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FOSTERING IN THE NEWS

Foster care sees the launch of ‘Staying Put’ Guidance

16th September, 2017

The Fostering Network, which is the leading foster care charity in the UK, has recently launched its ‘Staying Put Guidance’. This is based upon a range of factors: legislation, standards and the statutory guidance that monitors services for ‘looked after children’, care leavers as well as fostering services in England. The launch – ‘Guidance for Children and Young People Services, Fostering Services and Leaving Care Services’ has also been accompanied by the identification of particular obstacles which the charity now wants the government to address. Amongst these are the following changes:

  • the government should ensure that ‘staying put’ once properly costed is fully funded;
  • the introduction of a minimum ‘staying put’ allowance which ensures no foster carer is worse off financially because of agreeing to a staying put placement;
  • that funds should be re-allocated, meaning a foster carer receives housing benefit, as opposed to it going straight to the young person.

The history: it was the Children and Families Act 2014 that brought ‘staying put’ in and placed a new duty upon all the local authorities in England to support, advise and assist young people to remain with their foster carers if they wished, and once they were over the age of eighteen – and with the agreement of their foster carers. This change in the law was after a long running campaign by the National Fostering Network. Since then, the charity has been closely monitoring the implementation of the duty. The charity has reported that the number of young people remaining with their foster carers has grown year on year, but the anticipated rise in children remaining with their foster carers has not been seen. The Foster care charity feels that a number of logistical, financial and cultural issues still impede making ‘staying put’ an option for all the young people who might wish to take it up.

Kevin Williams is the chief executive of The Fostering Network – said

“The change to the law was one of the proudest moments in the charity’s 40 year history, and ensuring that it works properly for all fostered young people who want to stay with their foster families remains a solid commitment for the charity.”

Work to improve the lives and prospects of foster children with 24 Seven Fostering.

If you decide to work as a foster carer with us, it means that you will be guaranteed up to date training – as well as guidance and support around the clock. As part of the training, we have highly professional foster carers in our community who willingly share their knowledge and experience of fostering. Joining 24 Seven to foster, will enable you to make a real difference to a vulnerable child We know that there are few things in life as rewarding as fostering.

Remember, when you call 24 Seven, there is no pressure to make a decision. We know how important it is to make the right decision because fostering is not for everyone. Our specialist advisors are individuals possess a wealth of experience. They are always more than happy to answer all your questions. If you can set aside twenty minutes for an initial conversation about fostering, then please call 020 8861 7123. If you are out at work during the day, we will arrange to call at a time convenient to you.

Many people we speak with have been considering becoming a foster carer for a long time: it is a life changing decision, so they have many questions. These are just a few that we are commonly asked. Of course, if you have others, we will be happy to answer them.

  • What checks are going to be made on myself and family?
  • I have two dogs, can I still foster a child?
  • Will I be allowed a say in who I foster?
  • As I am moving home soon, can I still apply to be a foster carer?

It’s also worth looking at the rest of our website: here we have provided masses of general information. 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to care – over 7,000 new foster families needed this year! We’re hoping you might be one of them!

A core group is established to review foster care allowances in Scotland

12th September, 2017

It has recently been announced that the Scottish Government will be setting up a ‘core group’ whose job it will be to – “review foster, kinship and adoption allowances to bring forward proposals for national kinship care and foster care allowances in summer 2018.”

This has drawn a reaction from the The Fostering Network, which is the leading foster care charity in the country.

Their director in Scotland, Sara Lurie, commented that the introduction of such an allowance is something that the Government in Scotland has been promising for over a decade. To do this would be bringing Scotland into line with the rest of the UK. She stated: “The Fostering Network has been campaigning for many years for the introduction of a minimum fostering allowance in Scotland – we are delighted to see that the Scottish Government has now established a core group to make recommendations regarding the allowance, and that we have been invited to be part of that group.”

Sara Lurie also stressed the importance of the core group consulting with Scottish foster carers. Ensuring that a decision is made so that a minimum allowance can be brought in by April 2019, was also viewed as essential.

24 Seven fostering is looking for foster carers from all backgrounds, ethnicities and cultural traditions

At 24 Seven we offer our carers the most up to date training to develop their professional careers in foster care. This is combined with guidance and support that creates the confidence to experience the considerable rewards fostering has to offer. There are many vulnerable children and youngsters in desperate need of a secure and loving home. Some of our foster cares choose to have additional specialist training to enable them to look after children with complex needs. However you decide to develop your fostering career, 24 seven will be with you every step of the way.

Call us today if you want to find out more about what foster care involves. One of our specialist advisors can be reached on 020 8861 7123. They will be delighted to answer your questions and give you an idea about the training that is needed. One thing: in order to foster, you will need to have a spare room. We get asked a broad range of questions and we are more than happy to provide the answers. These are some of the most common –

  • What checks will be made on myself and family?
  • What standard of English do I need to be a foster carer?
  • Are gay and lesbian people able to foster young people?
  • I own a pet dog – as well as a cat so can I still foster a child?
  • I am about to move home, am I still able to apply to be a foster carer?

Remember to have a good look around the rest of our website as there is plenty of information about providing care for children. 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to foster…it’s time to care! So we’d love to hear from you.

Fostering controversy draws foster care charity to highlight the issues

4th September, 2017

In recent days there has been a media storm surrounding the placement of a five year old christian girl with Muslim foster carers. The story says much about a wide range of preconceptions, as well as much that is not properly understood about foster care in the UK. It is also the kind of story bound to excite public interest. Fortunately, the country’s leading foster care charity, The Fostering Network, has in recent days cut through the media hyperbole with a reasoned analysis of both the issues and difficulties surrounding cross cultural placements. Lending much needed perspective, Kevin Williams, the chief executive of the charity stated:

“There are many thousands of carers across the UK, with good support from their fostering service, who have consistently gone the extra mile to support young people to stay connected with the faith and culture they were born into – even if they knew very little about that faith or culture before that young person came to live with them.”

At the heart of this controversial issue is simply the matching process: this depends upon there being a wide pool of foster carers who; whatever their particular religion or cultural background, are experienced in providing care for children from different cultural, or religious backgrounds from their own. Kevin Williams also stated:

“There are many thousands of carers across the UK, with good support from their fostering service, who have consistently gone the extra mile to support young people to stay connected with the faith and culture they were born into – even if they knew very little about that faith or culture before that young person came to live with them.”

