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Our Success

We, unashamedly, celebrate every success that our carers, young adults and/or children achieve. This might be the first length of a pool, their first bike ride or a gymnastics award – we really don’t mind what it is.

This page is our chance to boast and shout from the rafters about every success or milestone that is achieved.

My Story – My Life as a Foster Carer

My wife and I were approved to become foster carers and to work within The Fostering Foundation in October 2008. There is no doubt that my life changed for the better! I had previously worked for 27 years in various offices in typical 9 – 5 jobs, it was time to try something different….

About a year later, we were introduced to 2 brothers aged 7 and 8 who were in need of a new start in Devon, an opportunity to break away from their previous life in another area of the country where they had lived with their birth family and then taken into foster care.

We agreed that the time was right for me to give up my office job and to become a full-time foster carer to the boys. I was 46 years old and on a steep learning curve as I do not have any birth children.
I quickly discovered that fostering presents many challenges; there are plenty of positive moments and always a few not so good, emotional highs and lows, comparable to riding a roller coaster perhaps! The life of a foster carer is also very rewarding, my wife and I have certainly enjoyed watching the boys grow and develop.

Our role as foster carers is to provide our children with a safe and loving home, a stable environment where they can prosper and to prepare them for adult life. It is also important to be good role models; many children in care have come from difficult places where they have not had the comforts of a happy family for help and support.

The last 10 years have certainly given me a new direction and a fresh start to my life. It is a real honour and a privilege for me to be a foster carer, I feel very fortunate to be where I am right now, I enjoy working with some amazing people and I am able to look forward to a bright future.

Thank you for reading my story.

 

 

 

 

 

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National Play Day “Play helps children to learn…”

National Play Day August 2020

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” Friedrich Froebel

Play is a familiar term to us all but do we truly understand its value?
Play and its importance has been recognised from as early as early as 300 BC when the infamous Aristotle referred to the importance of play.
Whether it’s a game of peek-a-boo or this little piggy, riding a bike, jumping in puddles, playing a board game or being messy and creative, play provides us all with endless possibilities to grow and develop. The skills learnt from play experiences help to prepare us for the roles we undertake later in life and the relationships we enjoy through role-play and interaction with others. We don’t need toy’s and games to play, we can be resourceful, using whatever is available. It might be making a rainbow shaker from an empty plastic bottle, making a puppet from an old sock or glove or building sandcastles on the beach. One of the most important aspects of play, is the shared experience of fun and enjoyment which is amplified when in the presence of a mutually engaged adult or child.
Play helps children to learn, to develop language and communication, to explore the environment, to be creative and imaginative and also helps to develop our ability to concentrate and focus. Furthermore, play is fundamental in promoting good mental health as it allows us to express emotion and boosts a child’s ego, confidence and self-esteem.
Being ‘playful’ with our children, friends and family and ourselves, can be as beneficial as sitting down to a more formal play activity. When we are playful, we are more likely to make connections with others through shared laughter and enjoyment.

“With children, it is the joint moments of delight that build the social brain.” ~ Mariah Moser

Whilst play occurs across all cultural and societal daily interactions, Play also provides openings for healing past trauma’s, loss and grief and in helping to prepare children and their families for potentially difficult experiences. Since the mid twentieth century, the birth of specialist use of play as a fundamental basis for children’s therapy and emotional well-being in both Play Therapy and Hospital Play, to name but a few.

Our Therapeutic Practitioner Donna, is a Certified PTUK Play therapist. This is her room in our South West office. Through the use of play and creative arts, children have been supported to explore and ‘play out’ their inner emotional life and experiences in the first language they learnt, play. Play provides the child with the opportunity to explore and resolve their inner turmoil and to master new experiences through the therapeutic relationship with the play therapist.
Play provides children and adults with an array of benefits. It’s not just child play!

 

 

 

 

 

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Triathlon athlete, come team manager has beaten the clock, to come in 10 months ahead of the finish line!!

We are celebrating Jim Willis, the team manager of our Bristol region, successfully completing the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services. This qualification with a very long title, is the only current qualification in England recognised by Ofsted for a Registered Manager for a Fostering Agency.

Jim has completed the course which needs to be done within 18 months in just 8 whilst juggling full time work, three young children and training for a triathlon………. Go Jim!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Supervising Social Worker – Job Vacancy Devon & Cornwall – Fostering Foundation

The Fostering Foundation are currently seeking to appoint a supervising social worker based in Devon & Cornwall on a permanent contract.

