and are settled in their schools, so when this opportunity came up we were happy to proceed.

Before becoming a foster carer I was a sales manager for an electronics company for many years, initially in the UK and subsequently in Europe. I seemed to be forever travelling and was away from home a lot. I have visited many of western Europe’s major cities but visiting for business and pleasure are two very different experiences. Friends and family were always saying what an interesting job I had but in reality it was mostly just airports, hotels, factories, exhibitions and conferences. Then I hit 50 and began to think that there was more to life and other things I wanted to do.

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Placement Plus looking for new carers

Worcestershire’s Fostering Service is looking for six new carers to join their Placement Plus scheme, this year.

Placement Plus provides specialist support and tailored fostering placements for older children who are at risk of going into a residential setting or need to step down from a residential setting. It allows young people to remain in a family setting with additional support.

Foster Carers will receive regular supervision from their social worker as well as support from a Family Support Worker and a Clinical Psychologist. There are monthly team around the child meetings as well as monthly meetings with other Placement Plus carers. The Fostering Service offers an excellent and wide ranging training programme.

We are very happy with the professionalism and support of all the staff we have encountered at Placement Plus, ISL and the Worcestershire Fostering Service admin. If people are thinking about fostering, I would have no hesitation in recommending that they join Placement Plus.

We have completed 11 training sessions so far. I am part way through the Nurturing Attachments Group which is a brilliant 18-week course. It is informal, interactive and fun as well as being highly informative. I am booked on to 4 more courses this Spring. All our training needs are being met and more besides.” Lorraine Lockyer, Foster Carer – Worcestershire Fostering

“Our priority when organising fostering placements is making the right match for all involved so that the placement is successful and beneficial for all. This is an opportunity to offer the next generation a positive experience of family life and support them to become confident adults.” Barbara Carter, Group Manager of Fostering and Kinship – Worcestershire County Council

“Foster carers make a unique contribution for society and can change the lives of those they care for. Finding more people to become foster carers means that more children and young people can grow up in happy, secure homes, whilst also giving them a positive experience of family life.” Councillor Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families

Further rewards also include of an enhanced fee payment per week, along with 4 weeks planned respite a year.

If you are an experienced foster carer or have worked or work with children and are looking to expand your skills this scheme could be for you – an attachment based approach to fostering children aged 10+ with more complex needs.

For more information, please visit:

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Fostering is the best job in the world according to new campaign

Fostering is the best job in the world according to new campaign

A new campaign from Worcestershire County Council is hailing Fostering as ‘The Best Job In The World.’

The campaign, which features online and local radio advertising, aims to encourage people to become a foster parent through Worcestershire Fostering.

Worcestershire County Council is committed to improving the lives of children and young people. ‘The Best Job In The World’ slogan reflects its commitment to providing a wealth of support to its foster carers and social work staff, including a range of benefits and services to ensure they can meet the needs of the children and young people they care for.

“Joining the Worcestershire Fostering team from an independent fostering agency was a really smooth and easy transition, and it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made. The support levels have been superior, the training has been great, and I really feel part of the team.” Heidi Turner – Foster Carer

Among the benefits of working with a local authority are the fact that the child remains in the local area, more direct channels of communication, 24/7 emergency support and being part of a strong network.

“By working for a local authority, you enjoy more direct communication with a shorter chain of command, which makes the team more compact and more effective. This approach is more beneficial to the child, and ultimately that’s what fostering is about.” Mike Fesemeyer – Foster Carer

In addition to generous fees and allowances, Fostering with Worcestershire County Council means that a range of expenses including, school uniforms and holidays are covered.

Joining the team also offers access to a wealth of holistic training and professional support from ISL Health & Wellbeing Service, taking in everything from psychological advice, parenting support and therapeutic intervention with children, discounted leisure passes and regular arts, music and events as part of the Green Fingers project.

“We’re hugely proud to offer a wealth of support and guidance to all of our foster carers, helping them to feel valued and ultimately helping to deliver better outcomes to the children and young people in our care.” Barbara Carter – Group Manager – Worcestershire Fostering Service

“The decision to foster a child is one of the biggest you can make but the difference it brings means it’s one of the most rewarding. We’re hoping to inspire people to join us by letting them know about the benefits and support available to our foster parents.”