Recruiting foster carers is time consuming but does, amongst a whole range of other things, cover how the applicants; were they to become foster carers, support a child’s identity, including their language and religion, Where potential foster carers have strong religious beliefs of their own, they are required to demonstrate how they would assist a child to explore their own cultural or religious beliefs.

As The fostering Network states, there are currently around 55,000 fostering households across the country, but over 7,000 more are needed this year alone. This recent story throws a focus upon the importance of training to support cross cultural placements for all new applicants.

Become a foster carer with 24 Seven and make a difference to young lives

Working as a foster carer with 24 Seven means you can benefit from up to date training combined with the best professional guidance and support. Joining 24 Seven means you will be able to make that vital difference to the lives and prospects of vulnerable children. Many of these youngsters are desperate to find loving and stable homes.

Many of our foster carers have developed their professional careers with us by taking advantage of the additional specialist training we offer. This enables them to care for children with complex needs. But whichever career path you follow with us, you will find we are there to support you every step of the way.

Talk today with one of our specialist advisors on 020 8861 7123: we will be delighted to answer any questions you might have. One thing: you will need to have a spare room to foster a child. These are just some of the other questions we often get asked – you will have your own and we are more than happy to provide the answers.

  • Are gay and lesbian people still able to foster?
  • I have two pet dogs, can I still foster a child or young person?
  • I have heard you cannot foster a child if you smoke – is this true?
  • Do I need to speak English to a high standard to be a foster carer?
  • Do I have to own my own home to be a foster carer?

Do take a look at the rest of our website – plenty of general information is available here about fostering children. 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to foster…it’s time to care! We’d love to hear from you.

U.S. State sees adoption as a successful outcome to foster care

23rd August, 2017

There is pressure of fostering services in many different countries. In the State of Arizona, there are currently more than eighteen thousand children in foster care. The reasons they have ended up in the care system are many and various. The main ones are abuse, neglect – perhaps parents with drug related issues, or one or both parents in prison. At the present time, approximately four thousand of these children are waiting to be adopted. The Public Information Officer, Darren DaRonco, from the Arizona Department for Child Safety is on the record as saying: “There’s always a need for more foster and adoptive families.” And continuing further – “However, the adoption process can take longer in some instances, For some children, it is more difficult to locate adoptive parents because the children may be older, have some behavioural challenges or some other special needs. For some children, it is more difficult to locate adoptive parents because the children may be older, have some behavioural challenges or some other special needs.”

On any particular day, there are around 428,000 children in the foster care system in the U.S. In 2015, the number of children spending time in foster care stood at over 670,000. On average, children and young people remain in state care for around two years, with 6% of children having remained in foster care for five years or more.

24 Seven Fostering offers you the opportunity to change lives.

As a foster carer with us, you can take advantage of up to date training combined with high quality professional guidance and support. Joining 24 Seven means you will be able to make a real difference to the life and prospects of vulnerable children and young people. Many of these youngsters have experienced disruption in their lives and now need loving, stable homes.

Some of our foster carers have further developed their careers by taking advantage of the additional training we offer. This means that they can care for children with complex needs.
Whatever fostering path you follow, you will find us there to support you every step of the way.

Talk with one of our specialist advisors on 020 8861 7123: if you can set aside twenty minutes for an initial conversation with us, we will be delighted to answer any questions you might have. You will need to have a spare room to foster a child – but these are just some of the other questions we are often asked:

  • What checks will be made on myself and family?
  • Do I need to speak English to a high standard to be a foster carer?
  • Are gay people still able to foster?
  • I own a pet dog, can I still foster a child or young person?
  • I have heard you cannot foster a child if you smoke – is this true?

Hopefully you can also take a look at the rest of our website where there is plenty of general information: 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to foster…it’s time to care!

Cuts could affect foster care services

18th August, 2017

Recent warnings from the Local Government Association have revealed a picture of spending over runs. Analysis drawn from more than 370 councils in England and Wales), revealed in 2015 – 16 that councils exceeded children’s social care budgets by £605 million. This overrun was necessary so to protect children considered to be at immediate risk of harm. The pressures on councils have been mounting over time: in recent years, there has been an unprecedented growth in demand for children’s social support services. And this demand for services is unlikely to fall in the near future. More than 170,000 children were subject to child protection enquiries in the period 2015/16, as compared to 71,800 in the period 2005/06. This is a big jump of 140 per cent – in only ten years.

The LGA has conducted further analysis, which has shown that government funding for the Early Intervention Grant, has been cut by around £500 million since the year 2013. There is a further drop now projected; this will amount to £183 million by the year 2020. Over ten years, this will represent a reduction of 40 per cent.

“The fact that the majority of councils are recording high levels of children’s services overspend in their local areas shows the sheer scale of the funding crisis we face in children’s social care, both now and in the near future.” And further – “With councils facing a £2 billion funding gap for children’s services in just three years time it is more important than ever that the Government prioritises spending in this area.” Continuing – “There is no question that early intervention can help to limit the need for children to enter the social care system, lay the groundwork for improved performance at school and even help to ease future pressure on adult social care by reducing the pressure on services for vulnerable adults.” These were views expressed from the LGA’s ‘Children & Young People Board’.

You can improve the lives and prospects of foster children with 24 Seven.

Working with us as a foster carer means that you can take advantage of up to date training – plus high quality professional guidance and support. Joining 24 Seven means you can make a real difference to the life experiences of a vulnerable children and young people.

Many of our foster carers have chosen to further develop their careers through the additional training we provide. This means that they can look after children who might have complex needs. There are very few things in life as rewarding as fostering.

Calling 24 Seven fostering will put you in touch with one of our specialist advisors. If you put aside twenty minutes for an initial conversation with us, simply call 020 8861 7123. If you are working during the day, we are more than happy to arrange a call back at a convenient time. These are just some of the questions we are routinely asked. If you have queries, we would be delighted to answer them.

  • What checks will be made on myself and family?
  • What checks will be made on myself and family? Do I need to speak English to a high standard to be a foster carer?
  • Are gay people able to foster?
  • I own a pet dog, can I still foster a child?
  • I am about to move home, can I still apply to be a foster carer?

Remember, you can also look at the rest of our website – here there is plenty of information. 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to foster…it’s time to care! In 2017 there are over 9,000 new foster families still needed. We hope you might be one of them?

