Brand-New £250,000 Resource Centre in Wolverhampton is Now Open

We are delighted to announce the opening of our brand-new Resource Centre, Progress House.

The brand-new state-of-the-art facility will help individuals with additional needs learn new skills, gain employment, access therapies, participate in activities and make new friends.

Set to benefit hundreds of Black Country families, the £250,000 multipurpose space is a result of 12 months of development. It boasts a fully equipped kitchen, sensory room, computer/quiet rooms and an open plan space to host group activities.

At Progress, we are committed to preventing family breakdowns, increasing resilience and reducing dependency. The Resource Centre helps us achieve this by blending a range of community-based services to support semi-independent and independent living.

The inspirational new site was officially opened by Mr John Crabtree OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of The West Midlands, accompanied by our founder and CEO Bal Dhanoa, Managing Director Claire Rogers and the rest of the Progress Team.

John Crabtree OBE said: “I had the great pleasure to be invited to open the Resource Centre and to learn about the forward-thinking and creative ideas being presented by Progress.

“The organisation has created a range of services which will be delivered and coordinated from this new facility. It will provide early intervention, learning and education, preventative support, and solutions to avoid or reduce crisis situations that come at a high cost to all involved. I wish Progress every success in its latest venture.”

Bal, our Founder and CEO said:

“Covid-19 has definitely had an impact on how care and specialist services have been delivered, and as we head back to a more normal life, we want to make sure we have the facilities and the people in place to help families in the Black Country,”

“The Resource Centre will provide a hub for local children and young adults to come together and access skills and support that will help them live the most rewarding lives possible.”

“We have a big focus on giving people the right to live independently, and our new Resource Centre will further support this objective,” added Claire Rogers, Managing Director.

For further information, please visit www.progresscare.co.uk. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I foster: Jane

In a new series of interviews we have asked Progress foster carers why they foster care and how fostering changes lives.

Jane has been caring for Fariha. This is her story.

I have worked with and cared for young people with complex disabilities for over twenty years. I may be biased; but welcoming a young person into your home is hugely rewarding, especially when you see the positive impact you are having on their life. It is an absolute pleasure for my husband Mark and I to provide foster care.

We took a break from fostering a few years ago, to recharge our batteries and then went back to Progress with a renewed optimism to help a child. Progress informed us about Fariha, and we really wanted to care for her.

Fariha has severe disabilities and was residing in a home. She is a wheelchair user, has significant learning, speech and language delay as well as some visual and hearing problems. Fariha had an few unsettled years; having moved from place to place.

Imagine if you went through that?

We were so pleased when Fariha was placed with us.

Mark (who worked in the police force for over thirty years), was initially worried about fostering a child with complex needs, due to his lack of knowledge and experience. However, he felt more confident once he took part in the training and support Progress gave us.

In preparation for Fariha’s placement, our home was assessed by occupational health professionals and some adaptations were made.

One such example was the fitting of several small ramps inside as well as handrails, so Fariha could move freely around the house.

We asked as many questions as we could about Fariha’s needs, personality and behaviours, so she would be comfortable in her new home. A transition plan was sent to us, to ensure we had a good understanding of her daily requirements and routines, and this really helped.

Fariha’s bedroom was decorated to her own individual needs and although she cannot verbalise her preferences, we ensured her bedroom had a calming atmosphere to encourage and promote sleep and relaxation.

Taking care of a child with disabilities can seem quite daunting, and you will face a lot of challenges. Giving unconditional love to a child is a given, but you must also have patience and understanding. When you can do this, you will see many wonderful things.

At one of our first meetings, we were told not to expect any hugs or sitting on laps from Fariha, and that she would be stationary. Mark and I would always encourage her to reach out to us. Within the first month, Fariha reached out to Mark, insinuating that she wanted to be picked up! I could not believe it! Fast forward to today (with a little bit of work) – Fariha will raise up on her knees to be picked up for a cuddle or to sit on your lap.

It has been wonderful, getting to understand the faces she pulls and the noises she makes when she is happy or sad. This may seem like a little thing, but knowing where she was, to where she is now, these moments are huge! Fariha has also settled well into her new school. Her initial phased start to the term has now turned now into a full-time schedule. We are so proud of how Fariha has coped with this.

We own a caravan and take trips across the country with Fariha. She loves the beach and the noises of the waves crashing and the feeling of the wind on her face and hair.

Mark and I have committed a lot of time caring for Fariha. You must think about the demands that caring for a child has on you as an individual, a couple and wider family. As a couple we try to get away when we can and spend time together.

That said, our lives have become much richer by looking after Fariha. When I see her smile, I realise what a special girl she really is.

If this story resonates with you, perhaps you could be the next carer to make a positive difference in children’s lives. Get in touch to find out more about being a foster carer.

Short Breaks with Progress Care

My Name is Leah Austin, I’m 50yrs old, I live alone and I have been working as a foster carer with Progress Care since May 2021.

So, after applying to Progress Care I began to quickly realise that it was not just a case of applying, they assess you and you get a child. No, they guide you through a much more thorough process to ensure that when you go to panel to get approved you are totally prepared for what the role entails. Going through this process also enables you to understand more about what is needed from a foster carer and all the types of referrals that are out there waiting to be supported. I was given several choices of the type of placement I would like to provide, from mother & baby, emergency care, full time fostering with children from 2yr up to the age 18yr with or without special needs, disability or learning difficulties or to provide respite and short breaks for children and young people from the already mentioned. I decided that respite & short breaks were the care placement I wanted to provide as I also have a job in a SEN school and wish to continue this role until, I retire. Then I would consider fulltime fostering.

It’s so refreshing to see a different side to children in a home situation, they can interact differently, communicate more confidently and to see them happy and relaxed to be able to do life skills more independently has been amazing.