The Foundation is a small family feel independent fostering agency who prides its self on providing a happy, safe and supportive environment for foster carers, children and staff.

With teams based in Tavistock, Tiverton and Bristol areas the Foundation is seeking to recruit a motivated, driven and enthusiastic qualified social worker to join our teams to cover Plymouth, Tavistock and into Cornwall.

For a variety of reasons some children are unable to be raised by their families and need to be cared for either on a temporary or permanent basis with alternative carers.

Ensuring the children we care for are safe, healthy and happy is at the heart of the Foundations standards and values.

As a social worker you will be Social Work England registered and have a sound knowledge of the legislation that underpins the role such as the Fostering Minimum Standards, Care Planning Regulations and Working Together to Safe Guard Children. You will be committed to providing a high quality service to ensure our children and cares reach their full potential in whatever their ambitions.

• The role will also involve the recruitment and assessment of carers.
• Provide 24 hour support on a rota basis to all carers.
• Supervising and supporting foster cares to provide excellent levels of care to children in their care.
• The participation and attendance of foster carer support groups.
• Prepare and complete reports, reviews and recordings on a monthly and annual basis.
• Attend where required panel meetings, meetings and conferences.
• Participate in the foster care training and development.
• Working as part of team in the matching and placing of children with foster cares.
In return the Fostering Foundation provides
• A salary package up to £35,600 (which includes a car allowance) depending on experience.
• Generous Annual leave (starting at 25 days with increase on length of service)
• Company pension scheme
• Agile and flexible working including working from home.
• Low case load
• Regular supervision
• Development and training
• A Supportive, experienced and friendly team

This is an initial fixed term contract which could be permanent for the right candidate

For informal discussion please contact Georgina Dunk Registered Manager 07730 370317

Closing date 16th July 2020

 

 

 

 

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“…welcome them into our loving family…if they haven’t been fortunate…”

Soban and Iqra were kind enough to give us these words about their experience with fostering.

“It’s been 19 months since my and husband and I were approved as a foster carer’s in Bristol. After
the assessment and panel we were really thrilled that now we will be able to help young people and
welcome them into our loving family, understanding that it may be difficult coming into our family
were we are full of love, listening, and caring for one another, if they haven’t been fortunate to experience a solid strong family network.
After our first placement we realised, it certainly isn’t easy, you will be working full time, there for them 24 hours a day, and need lots of flexibility as you will be doing things you’d never expect you would be doing, but a good learning curve for us all. It is such a nice feeling to provide for a young person, when they are se1ling and realise, they are cared for and we are there to support them. We are thoroughly enjoying our fostering experience.”

 

If you would like to ask about being a foster carer, just like Soban & Iqra, please call 03300 10 20 45 or email info@fosteringfoundation.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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From fleeing persecution in Afghanistan to being fostered and playing cricket in Bristol

From fleeing persecution in Afghanistan to being fostered and playing cricket in Bristol

From fleeing persecution in Afghanistan to being fostered and playing cricket in Bristol

EO is an ordinary 17 year old boy who lives in Bristol where he enjoys playing cricket and going to college.

But his life is very different to many others, he comes from Afghanistan where he is fleeing persecution and violence, but he has found a refuge with his new foster carers and their family in Central Bristol

He says that, “They are like my parents and they look after me like I was their own child. I’ve been here for last ten months, they make me feel welcome and are really nice. I feel like this is my own house.”

There are many “Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children” just like EO, who need the help of caring people in the UK to make a fresh start.

EO continued to say “I like everything if they’re cooking something and if I don’t like it they make me something else. They make burratas, like naan bread, they make it in the morning. They make chapattis in the afternoon, I like everything they cook and whenever they cook I enjoy eating it.”

When I’m not happy they can see from my face and they know me, they ask me why am I upset or unhappy and make sure I’m ok. I’m happy usually but they know if I’m feeling upset.”

This is quite understandable when you hear some of the horrors that EO went through before he managd to leave Afghanistan. but his foster carers make all the difference.

“If there is any problem, like if am scared at night time, if I have nightmares, in the morning they ask how I am and I explain to them and they support me with this and help me feel better. Now I can understand them better and understand their language.”

It is difficult to understand what it must be like, fleeing while fearing for your life and coming to a country where you don’t understand what people are saying. That is changing for EO.

“They are like my parents and if I’m in any difficulty then I always ask them for help. If there is any problem with reading or writing they always help me. They help me with practical things and also with how I’m feeling. Yes there are rules, like when I get up I change into normal clothing out of pyjamas so I’m not downstairs in my pyjama and I follow this rule since I’ve lived with them.”