Charities call for teachers to have training to help foster children and care leavers

10th August, 2017

Become and ‘Voices from Care’ are two charities that represent the interests of both foster children and young care leavers. Recently they have put together a report ‘Perceptions of Care’ which came about as they attracted funding from the Big Lottery Fund the report has researched into how children within the care system think other people regard care. One hundred and seventy children – young people as well as care leavers in England and Wales, then contributed to a special online survey. They also gave their views in focus groups: when asked to respond to the statement-

“people think that it is children’s fault that they are in care”,

50% of children in care and 51% of care leavers agreed with the statement. Other findings that came out were that 35% thought social workers thought children in care are not as clever as other children. It was also recorded that 24% of young people felt teachers had an understanding of what being in care felt like.

Chloe Cockett, The Policy and Research Manager at Become, said –

“Teachers tirelessly serve children, and they should be provided with the tools to help all of the children in their care no matter what their family background is.” She added: “If we don’t ensure that teachers understand how best to support children in care, then we are depriving those children of the chance to flourish in childhood in the same way that their peers can.”

You can improve the lives and prospects of foster children with 24 Seven.

Being a foster carer with 24 Seven fostering means that you will be guaranteed up to date training – plus the best in professional guidance and support. We have highly professional foster carers in our community and they are always happy to share their knowledge and experience. This happens at the many coffee mornings we arrange. Joining 24 Seven will mean that you can make a real difference to the life of a vulnerable child. There are many ‘highs and lows’ in fostering but few jobs as rewarding.

Many of our foster carers have chosen to develop their fostering careers by taking advantage of the additional training we provide. This means that they can look after children who might have a disability or other kinds of complex needs.

Calling us will not result in pressure to make an immediate decision. It’s very important that we allow you the time and space to make the right decision. Our specialist advisors are people with a wealth of fostering experience: they are always happy to answer your questions. If you can make twenty minutes available for an initial conversation with us about fostering, please call 020 8861 7123. If, however, you are working during the day, we will arrange a call back at a time convenient to you. Fostering is certainly a life changing decision: many people who contact us have been considering becoming a foster carer for a while and have many questions. To give you an idea, these are just some of the questions we are commonly asked. If you have others, we would be delighted to answer them.

  • I have a dog, can I still foster a child?
  • What checks will be made on myself and family?
  • Is it possible to foster if you are in a same sex relationship?
  • I have heard you cannot foster a child if you smoke – is this true?
  • If I move home in the near future, can I still apply to be a foster carer?
  • Will I be allowed to have a say in who I foster?

Remember, we also recommend that you take the time to look at the rest of our website. There is, however, nothing like a friendly chat so phone us on 020 8861 7123. Remember…it’s time to care! Over 9,000 new foster families are needed this year! Perhaps you could be one of them?

Ruling in Glasgow will have implications for foster care

8th August, 2017

A recent tribunal case brought by foster carers James and Christine Johnstone will have moved the debate about the employment status of foster carers further up the agenda. The couple brought the case against Glasgow City Council and the ruling, which found in their favour judged them to be employees of the Council. In the ruling, Judge McFatridge said:
“In finding for the claimants in this case I am not in any way making a finding about the status of ordinary mainstream foster carers. What I am saying is that on the basis of the facts in the current case, the claimants were employees of the respondents.”

James and Christine Johnstone were working in the Multi-Dimensional Treatment Foster Care team. The judgement drew a swift response from Kevin Williams, the chief executive of the leading charity, The Fostering Network:

“For too many years foster carers have not been given the status, respect, training, support and remuneration that they deserve and which they require in order to be able to look after the children in their care. This is not only crucial for the recruitment and retention of foster carers but, equally importantly, for the tens of thousands of children who fostered every day.”

Kevin Williams acknowledged that the judgement has not “set a precedent” for all foster carers, but it does mean that the usual attitude toward fostering of “business as usual”, can no longer be excused.

This year will see the provision of foster care in this country being scrutinised as never before. The UK government has commissioned a national fostering stocktake which will be reporting later this year. This will bring many issues attached to fostering to the fore. It will be reporting its findings soon after the ‘State of the Nation’s Foster Care 2016’ has brought its own key findings to the fostering debate. This survey was carried out between July and September 2016: it was by far the largest and most independent survey of the views of foster carers performed in the UK. It is likely to be highly influential with regard to the national fostering stocktake in England, as well as the Educations Committee’s own fostering inquiry.

Improve the lives and prospects of foster children with 24 Seven.

Working as a foster carer with 24 Seven fostering means that you will be guaranteed up to date training – along with the best in professional guidance and support. We have highly professional and motivated foster cares in our community: they willingly share their knowledge and experience of fostering at the many coffee mornings we arrange. Joining 24 Seven will mean that you can make a real difference to the life experience of a vulnerable child or young person. There are few things in life as rewarding as fostering.

Many of our foster carers have chosen to further develop their careers through the additional training we provide. This means that they can look after children who might have complex needs.

When you call 24 Seven there will be no pressure to make an immediate decision. It’s very important to make the right decision as fostering is not for everyone. Our specialist advisors are individuals with a wealth of experience who are always happy to answer your questions in a friendly way. If you can set aside twenty minutes or so for an initial conversation with us about fostering, please call 020 8861 7123. If you are working during the day, we will arrange a call back at a time convenient to you. Many people who contact us have been considering being a foster carer for a long time and have many questions. It is certainly a life changing decision: these are just some of the questions we are commonly asked. If you have others, we would be delighted to answer them.

  • Do I need to speak English to a high standard to be a foster carer?
  • What checks will be made on myself and family?
  • Is it possible to foster if you are gay or lesbian?
  • I have a dog, can I still foster a child?
  • Will I have a say in who I foster?
  • Is it true that you cannot foster a child if you smoke?
  • I am moving home in the near future, can I still apply to be a foster carer?

Remember we also recommend that you look at the rest of our website as there is masses of information. 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to care – over 9,000 new foster families needed this year! Could you be one of them?

Mounting pressure on long term foster placements

4th August, 2017

The incidence of long term foster care placements breaking down is rising. Placement breakdown is defined as a placement not lasting as long as originally planned; placement moves, then have to be planned. This rise is particularly worrying as placement instability is known to impact negatively on outcomes for looked after children. One reason for this which has been singled out is a failure of Social Services to adequately meet the needs of a placement. This is a trend that is spreading across the country. Foster carers are having to fight harder to get access to the services that are needed for children – success is heavily dependent on the amount of support and time they can get from their local authority social worker. Social workers are finding that they are in turn unable always to have the time and resources to manage their workloads. In some instances, the result has been children have had to leave the stability of long term placements and go into residential care.