I have found that parents/carers of children in care are under enormous stress and the little support they do get is very much welcomed by them. Whether it is one night per month or a short break it gives the family time to recuperate, re focus or just get some much-needed sleep to enable them to continue taking care of the child.

I decided to opt to work for progress when they posted an advert on Facebook, I replied as I had done to other fostering companies in the past but this time, I got a prompt reply and so they say, the rest is history.

From the very start of the process, I felt fully supported and guided throughout, with such professionalism and organised realistic expectations of me during the assessment phase and that support continues right up to today, now I care for 6 children who regularly visit me each month. I do not have any birth children living at home but if I did then that would be taken into consideration by Progress when matching children to me. The children I have are of different ages, sex, and abilities all with their own individual needs for which I provide respite/short breaks catered to parents/ carers requirements.

Initially I will either get a phone call or email about a referral of a child that needs support, I will look through the referral information to ascertain whether I feel I can provide care for them and respond to my supervising social worker. If I want to go ahead then I will receive some more detailed information about the child including a safer caring plan, individual risk assessments and information about the child’s needs, disabilities, behaviours, medications, this gives me a fuller picture of the child. My social worker will then contact the parent/carer or their social worker to arrange a telephone call with me or an introductory visit at my home. I then get the chance to ask any other questions I may have about the child.

There is some flexibility for when I have the children stay with me and this is organised between myself and the parent/carer, usually during the introduction visit or by telephone call. Going forward I am available to discuss each child’s visit with the parent/carer and they can inform me of any changes, improvements, other information at drop off/collection time.

I currently only have space for one child at a time due to my living situation however if that changed then I could be open to taking on siblings. As a respite/short break carer I am only allowed to care for one child or sibling group per stay as we must consider the possibility of bullying, anxiety, challenging behaviours, and risks that could be a cause for concern. However, if I chose to change the provision that I wanted to provide then my supervising social worker would get this approved for me and I could do long term foster placements which would allow me more than one child at a time if I had the room, as they are treated more like a member of your own family with numerous siblings as long as they have their own room for different sexes or if appropriate same sex can be together in a bed of their own.

Finally, the financial support is provided weekly and is tax free for each child you have in placement, there are other opportunities to top up your finances with Progress care, whether it’s writing occasional blogs for websites, flyers or taking on other roles within the company it is an amazing company to work for and I have loved every moment which just encourages me to want to do more for children in need of care and support

I’M PROGRESS CARE

A Service You Can Trust

MY SERVICES

The Best Care for Your Child

OVERNIGHT RESPITE & SHORT BREAKS 

I understand the importance of caring for your children in a safe and effective way. With all of the services I provide, you can rest assured that your children are in good hands.

2-18yr CHILDCARE

I make it a priority to provide a stimulating and inviting environments for all of my children in placement with me. With all of my previous experience in SEN with children and adults , parents & carers stay calm whenever they leave their children in my care. As an experienced foster carer, I am here to provide the quality care your children deserve.

Teatime introductory visits

Years of experience have made it clear that parents often need a quality carer who can understand the needs of their child. I do my best to accommodate all of the children’s needs, whether they are children with sensory needs, those that require a routine to prevent meltdowns, those who require a specific way to communicate, I am confident I can accommodate all and like to offer teatime introductory visits to the child and parent/carer until they are comfortable with me to have them stay overnight. This gives the parent/carer the opportunity to ask questions and see how their child interacts with their new surroundings and myself.

 

Progress Celebrate Outstanding OFSTED Rating

We are absolutely delighted to announce that following an inspection by OFSTED in November 2021, we have been awarded the highest possible rating of ‘OUTSTANDING’.

The inspectors were full of praise and noted that:

“Children are cared for by carers who know them incredibly well and make exceptional progress from their starting points.”

“Children have excellent relationships with foster carers and benefit from stable, long-term placements.”

“The exceptional nurture and care children receive from their carers means that children feel valued and part of their fostering family.”

“Child-centred practice by foster carers and staff is driven by a therapeutic understanding of children’s needs with an excellent wrap-around service to ensure that everybody works together.”

“All carers spoken to shared that it did not matter who they spoke to in the agency, it felt like they knew them and their children well.”

“New foster carers state that they feel welcomed and valued by the agency.”

“The registered manager is a strong advocate for children and has ensured that children and carers have bespoke support so that children’s needs are met to a high standard”

“The registered manager is passionate, dynamic, and inspirational. She is highly visible and helped the agency to grow and develop. The registered manager has been at the forefront of the agency’s drive for excellence.”

“Foster carers are prepared well for their role, which contributes to the high levels of care and stability for children.” And “foster carers are provided with a range of training that equips them with skills and knowledge to meet the individual needs of the children placed in their care.”

 

 

We are thrilled with the result!

We are beyond thrilled to have received this feedback from OFSTED. Over the last few years, the staff at Progress have worked tirelessly to improve and develop the agency into the caring and nurturing space it is today.

Operations Manager Tina at Progress said:

 “I am delighted with the honour of achieving an outstanding inspection- the immense hard work and support by everyone in the Progress family has brought excellence in care and support.  We pride ourselves in quality and this been ratified by OFSTED and that feels wonderful.”

A fitting celebration

Through their hard work, dedication and care, every single member of the Progress family has contributed to our OFSTED ‘Outstanding’ rating and therefore deserves to be recognised and rewarded.

To commend this achievement as a team, we held a celebration and handed out awards to staff to express our recognition and thanks.

Once again, a huge thank you goes out to every member of the Progress team who has played an integral part in helping us accomplish this accolade. We are immensely proud of this achievement.

Click here to read the full OFSTED report.

If you would like to explore a fostering career with a family-owned, OFSTED-rated ‘Outstanding’ agency that cares, speak to our team today.