Statement of Purpose
We Care for our Carers
This Statement of Purpose sets out the aims and objectives of Fostering for You and details the fostering services provided. It has been compiled in accordance with standard 16 of the National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services 2011 and Regulation 3(1) of the Fostering Services Regulations 2011.
Our Aims, Values and Purposes
At Fostering for You, our aim is to provide a high-quality fostering service for Looked After Children, who will be safeguarded and cared for by well supported, nurturing foster carers.
Our ethos is based on a commitment to training foster carers in Attachment Theory and the Secure Base model.
We pride ourselves especially in our:
- Quality and Responsiveness – a family feel
- Placement Stability – a secure base
- Good Outcomes – a sense of belonging
- Valuing Staff and Foster Carers
Quality and Responsiveness – A Family Feel – We believe that the advantage of a small to medium fostering agency is responsiveness and straightforward communication to all of our stakeholders. We are a close team and all members of staff know the foster carers.
Foster carers and local authorities alike know that whenever they phone us, they can speak to any member of staff and their issue or enquiry will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Our staff team and foster carers work closely together and develop honest professional relationships. Foster carers know they are able to contact us 24/7 and can call on any member of staff.
Placement Stability – A Secure Base – Our practice is underpinned by the Secure Base Model. Supervising Social Workers have relatively low caseloads and are supported in giving foster carers as much time and attention as they need.
All foster carers have training in attachment theory and how children form relationships. Although many of our Looked After Children have complex needs, we have a low rate of placement breakdown. As an agency we embrace the Secure Base model – Staff and Foster Carers receive training in attachment theory, and experiential learning. Delivered by our therapist, who focuses on foster carers own history and experiences of parenting to reflect on and fully appreciate the needs of looked after children. Monthly supervision and annual foster carers’ reviews are underpinned by the secure base model.
Equally we are currently exploring other models and perspectives that can complement the secure base model, for example understanding the impact of brain development in children, from the perspective of trauma informed practice as well as Restorative Therapeutic Practice, different ways of working with children, negotiating with children, engaging children. In recent years, with many local authorities adopting a range Strengths/Resilience and Child Centred models, we have embraced new ways of working and understanding the needs of children and young people.
Generally training is tailored to foster carers’ needs and foster carers are encouraged to develop at their own pace through more advanced training. We have a mentor service and bank of support workers, and have the flexibility to put in direct support quickly when needed to prevent placement breakdown.
We work in partnership with local authorities to support placements and are proactive in seeking stability meetings to look creatively at supporting placements and put in strategies to prevent disruption.
Our sessional therapist, with many years of working in CAMHS and other settings, is available to foster carers for one off or more sustained consultations. As part of a placement support package, we provide therapeutic input from a qualified child therapist, for children whose placements are likely to disrupt or where children do not meet the threshold for CAMHS, this is undertaken in consultation and agreement with local authorities.
As part of a placement support package, we have the flexibility to provide additional respite and childcare support for placements that are likely to disrupt.
Good Outcomes – A Sense of Belonging – Fostering for You pride ourselves on the outcomes our foster carers help children to achieve. We have a high number of placements which result in permanence (read more about – “Permanence” in the PDF file). We have had many young people do well in education, achieving GCSE’s, A-levels, apprenticeships, excelling in Sport or the Arts, and a number of young people go no to achieve degrees at University. Just as importantly we have had young people who were unsafe and at great risk when placed, who have turned their lives around and are thriving emotionally and socially. Our foster carers often say to us that the bonds they make the children they foster are lifelong. We measure outcomes in all aspects of a child’s life with the
CHARMS-data base, Outcomes Tracker, as well as using qualitative data on children’s progress from PEPs, LAC reviews, and other forms of feedback from local authority professionals foster carers and children themselves.
Valuing Staff and Foster Carers – Fostering for You take great satisfaction in our high levels of retention of staff and foster carers. Most staff and foster carers report that they are happy with the support from the agency and many have been with us since our foundation. Foster carers report to us that they value the quality of support from Supervising Social workers and other staff, and that they most appreciate support being tailored to their needs. Foster carers tell us they feel valued and greatly enjoy such events as an annual dinner dance and family activities such as a Christmas Pantomime and summer trip to the beach. Support groups are well attended and vibrant. Foster carers are rewarded through a scale of allowances with annual increases based on their progress and development, but also through the personal touch – we know our foster families very well and make sure individual family milestones events are acknowledged personally by Social Workers and Managers through telephone calls, cards and flowers. We also recognise hard work and commitment in our staff team through the appraisal system and related incentives.
Fostering for You has a good track record in retaining foster carers. To achieve this quality standard we:
- Implement support systems for foster carers that are responsive and sensitive to their needs. No carer should be without the necessary support and resources needed to care for a child to the best of her/his ability.
- Ensure that children are matched with carers who are well equipped in terms of skills and resources to care for them, thus minimising placement breakdowns and the negative effects that these can have on a carer’s confidence.
- Provide foster carers with a quality, comprehensive training programme, that is stimulating and engaging and which equips them with the skills and confidence to care for looked after children successfully.
Read more of our Statement of Purpose by downloading our full PDF document.