The pressures of ‘Austerity’ that have impacted generally have been felt by Social Services budgets. Because so many long term foster placements are breaking down, costs are escalating adding to the budgetary woes. Figures from the The Department for Education and Skills show that –

“the standard unit cost for maintaining a child for a week in residential care is eight times that of the cost of foster care, 9.5 times that of a placement with relatives or friends and 12.5 times that of a placement with own parents.” What is also very damaging is that a placement breakdown can result in the resignation of a foster carer. This is at a time when there is an acute shortage of people coming forward to go into fostering.

A career fostering with 24 Seven means you can make a difference to children’s lives

Joining us means that you will be offered up to date training – along with professional guidance and support. That support will be there around the clock. Our fostering community is made up of professional and highly motivated foster carers: they are always willing to share their knowledge and experiences of fostering. Becoming a foster carer with 24 Seven will enable you to make a real difference to a vulnerable child or young person. There are few things in life as rewarding. Many of our foster carers have chosen to develop their careers by taking advantage of the additional training that we provide. This means that they can look after children who might have a disability or other complex needs.

Calling 24 Seven will not result in pressure to make a decision. We want you to make the right decision: fostering is not for everyone; we are always realistic and let people know that it can be challenging and demanding. Our specialist advisors are people with a wealth of experience – always happy to answer your questions in a relaxed and friendly way. If you can spare around twenty minutes for an initial conversation with us about fostering, then call 020 8861 7123. If you are working during the day, we are happy to arrange a call back at a time that is convenient to you. Fostering a child is a life changing decision and there are many questions that will occur to you. Just to give you an idea of some of the considerations, these are some questions we are commonly asked (we also recommend that you browse the rest of our website as there is masses of information).

  • If I live outside the UK, can I still foster?
  • What checks will be made on myself and family?
  • I have several pets, am I still able to foster?
  • Is it true that you cannot foster if you smoke?
  • Do I have to own my home to foster?
  • I am moving home shortly, can I still apply to be a foster carer
  • Is it possible to foster if you are gay or lesbian?

24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to care – over 9,000 new foster families needed this year!

Implications for foster care as study reveals high rate of repeat referrals

1st August, 2017

The government has recently commissioned research through the Department for Education that has revealed that over fifty percent of children that were referred to children’s services in the year 2011, were again referred in 2014 – 15. This was a new study written and produced at Manchester University by Dr Patricio Troncoso. The work was based on looking at a study group of 498,867 youngsters who were referred within one hundred and forty five local authorities in 2010 – 2011. When the research period came to an end, 54.5 percent of the youngsters had been been re-referred at least once.

The reports’s author’s have acknowledged that the findings contained several limitations. It stated, for example, that there had been a focus on only one cohort of children. It also acknowledged that different local authorities could have applied thresholds differently, and consideration had not been given to those instances of children being re-referred multiple times within a given financial year.

The report drew several conclusions: it reported, for example that –

“Re-referrals can be costly to local authorities, but more importantly, they can be stressful and harmful to the children themselves, as well as to their parents or guardians.”

Another conclusion was that “Potentially, multiple referrals can be detrimental to children’s development, as they may imply prolonged periods of unmet needs and recurrent episodes of abuse, neglect, maltreatment, etc.”

The report also drew attention from its findings that:

  • over the five year period of study, around 50 percent of children were re-referred for the same primary need as their first referral. Half were re-referred for different primary needs. The most common primary needs the study identified were family dysfunction, family in acute distress, abuse and neglect;
  • children who had been identified as needing no further action following their first referral are 1.34 times as likely to be re-referred as children who had not been identified as requiring no further action;
  • over 40,000 children were re-referred in at least 3 of the 6 years of the report;
  • ten percent of children taken into care at some point, then had a second period.

The report also suggested that there were a number of areas that would warrant follow-up study. One area was the value in analysing the time periods between children’s episodes of need and subsequent re-referral. It also noted the worth of researching the links between ethnicity and levels of deprivation and the likelihood of re-referral.

Fostering with 24 Seven means you can help a child to have a better future

24 Seven Fostering are dedicated to offering the very best training and support to our applicants and foster carers. Whilst it takes up to six months to become approved to foster, we are there at each stage of the process to provide guidance. When you become a foster carer, you really will be able to make a tremendous difference to a vulnerable child or young person. There are few things as rewarding: with 24 Seven, you will be given every opportunity to develop your skills and experience. Our caring fostering community comprises professional and highly motivated foster carers – always willing to share their knowledge and experiences. Many have chosen to further their careers through additional training, enabling them to provide care in specialist areas. Examples of these are caring for children with a disability, or looking after young people with complex needs.

Calling 24 Seven will not mean you will be pressured into making a decision. There is no obligation. Our aim initially is to find out about your motivations to foster and what life experiences you have had that may make you suitable. Most of all, we want you to make the right decision: fostering is not for everyone – it can be challenging and demanding. You do not have to have children of your own to foster. Our specialist advisors are all experienced people happy to answer your questions in a relaxed and informal way. Above all, we want you to make the right decision: fostering is not for everyone – it can be demanding and challenging: it can also be incredibly rewarding and personally gratifying. Our task is guiding you to making the right decision. To give you some idea, these are just some of the questions (FAQs) we are regularly asked. Feel free to ask any of your own.

  • Is it possible to foster if you are gay or lesbian?
  • Level of foster care pay?
  • What checks can I expect to be made on me?
  • Can you foster if you have pets?
  • Do I have to own my home to foster?
  • Is income from being a foster parent taxable?
  • What are the main foster carer requirements?

If you have around twenty minutes for an initial call to talk to us about fostering, phone us on 020 8861 7123. If you are working, we are happy for you to phone us and arrange a call back at a time convenient to you. Fostering a child is a life changing decision. We guarantee, there is no obligation, or pressure to make a quick decision. Over 9,000 new foster families are needed in this country this year – you might possibly be one of them.

