Foster Care Fortnight Events
As part of Foster Care Fortnight Staff from Fostering team will be available at the venues below for advice and questions about fostering for Warwickshire:
- Friday 17th May 2013 – Rope Walk Shopping Centre, Nuneaton – Information available all day – Staff from the service will be available from 9am to 12 noon
- Fostering Family Fun day on 19th May 11.30-3.30 at The Chess Centre, Cedar Road, Nuneaton.
- Friday 24th May 2013 – Clock Towers Shopping Centre Rugby Information available all day – Staff from the service will be available from 11am – 2pm
To find out more about our foster carers and fostered young people’s experiences visit our blog at http://warwickshirefostering.wordpress.com
Foster Care Fortnight™ is an annual campaign organised by The Fostering Network to raise the profile of fostering and is the UK’s biggest foster carer recruitment campaign.
This year’s Foster Care Fortnight will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 26 May 2013.
To celebrate this year’s Foster Care Fortnight Warwickshire Fostering Services will be holding their first ever Fostering Family Fun day on 19th May 11.30-3.30 at The Chess Centre, Cedar Road, Nuneaton. There will be a variety of activities available on the day including circus skills with John the Juggler, magic show, balloon modelling, biscuit decorating, storytelling, games, nail painting and much more!! Presentations on fostering for Warwickshire will also be taking place and information on Fostering for Warwickshire will be available. The event is open to all families, including fostering families and families who might be thinking about fostering in the future. Come along to this free event and have some fun!! For further details please contact 0800 408 1556.
Foster Care Fortnight is a trade mark owned by the Fostering Network.
We believe that every child has the right to family life. Fostering provides a positive alternative for a child until they can return home.
Foster carers in Warwickshire are an essential part of the service we provide to children, young people and their families. The contribution made by all our foster carers is greatly valued and appreciated.
We are currently recruiting for foster carers who are interested in caring for:
- a parent and their child
- children aged over 8 on a permanent basis
- brothers and sisters, particularly children aged 0-5 years
- unaccompanied asylum seeking young people
We are also keen to hear from people who already have experience as a foster carer, whether that’s from fostering for a local authority or independent foster agency.
Choosing to be a foster carer is a big decision. You can find out much more about Fostering in Warwickshire in the different sections of this web page.
Take your interest further by making an enquiry with us.
- Register your interest in fostering online; or
- Call FREEPHONE FOSTERING 0800 408 1556
Or come along to one of our New Information Events. The next events are being held in Nuneaton on 5th June 2013 and Warwick on 9th July. Please click on the link below for further details:
Sections of the page
- Can I foster a child?
- What qualities do I need to be a foster carer?
- Teenage fostering 13+ scheme
- Parent and child fostering
- Solar fostering scheme – short term care
- Galaxy fostering scheme – permanent care
- Jupiter fostering scheme – respite and shared care
- Teenage fostering 13+ care for unaccompanied asylum seeing young people
- Venus fostering scheme – emergency care
- How do I become a foster carer?
- For more information
Just like the children and young people we look after, foster carers in Warwickshire come from all parts of the community.
We need people from all walks of life so that we can find the best match for every child. We positively accept applicants who are in dual heritage relationships, are of dual heritage and from the black and Asian communities.
You can be considered for fostering if you are:
- single – male or female
- from any ethnic background
- of dual heritage parentage or in a dual heritage relationship
- families with or without children, married or living with a partner
- a person with a disability
- couples of the same or different gender
Foster Carers for Warwickshire need a spare bedroom to accommodate children and young people.
Please see our frequently asked questions if you have any questions about your suitability to foster for Warwickshire or give us a call on 0800 408 1556.
What matters most is that you have the time and space, commitment and patience, and the care and skills to work with children and their parents.
Foster carers have particular skills and abilities, which help them provide and maintain a good standard of care to the children they look after.
You will need to be able to:
- build a child’s sense of worth and identity
- stick with a child through the bad times and the good
- promote a child’s health and education
- encourage a child to develop and maintain friendships
- understand the many different needs of children
- respect and accept a young person’s identity, sexuality, religion, culture, race, language and any special need
- show flexibility in handling a range of challenging and difficult behaviour
- encourage and support contact with a child’s parents and family as appropriate
- develop your own skills through preparation and training
Training and support will help to improve your skills as well as providing you with an opportunity to develop others.
Good financial support, training opportunities and social work support is provided for all Warwickshire foster carers.
Being a teenager is a difficult time for anyone, and teenagers in foster care come with their own particular challenges. Some find themselves in trouble and some will have lived through very unhappy experiences at home. They can be difficult to engage with and their backgrounds may make them vulnerable to drug use or criminal behaviour. You’ll need to cope with mood swings and angry outbursts and have to negotiate rules and boundaries. You need to be patient and resilient to get past their tough exterior.
When caring for a teenager you will be required to:
Show you have the commitment and ability to really listen to and accept a young person for who they really are.
Support a young person to prepare them for independence by helping them to develop their practical skills such as cooking and budgeting, and also encourage and support them to access education and training opportunities.
Offer a safe and caring environment for a young person and to help them maintain a relationship with their family.
Have a sense of humour; caring for a teenager can be a frustrating and challenging experience, but equally have it rewards.
Teenage Foster Carers who take a placement of a young person aged 13-18 and have completed some additional training during the approval process as well as “Focus on Fostering” course can go directly onto Skill Level 1 payment level which is currently £124.44 per teenager in your care per week.
Jupiter carers – helping keep families together
The Jupiter scheme offers families and other foster carers periods of short stay care. Respite can make it possible for children to stay with their main carer, reducing tension and overcoming difficulties.
