Many people consider fostering, but taking the plunge and committing comes with many worries and concerns. You are taking a leap of faith into the unknown, where children are placed in family homes at short notice with rare opportunities to get to know the child before they arrive at your front door.
At Progress, we can do things differently! Our focus is on ensuring children are in the most appropriate placement and we offer a wide range of services for children. We do not rely on traditional referrals which tend to be for same day, emergency placements. This means we can work with our Foster Carers to build relationships with children and young people before they are placed.
We can give Foster Carers an opportunity to be a part of a plan for child, we do this through dual-track planning for children.
The first of these opportunities are to work with our residential teams where children are looking to move into foster care. We identify a child that might be suitable and discuss their needs in depth and look at what it means to care for them. If the Carer thinks they might be able to offer a placement, we arrange for them to go and see the child, meet them and see how they get on, and observe the child in placement. If the Carer wishes to progress, we look at what training would be needed and they have an opportunity to go and work with the child in the home; to build on the relationship and ensure they feel confident that the placement would be successful.
The plans for each child are bespoke, so we take it slowly, plan with the Local Authority and ensure that everything is in place, the Carer is confident and that the child wants the move. This gives the greatest chance of success.
Once the child moves into the foster home, the staff from the residential service continue to provide support to the Carers, be that face to face, or phone support. This enables young people to maintain relationships and gives Carers unrivalled support from people with hands on practical experience of the child.
When placements are made in this way, there is a high chance of a long-term permanent placement being agreed by the Local Authority. This gives Carers the stability and reassurance of long-term financial support, reducing the risks to the stability of their home life and reducing the uncertainty that can come with short-term foster placements.
We also work with children and families through our short breaks service and our community based support service. Our Foster Carers can become part of the support network for a family, offering short breaks where a child might stay with the Foster Carers for a couple of nights per month or as a shared care arrangement; where a child might stay with you for a few days a week, on an on-going basis. This work is extremely rewarding and Carers get a real chance to help families keep it together and build supportive and trusting relationships with birth families.
To talk to one of our Social Workers about any of these options, please get in touch with our fostering team today.
You can call our head office on 01902 561066 between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday or if you would like someone to call you back you can send your details to us via the enquiry form below or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.