Travel ban in America means foster care programme is halted

31st July, 2017

Matching vulnerable children to families prepared to offer them a home has never been straightforward. When unaccompanied refugee children are involved, the situation is even more complex. In the US, the problems facing this group of children have become even tougher as they have been caught up in Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban. At the moment the ban only permits refugees who already have family ties in the country to enter. This has had the effect of stranding more than 100 children who were due to be matched with foster families in the US. Since these unaccompanied refugee minors are without adult relatives, they have been placed in limbo. They can only hope that a court ruling will be made that will allow them to go to America to be resettled with foster families waiting to take them.

This particular programme set up for unaccompanied refugee children differs from the one that was started in 2014 for Central American children fleeing violence and exploitation. This programme was begun by the Obama administration. The programme which has been affected, has been operating since the nineteen-eighties. From this period, it has resulted in over 6,000 refugee children being settled in America. The figure for unaccompanied refugee children arriving last year stood at 203. Elizabeth Foydel, policy counsel with the ‘International Refugee Assistance Project’ – a Washington based legal-aid organisation for refugees – stated “These are kids on their own, and struggling to survive.”

This situation; where foster families have been found to accept refugee children from overseas, is in marked contrast with what is generally an acute shortage of foster homes across the United States. In some areas of the country, there has been a dramatic and sudden increase in the numbers of children needing to be placed into foster care. One of the key factors in bringing this about is the increase in parental drug misuse – particularly the use of Heroin.

Provide a child with a better future by fostering with 24 seven

It can take up to six months to become an approved foster carer. At 24 Seven, we will give you the very best in training and support so you can change the life of a child. There is nothing quite so rewarding: with our assistance and continual support, you can develop your skills and experience in a supportive environment. It is one that values the contribution carers make to turning around the lives of vulnerable youngsters. Our caring community is made up of motivated and professional foster carers – many of whom chose to have additional training so they can provide care in specialist areas. This might be looking after children with a disability, or young people with complex needs.

When you contact us there will be no pressure or obligation. Initially, we only want to have a very general chat with you and find out what your motivations to foster might be. It is relaxed and very informal. Our specialist advisors are all people with a lot of experience and will be happy to answer all your questions. Above all, we want you to make the right decision: fostering is not for everyone – it can be challenging and demanding. That said, it can also be incredibly rewarding and personally satisfying. We want to guide you to making the right decision. To give you an idea, these are just some of the questions (FAQs) we are regularly asked.

  • Is it possible to foster if you are gay or lesbian?
  • How much do you get for fostering?
  • Can I claim benefits if I am a foster carer?
  • Is income from being a foster parent taxable?
  • What are the main foster carer requirements?
  • Does someone have to own their own home to foster, or can they rent?
  • Is it possible to foster if you are gay or lesbian?

Call 24 Seven Fostering now on 020 8861 7123. To provide information and find out a little about you, initial calls usually last about 20 minutes. If it is easier, we can arrange to call you back at a time that is convenient to you. To foster a child or young person is a big decision. We guarantee, there is no obligation, or pressure to reach a quick decision. Over 9,000 new foster families are needed in the UK this year alone – it is exciting to think that you might be one of them.

More Americans consider children in foster care when looking to adopt a new survey reveals

26th July, 2017

A great many foster children in the US suffer from repeated moves from foster placements. A situation which is very similar to the United Kingdom. This makes it very difficult for a child or young person to settle into a placement. The knock on effects can be long-term and considerable impacting particularly on educational achievement. A new survey, produced on behalf of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, has produced some encouraging news. Apparently, twenty five percent of people who had never previously adopted in the US are now considering it: of these individuals, approximately eighty per cent are now thinking about adopting children who are currently being fostered. Most significantly, this is up seven per cent from 2012 – this increase represents an all-time high.

“There is a much more robust conversation in this country about children in foster care than in the past, which is giving more children hope,” she went on to say: “There is a much more robust conversation in this country about children in foster care than in the past, which is giving more children hope,” This was the view of The President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Rita Soronen.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption specialises in finding adoptive homes for children in the foster care system. The Foundation is unique in setting this as their priority. They look to find adopters for teenage children, sibling groups and children with special needs. Just as in the UK, these particular groups present the greatest challenge to finding adoptive families willing to accept. Because of this, most of the children the Foundation is working with have been caught up in the foster care system for longer than five years.

The recent survey also revealed that eighty percent of Americans know that children are likely to be in the foster care system as a result of some form of abuse, or neglect which was not their fault. The Dave Thomas Foundation points toward one particularly encouraging fact: the survey has highlighted an important change in attitude – fifty eight per cent of respondents agreed that every child can be adopted, and this represents an increase from fifty one percent of respondents in 2012.

The current situation in the US foster care system is that over 110,000 children are hoping to be adopted. Over 20,000 young people each year become too old to stay in the fostering system. This means that they have grown up never knowing what settled family life is like. The statistics show that this group of young people is at greater risk of experiencing unemployment and homelessness.

Applying to 24 Seven Fostering means you could give a child a better future

Choosing to apply to foster with 24 seven means you will receive very best in training and support. This continues once you have become approved to foster – which normally takes about six months from the time you apply. We are always available to offer guidance and help. We work hard to make the experience of fostering rewarding. All our foster carers have the opportunity to develop their careers with us. Well trained, and professional foster carers are known to make a huge difference to the prospects a vulnerable child or young person.

Our special advisors will explain in detail the process of becoming a foster carer – what you can expect on your journey to becoming a fully fledged foster carer and how long it will take. Most importantly, they help you to make the right decision as whether to become a foster carer. Fostering is not for everyone, but if it does prove right for you, it can bring great rewards and life changing experiences. Just to give you some general ideas about the various issues relating to fostering children, these are a selection of the FAQs (frequently asked questions) we commonly get asked:

  • Can you still foster a ‘looked after’ child if you are a single parent?
  • Is it possible to foster if you are gay or lesbian?
  • How much time does it take from an initial application to become approved to foster?
  • Is there a maximum age for fostering?
  • Is a person still able to foster children if they have a police record?
  • If someone has a long-term health problem, can they still foster children or young people?
  • Does someone have to own their own home to foster, or can they rent?

You can call 24 Seven Fostering now on 020 8861 7123. We can arrange to call you back at a time of your convenience as it can take a little time to provide information about fostering. It is a big decision to make: we guarantee, there is no obligation, or pressure to reach a decision. Over 9,000 new foster families are needed in the UK this year alone – it is encouraging to think that you might be one of them.