This can help to prevent a complete breakdown of relationships and provides indispensable support to children, their families or carers during a time of need.
You will need to feel confident about working with a range of children and young people and their families who are from a range of backgrounds.
You will need to be happy to care for teenagers and have a high level of availability to care for children during school holidays, weekends and at other times. Respite can be considered alongside other types of fostering.
Solar carers – Supporting families in difficulty
Solar care is needed for children and young people of all ages whose families are experiencing difficulties.
Some of these children will have been abused or neglected, most will have some challenging behaviour. Short term care provides an opportunity to plan for the needs of children and their families with a view to children returning home.
Solar carers will need to have a good understanding of children, an ability to contribute to a childcare plan and be able to work closely with parents and as part of a team.
Galaxy carers – providing security and stability through permanence
Galaxy placements offer children and young people, who are unable to live with their own families (and where adoption is not appropriate), a permanent foster family to care for them throughout their childhood and who will continue to provide support as they grow into young adults.
Galaxy carers will need to make a long term commitment to a child and will need to have the resources and energy to see things through. They will provide the security and stability of a permanent family whilst helping a child stay in touch with their own family. Children and young people in need of permanent placements are usually aged between 8 and 14 years old.
Could you care for a parent with their child?
Parent and Child placements are often an alternative to a residential unit, and they can offer a parent and their child the best possible opportunity to remain together.
Parents, particularly young mothers, who are unable to meet their child’s most basic needs and protect them, sometimes need somewhere to live where they can be supported in looking after their baby or young child.
This type of foster placement may help a family to stay together, and can be highly fulfilling. As a parent and child foster carer, you would need to give practical and emotional support to help the parent to develop the skills required to meet their own and their child’s needs. Your observations will form part of the assessment and decision making process about the child’s future; therefore you will need to have a professional approach to your role. Placements are often limited to a few months and before a placement commences an agreement is drawn up so that the parent and foster carer know what is expected of them.
Could you care for young people from a different culture and country?
Foster carers are needed to provide care for young people who arrive in our country unaccompanied. The majority of these young people are teenagers and 90% are males. These young people come from war torn countries where their lives are at risk. They are usually from the African continent (e.g. Somalia or Eritrea) or from the Middle East (e.g. Kurdistan or Afghanistan). They can be Muslim or Christian in faith. These young people have to cope with the loss of their families and cope with living in a new country with a different culture. Some of these young people will have witnessed traumatic events, like loved ones being killed. Often their journey to the United Kingdom has been long, difficult and traumatic too.
Most of the unaccompanied young people we care for are relieved to be somewhere safe. These young people need long term care until they either have to return home or move to independence (at 18 years) or until they are 21 (24 if in Higher Education).
Foster carers who have cared for these young people have enjoyed learning about other cultures and felt rewarded in caring for young people who are keen to learn and make the most of the opportunities available to them.
Venus carers – providing professional care in an emergency
Venus provides emergency cover, outside of office hours, for children and young people in crisis. Intensive support and help is offered to these children on an emergency basis.
Venus carers are part of a small dedicated team of experienced foster carers providing support and stability at very short notice. They work on a rota basis with the Emergency Duty Team.
What happens next
First of all, you will need to consider carefully which of the foster care schemes most suits you and matches your skills and experience.
If you would like to find out more:
- Register your interest in fostering online; or
- Call FREEPHONE FOSTERING 0800 408 1556
When we have received your form or you have contacted us by telephone, we will send you a brochure containing information Fostering in Warwickshire. If after considering this information you are still interested please return the postcard in the brochure or call us on 0800 4081556 and we will telephone you to gather information and discuss your interest in fostering and your suitability.
During this call we will give you more details about the different types of fostering. Following this phone call we will send you a further information pack including a form to request a home visit. The Further Information pack will tell you about the skills you need to become a carer, the tasks involved in caring for a child and the support and training you will receive when you foster for Warwickshire.
This home visit provides you with an opportunity to discuss your own personal circumstances and to reach a decision with the social worker on whether or not you wish to continue with the first stage of your application. We will also tell you about the assessment process to become a carer.
In order to proceed further you will need to give your consent for us to take up references. These will be in the form of three personal references (a family member and two friends who have known you for three years or more).
We will also take up statutory references from the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau); Children, Young People & Families Services (previously social services); probation; the health authority; and your GP.
The police references are important and help us to screen out anyone who may have serious offences particularly in relation to children. It is most important that we ensure that all children are protected and safe from harm.
We will also need to take up references from any ex-partners with whom you have cohabited in the past.
All references need to be satisfactory. They form an important part of your application and you will need to consider these carefully.
Focus on Fostering courses
While the references are being taken up you will be invited to attend a short course called “Focus on Fostering”. This course offers you an opportunity to learn more about fostering.
The courses are run locally and are offered in the evenings and at weekends. The course comprises a total of four sessions and each applicant will need to attend. The course contributes towards your assessment.
Once you have started the course a social worker will make arrangements to begin your assessment.
You and your family will be visited at home and you will be required to provide evidence of your suitability to foster in line with National Standards.
You will be guided through this process by the assessing social worker who will write a detailed report about your application to foster.
You will see the final report and sign it and have an opportunity to make your own comments.
When your assessment is completed it is presented to the Fostering Panel and you will be invited to attend. The Panel approves and reviews Warwickshire foster carers. Once approved you are then officially a foster carer for Warwickshire County Council.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Warwickshire Fostering Services on FREEPHONE 0800 408 1556.