“If I’m happy with it I would agree it and follow it. If I don’t agree with a rule I would ask my social worker to help me. I feel this home as my real home and it’s 100 percent my real home and I feel comfortable here. Everything is fine, if there is any problem or worries then I will call my social worker. Nothing else, no worries.”

EO finished withI wasn’t safe in my own country and I’m absolutely safe in this house.

We would like to help others like EO, find a new start in life, could you foster an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child who has often lost everything that we take for granted?  If so, please contact us…

Just call 03300 10 20 45 or email info@fosteringfoundation.co.uk

 

 

 

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Being a parent and child Foster Carer is by far the most rewarding and effective role I have held

Lisa in Bristol was kind enough to give us these words about her experience with fostering.

I have worked in a variety of jobs in Social Care for almost 20 years.

Being a parent and child Foster Carer is by far the most rewarding and effective role I have held.

Providing families with a comfortable, clean, calm, supportive and nurturing environment at the start their family life, gives them the chance to form healthy attachments, learn new skills and gives them the best opportunity to be a successful parent keeping families together.

It can be a challenge and very tiring, however the support and guidance given by the Fostering Foundation is integral to the many successful outcomes I have been involved with.

To receive positive messages and the numerous photos from the families who have stayed with us and gone on to live successfully in the community makes all the challenges worthwhile.

If you would like to ask about being a foster carer, just like Lisa, please call 03300 10 20 45 or email info@fosteringfoundation.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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We have been tried and tested in many ways but it helps us to grow as foster carers

Rob & Mark have been fostering with The Fostering Foundation since May 2018.

They are approved for 2 children and have provided lots of respite for our children in the Foundation, as well as short term placements, which they found particularly rewarding.

They continue to work on flexible arrangements alongside their fostering roles. Mark and Rob recently commented that in their first year of fostering; “every child is very different and has different needs that need to be met in very different ways. We have been tried and tested in many ways but it helps us to grow as foster carers and we will continue to learn as we go through the years as foster carers. Some things might work well with some children but not work for others. They need a lot of time and attention.”

If you would like to ask about being a foster carer, just like Rob & Mark, please call 03300 10 20 45 or email info@fosteringfoundation.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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Asdan : Keep on caring: supporting young people from care to independence

 

WELL DONE T AND M – WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU BOTH
We are thrilled to have teamed up with Asdan, offering short courses to all our young people. So far, we two young people T and M aged 16 and 17, who have completed 6 courses between them, including Foodwise, Living Independently, Expressive Arts and Personal Finance, the work they are both producing is brilliant – We are so very proud of them both, and will be sending them a voucher each for all their hard work. KEEP IT UP

We are a charity on a mission – to transform life chances through learning.
ASDAN is an awarding organisation whose curriculum programmes and qualifications help young people develop knowledge and skills for learning, work and life. Since 1997, when ASDAN was formally established as an education charity, our work has centred on giving all learners the opportunity and tools to discover, develop and make full use of their potential. As an organisation focused on supporting the next generation, we have recognised the need to adapt our offer, innovate and deliver courses that are fit for the future and better serve the contemporary needs of learners and educators.
The Fostering Foundation along with our Young People have sourced the courses that would be of interest to them, one that is proving very popular is The Living Independently Short Course is focused on helping looked-after children make a successful transition from school education to adulthood. Developed in collaboration with local authorities, the course supports the cross-government strategy to transform support for young people leaving care – ‘Keep on caring: supporting young people from care to independence’.

For more info call 03300 10 20 45 or email info@fosteringfoundation.co.uk

 

 

 

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Fostering is “challenging” but “rewarding” when you see the “young person grow & flourish”

Lisa and her partner are foster carers in Bristol.

“We have been fostering for 10 years now, although it can have its challenges it can also be very rewarding especially when you see the young person grow and flourish.

They may only be tiny steps but over a period of time when you look back you realise how far that young person has come with the care, guidance, empathy and stability that you have provided.

We always have plenty of support and training provided through the agency to ensure that we can give the best possible care for each young person.

If you are of a caring nature I would highly recommend fostering as it can really enrich your life and make a difference to a young persons life.”

If you or anyone you know, would like to find out more about the benefits of foster caring. We’d love to hear from you.

Just call 03300 10 20 45 or email info@fosteringfoundation.co.uk

 

 

 

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