Welsh project will make a difference to foster care in Wales

24th July, 2017

The launch has recently been announced of a new innovative ‘Fostering Wellbeing’ programme. This is being implemented by the leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network, along with the ‘Wellbeing Partnership Board’, and Cwm Taf Social Services. The Welsh Government is funding the ‘Fostering Wellbeing’ programme. The programme has been conceived to help foster carers, together with all those who work with foster children, to understand and then respond ‘holistically’ to a child’s emotional and developmental needs. The programme recognises at its heart, that strong relationships are key to effectively promoting the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people.

Mr. Carl Sargeant is currently the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children and in response to the ‘Fostering Wellbeing’ programme, he said –

“As part of the work of the Improving Outcomes for Children Ministerial Advisory Group, I’m pleased we are working with The Fostering Network to explore the impact of a holistic approach to caring for children which combines education and care.”

Mr. Gareth Chapman, who is the chief executive of the Merthyr Tydfil Council, added:

“We are delighted to be taking part in this exciting pilot. In Cwm Taf, we are passionate about the potential that can be achieved for young people when foster carers are equipped with the right information, skills and support.” He then continued –

“Being part of this pilot represents an opportunity for foster carers, young people and professionals to shape and influence new developments that will underpin stability and success for looked after young people here in Cwm Taf and across Wales.”

The programme will be piloted for a period of two years within the region. It will be looking to combine the principles of social pedagogy with activities focused on education. These will be some of the learning principles derived from the Fostering Network’s successful ‘Head, Heart, Hands’ and London Fostering Achievement programmes.

Mr. Colin Turner is the director of The Fostering Network in Wales, he stated:

“Improving outcomes for looked after children and young people is central to everything that The Fostering Network does. We know that when foster carers and the other professionals in the lives of looked after children work well together, outcomes improve. Fostering Wellbeing is the latest in a number of important programmes that we run in Wales, and we very much look forward to working with Cwm Taf to take the learning from other programmes.”

The overall aim of this programme is to recognise that foster carers are an essential part of the education team. I look to improve engagement, knowledge and confidence amongst foster carers, health and education professionals as well as social workers The programme will set out to support and encourage aspiration and ambition amongst youngsters in care – as well as a commitment to shared values amongst all involved with foster children.

Apply to 24 Seven Fostering and make a difference to the life of a looked after child

Applying to be a foster carer with 24 seven means getting the very best in training and dedicated support. Guidance and help are always available 24 Seven. We strive constantly to make foster care rewarding: we offer all our foster carers the opportunity to develop their careers with us. Professional foster carers can make a hugely positive difference to a vulnerable child or young person.

Our special advisors are always available to answer your questions. They will also explain in detail the process of becoming a foster carer – and how long it will take. They help you make the right decision as fostering is not for everyone. But for those it suits, it can provide great rewards. To give you some ideas about the issues connected to fostering, here are one or two of the FAQs (frequently asked questions) we are commonly asked:

  • What if someone has a police record, are they still able to foster children?
  • If someone has a long-term health problem, may I still foster?
  • Does someone have to own their own home to foster?
  • Can you foster a ‘looked after’ child if you are a single parent?
  • Is it possible to foster if you are gay?
  • How much time does it take from application to be approved to foster?
  • What is the maximum age you can be to foster?

Please call 24 Seven Fostering now on 020 8861 7123. We would love to hear from you and provide information about the world of fostering. And we guarantee, there is no obligation, or pressure to reach a decision. Over 9,000 new foster families are needed in the UK this year – could you be one of them?

The Fostering Network responds to the issue of foster carer’s status

19th July, 2017

Kevin Williams is the chief executive of the leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network. In a key response to an article published in ‘Community Care’, he has directly addressed the issue of the status of foster carers. This is significant in the year of the national fostering stocktake: the article finds children’s services directors expressing their wariness over moves to ‘professionalise’ foster carers.

Kevin Williams states –

“To debate whether or not using the term professional would be appropriate for foster carers is a redundant argument. Foster carers are professionals, bringing the training, skills and experience that they have to the vitally important role of caring for children.The problem is that, despite the reality, foster carers are too often not being treated as professionals, with a lack of support, respect, remuneration and training. Many of the key messages from foster carers as part of our 2016 State of the Nation’ Foster Care survey revolved around not feeling respected as an equal member of the team around the child.”

“To debate whether or not using the term professional would be appropriate for foster carers is a redundant argument. Foster carers are professionals, bringing the training, skills and experience that they have to the vitally important role of caring for children.The problem is that, despite the reality, foster carers are too often not being treated as professionals, with a lack of support, respect, remuneration and training. Many of the key messages from foster carers as part of our 2016 State of the Nation’ Foster Care survey revolved around not feeling respected as an equal member of the team around the child.”

In 2016, A group of foster carers voted to form the first ever trade union for the profession. The carers expressed concern about status and their lack of employment rights, not being listened to when a child is removed from their care and dissatisfaction with rates of pay. Their vote was later supported by shadow chancellor John McDonnell. All this means that the children’s services directors have to recognise that there is a real issue surrounding the status of carers.

The Department for Education has its national fostering stocktake well underway. It is a fundamental review of fostering across the country. It reports in December this year and will have to address the status of foster carers. This is especially the case, since the influential charity has gone out of its way to highlight its importance.

Make all the difference: now’s the time to apply to 24 Seven Fostering

Anyone applying to be a foster carer with us can expect to get the very best in training and ongoing support. Guidance and help are available 24 Seven. We make fostering rewarding and offer all our carers he opportunity to develop their careers with us. Foster carers can make all the difference in the world to a vulnerable child or young person.

Calling us means you will be through to one of our special advisors. They are always happy to answer any questions you have. They will also explain the process of becoming a foster carer in detail. Their role is to help you make the right decision – fostering is not for everyone. But for those it suits, it can be incredibly rewarding. To give you some ideas about the issues connected to fostering, here are one or two of the FAQs (frequently asked questions) we routinely get asked:

  • If someone has a police record, can they still foster?
  • If I have a long-term health problem, may I still foster?
  • Do you have to own your own home to foster?
  • How old do you have to be to be a foster carer?
  • Can you foster a child(ren) as a single parent?
  • Is it possible to foster if you are gay?
  • How long does it take from application to be approved as a foster parent?