“With this support, we truly believe that Fostering is ‘The Best Job In The World’, and we’re proud to reflect that in our latest campaign.”

Councillor Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families at Worcestershire County Council

To find out more about Fostering, and to find out more about joining our team, call: 0800 028 2158

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LGBT Drop-in Sessions – February & March 2018

Two drop-in sessions for prospective foster parents are being held across Worcestershire in the next few weeks.

The first is taking place at KDYT in Kidderminster on February 17th from 10am to 12.30pm.

The second is being held in Bromsgrove on March 3 from 10am to 12.30pm at Bromsgrove Library.

Both informal sessions will allow people to find out more about the fostering process and meet some of the fostering staff.

The events are to coincide with LGBT History Month (February) and LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week which runs from March 5 to 11.

Team Manager Laurie-Mo Gullachsen said: “We look forward to welcoming those interested in finding out more about the rewards of fostering to our LGBT fostering drop-in events.

“Please come along for an informal discussion to find out more about fostering with Worcestershire County Council where we have a fantastic offer of preparation and support for prospective foster carers.”

Worcestershire County Council is committed to improving the lives of children and young people.

Joining the team also offers access to a wealth of holistic training and professional support from ISL Health & Wellbeing Service, taking in everything from psychological advice, parenting support and therapeutic intervention with children, discounted leisure passes and regular arts, music and events as part of the Green Fingers project.

In addition to generous fees and allowances, fostering with Worcestershire County Council means that a range of expenses including school uniforms and holidays are covered.To find out more about fostering and to find out more about joining the team visit www.worcestershirefostering.co.uk or call 0800 0282158.

To read the blog of foster parents Andrew and Richard go to https://www.worcestershirefostering.co.uk/real-stories/our-fostering-journey/
ends

For press enquiries or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact the Council’s Communications team on 01905 766646 or 766642.

Follow us on Twitter @worcscc

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Fostering Campaign Nominated For Award

Fostering Worcestershire, together with 12 neighbouring fostering services, has just been nominated for a UK Public Sector Communications Award. This nomination is in the category of Partnership Engagement Initiative of the Year.

This year, Fostering Worcestershire worked with 12 fostering services of Local Authorities in the West and East Midlands. Together they produced a short film focusing and highlighting the current need to find foster carers for brother and sisters.

An overarching theme of ‘giants’ was devised for the film to blend the concept of ‘giants’, or people who help us in society such as foster carers, and also to highlight the strong bond and relationships that brothers and sisters have as they ‘look up’ and care for each other in life and become ‘giants’ to each other.

Working together in this innovative way resulted in each authority having a high quality short film, at a low cost to each. The film has been showcased and used to raise awareness for the need for more Local Authority foster carers across the regions.

‘Giants’ was launched on the 3rd May 2017 at a premiere screening at The Everyman, The Mailbox, Birmingham with invited special guests, including James Foyle from the UK’s leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network.

To find out more about the Public Sector Communications Awards: click here.

To see the film, go to the following link:

 

 

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Foster carers needed to keep brothers and sisters together

Here at Worcestershire Fostering we have a current shortage of foster carers who can look after multiple groups of brothers and sisters.

According to The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity, over 7,000 more people with the right skills and experience are needed to offer loving, stable and secure homes to children and young people across the UK. In Worcestershire, like many other regions, there is a particular need for those people who might be able to care for siblings.

There is a growing number nationally of brothers and sisters coming into care and as such we need to find suitable foster homes to place them with. We know that it is beneficial to keep them together and often means a child to settle in easier. Ultimately it also allows them to retain the special bond a brother and sister so often has.

We are therefore in search of new or existing carers who would have the capacity and desire to take on brothers and sisters. Not only just for 2 siblings, but there is also a need for 3 and 4 children to be placed together.

Visit the Worcestershire County Council YouTube channel to see a small sample of snippet videos by foster carers and team members, giving their views on why brothers and sisters should not be split up:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9_ETfyryi9ja2zHTJuqGE53haCdQbh5k

Alternatively, if you feel you can help please contact: 0800 028 2158 or you could also visit www.worcestershirefostering.co.uk/giants to see the latest film ‘Giants’ highlighting the importance of keeping brothers and sisters together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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