Please call 24 Seven Fostering today on 020 8861 7123 if you are keen to get more information about becoming a foster carer. We promise that there is no obligation, or pressure to reach a decision.

Leading light in the LGBT community encourages more people to foster

17th July, 2017

Mr Gay England, Matt Henderson-Rood, is determined to raise awareness of the valuable role that LGBT people can play in alleviating the difficult fostering situation this country currently faces. Matt, who will be involved in compering the annual Liverpool Pride, said that –

“We need 9,000 extra foster carers in the UK to cope with the demand of the system and I’ve been working closely with Brighton and Hove Foster team on encouraging more gay people to become involved in fostering.”

Like many people who decide to go into fostering, Matt felt that because he had been fortunate enough to grow up in a loving family, he wanted to “give something back”. He is also lending his support a fostering campaign being run by Liverpool City Council. This is the ‘Room for One More’ initiative hoping to get more people to consider fostering children.

Figures show that one in ten adoptions in England in 2016 were to same-sex couples. Studies also highlight that if one percent of the LGBT community were to either foster or adopt, no more children would be looking for a home. And with one child entering the care system every twenty minutes, the need is paramount to attract new foster carers.

There has also been in-depth research conducted into the experiences of adoptive families headed by same-sex couples. This suggests that children who are adopted by lesbian or gay couples, are just as likely to be happy and thrive, as those adopted by heterosexual couples. The British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) had research done by Cambridge University which revealed a positive picture of the relationships and well being of children in families headed by same-sex couples. The study also indicated that families with gay fathers might be doing particularly well.

Make a difference and apply to 24 Seven Fostering

When you apply to be a foster carer with 24 Seven, you can count on the very best training, guidance and support available. And this will continue as your fostering career develops. As a foster carer, you can certainly make a positive difference: looking after a child means you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have made an enormous difference to the life of a vulnerable child.

When you call us, you will be put through to one of our special advisors. They will be happy to answer all your questions and will explain in detail, the process of becoming a foster carer. They are there to help you make the right decision as fostering is not for everyone. These are just a small selection of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) we are asked:

  • Do foster carers have to pay tax and national insurance?
  • Will it be possible for me to have a say in who I want to foster?
  • As I am moving house soon, is it possible to apply to foster before I move?
  • What happens if I fall out with the child I foster?
  • In what ways will my own children be likely to be affected if I foster?
  • I have been informed you cannot foster if you smoke, is that true?

Please call 24 Seven Fostering on 020 8861 7123 if you want more information about becoming a foster carer. There is no obligation or pressure placed on you to reach a decision.

New chair for the Education Committee welcomed by fostering charity

14th July, 2017

Robert Halfon MP, has just become the new chair of the Westminster Education Committee. This has been welcomed by the leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network, as in his manifesto for election as chair, he stated his intention to pursue social justice. The analogy that he used was that of a ‘ladder of opportunity’: the charity is keen that this applies to children and young people in foster care.

The WEC is a cross party body drawing opinion from across the political spectrum. It is independent of Government and its main function is to scrutinise the work of the Department of Education. In turn, this means that it plays a vital part in holding the Government itself to account.

Last year the committee established a fostering inquiry. A general election was later called and with parliament being dissolved, the work of the inquiry was halted. The Fostering Network is calling for a meeting with the new chair to make sure that the inquiry is resumed, and its work completed in time for it to report to the national fostering stocktake. This is the key Government initiative aimed at evaluating the current state of fostering. The inquiry itself was asked to look into aspects of fostering provision that could have significant ramifications for the future of the system. Some of the areas being investigated included:

  • The role of voluntary and independent foster care providers, including their relationships and co-operation with the local authorities;
  • The foster care market itself: the costs of commissioning of services and financial incentives in the recruitment of foster carers;
  • The recruitment and retention of foster carers;
  • The current capacity of the fostering system;
  • The stability of foster care placements: included is the impact of the ‘Staying Put’ following its introduction.

These are areas that the national fostering stocktake will have to address to be credible. Many other organisations have been contributing to the stocktake such as ‘I CAN’, the charity helping children to communicate. Their aim is to ensure that children finding themselves in the care system have the best possible outcomes. This means any speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) are identified and the appropriate support put in place.

There will have been no shortage of input to the stocktake for Government to consider. It reports in December this year.

Make a difference with 24 Seven Fostering

When you apply to be a foster carer with 24 Seven, you will be able to count on the very best training, guidance and support. And this continues into your fostering career. There are currently many children who need a loving foster home. Their future prospects can depend upon this.

As a foster carer, you can certainly make a positive difference: looking after a child means you will have the satisfaction of knowing you made a real difference by being there for them.

When you call us, you will be put through to a member of our recruitment team. They will be more than happy to answer all your questions and will explain the process of becoming a foster carer. They will always do their best to answer all your questions. To get you thinking, here are just a small selection of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) we get:

  • I have been told I can’t foster because I smoke, is that true?
  • Is it possible to foster a child as a single parent?
  • Will I be able to have a say in who I foster?
  • As I am moving house soon, can I still apply to foster before I move?
  • What happens if I don’t get on well with the child I foster?
  • How will fostering affect welfare benefits I may be receiving?
  • How might being a foster carer affect my own children?

Please call 24 Seven Fostering if you want to discuss becoming a foster carer. Remember, there is no obligation or pressure on you to reach a decision.

Foster care may benefit from Taylor Review into working practices

12th July, 2017

There has been a wide ranging debate in recently about the status, employment rights and remuneration of foster carers. There is a current shortfall of 9,000 foster families in the UK and recruitment is proving difficult. The Department of Education has commissioned a national fostering stocktake which is looking into every aspect of fostering: a Review which dedicates itself to an analysis of working practices is particularly timely. Many of the points it makes will be relevant considering the Review states:

“The work of this Review is based on a single overriding ambition: All work in the UK economy should be fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfilment.”

The Review talks about ‘Good Work’ stating that it matters for various reasons: “Because, despite the important contribution of the living wage and the benefit system, fairness demands that we ensure people, particularly those on lower incomes, have routes to progress in work, have the opportunity to boost their earning power, and are treated with respect and
decency at work.”

Their employment rights and status of foster carers has been high on the agenda. Sentiments such as those contained within the Review are likely to resonate strongly with foster carers. There is cause for optimism that the Taylor Review will exert a strong influence and make a significant contribution to the national fostering stocktake. With all these influences, this will be a landmark year for fostering in the UK. And with the leading charity, The Fostering Network, having contributed over 10,000 words of recommendations to the stocktake – along with many other individuals and organisations – the system looks set for root and branch reform.

With 24 Seven Fostering you can make such a difference.

We make available the very best guidance, support and training. And we are right with you through each stage of the application process – right up to when you become an approved foster carer. As your fostering career develops, we will be on hand to provide additional opportunities for you to progress. Very many children are currently without a stable, loving home to grow up in. This means their future prospects can be very limited. As a foster carer, you can change this. Looking after a child means you will have the satisfaction of knowing you made a real difference to their life.

When you make an enquiry, a member of our team will dedicate the time to answer all your questions. You’ll find out about the process of becoming a foster carer and what you can expect. We’ll do our best to answer all your questions. The following are just a small selection of the frequently asked questions (frequently asked questions) we get:

  • Can you foster a child as a single parent?
  • Will I be able to have a say in who I foster?
  • Is it possible to foster if you are gay?
  • How might being a foster carer affect my children?
  • What happens if I don’t get on well with the child I foster?
  • How will fostering affect welfare benefits I may be receiving?

Call us at 24 Seven Fostering for information. This year over 9,000 new foster families are urgently needed – so you really could be making a tremendous difference.

Fresh priorities for the new children’s minister to take on board

7th July, 2017

There is a new Minister of State for Children and Families in England: Robert Goodwill will be arriving in post knowing that children’s social care faces significant challenges. He will not need reminding; especially as the leading charity, The Fostering Network, has already voiced a concern that as his remit has been expanded, there could be a lack of focus on fostering. The Minister will now also be responsible for early years and childcare policy. The charity has drawn up a shortlist of 4 ‘priority areas’ that need to be addressed to make sure that fostering is given full attention.

      1. A particular focus on the national fostering stocktake. This is the Department for Education’s landmark enquiry into every aspect of fostering. The charity has itself submitted in excess of 10,000 words – with a great many recommendations. In their own words – “this vital piece of work which will hopefully have long-lasting positive implications for fostering.”
      2. Promote Charters: the charity asks that the Minister actively supports charters such as their own “Foster Carers’ Charter Campaign’. The charity requests that the Minister ensures a charter is in place to help improve the status of foster carers in every fostering service in England.
      3. Help children and foster carers to keep connected. The charity warns that the well being of a child can be adversely affected when the relationship with the foster carer is abruptly cut off when the child is moved. The charity asks that more should be done to support the bond between a foster child and his carer when the child moves to a new home.
      4. Introduce staying put minimum allowance. The charity argues that the benefits of staying put are considerable, but that there needs to be clarity for fostering services regarding the minimum amount of financial support they must by law provide.

24 Seven Fostering: make a difference with our support.

Foster carers need the best in support and training. This is where we always make available the very best guidance and support, helping you through the application process – right up to the day you become an approved carer. Then, as your fostering career develops, we will provide additional opportunities for you to attend specialist training and development courses. All our courses are conducted in a relaxed and friendly environment. They provide the chance to meet with other foster carers and ‘swap stories’.

When we receive your initial enquiry, a member of our team will be happy to answer your questions. You’ll discover what the process of becoming a foster carer is and what you can expect. We’ll do our best to answer all your questions. The following are just a small selection the frequently asked questions (FAQ)s we receive:

      • Can you foster a child as a single parent?
      • If I have a long-term health condition, will I still be able to foster a child?
      • What is the minimum age you have to be to foster?
      • In the past, I have suffered from depression, would that stop me from fostering?
      • How will fostering affect welfare benefits I may be receiving?
      • Is it possible to foster if you are lesbian, homosexual or bisexual?

Call us at 24 Seven Fostering today for further information. Remember, there are never enough foster homes for children: this year over 9,000 new foster families are urgently needed – so you could be making a real difference to the life of a vulnerable child!

Australia the latest country experiencing a shortage of people who want to foster

3rd July, 2017

Marist 180 is a fostering organisation in Western Sydney set up along not-for-profit lines. The foster care manager there is Hayley Clisby and she feels the situation with regard to finding foster homes is bad. The problem is most acute when it comes to identifying placements for older children and young people. The overall situation in New South Wales (NSW) is far from encouraging. The region has seen a very dramatic rise in numbers of children going into the care system. The recorded rate of increase over the last ten year period has seen a growth of approximately 60%. This represents a rise from 11,843 to 18,658 and over 11,000 – a significant proportion are aged between 8 and 17. Hayley Clisby said “In some cases we also have children and young people who are put in hotels and motels, which is really sad.”

The Community Services Minister, Pru Goward explained that there were a lot of different factors driving the upward increase. One of these is the drug problem: the ‘ice’ epidemic had played a part in the increase in young people placed out-of-home. The hope is that early drugs intervention programmes could play an important part in reducing numbers

“If we could get on top of drug addiction in parents and the violence that comes with it, then I think we could get that trajectory to change direction,” she said. Commenting on another aspect of the care situation, Pru Toward made it known that over the past 12 months NSW has witnessed a record number of out-of-home-care open adoptions. This is where foster carers chose to adopt the foster children they had – with the permission from the birth parents.

What remains clear stated Hayley Clisby that there are still a great many children without a permanent home who are resorting to “couch surfing”.

At 24 Seven Fostering, our aim is to support you so you can make a difference.

Anyone deciding to become a foster carer will need the best in support and training. That is where we have particular expertise. be completely reassured we will always, as our name suggests, be there to guide and support you through every stage of the application process. This means right up to the very day you become an approved carer. As your career with us develops, we will provide you with the opportunities to attend training and development courses. When we receive your initial call, a member of our team will be on hand to help with all your questions. You’ll learn about the process – and what you can expect along the way. You’ll probably have many questions and we’ll do our best to answer them all. The following are just a small selection the frequently asked questions (FAQ)s we receive:

      • Can someone foster a child if they are a single parent?
      • If I have a long-term health condition, can I still foster?
      • Can I become a foster carer myself, if I have a child with disabilities?
      • How old do you have to be to be a foster carer?
      • Will I be given a say in who I foster?
      • In the past, I have suffered from depression, would that stop me from fostering?
      • How will fostering a child or young person affect my welfare benefit payments?
      • Can you foster a child as a single parent?

Call 24 Seven Fostering today for further information – there’s absolutely no obligation. Remember, there are never enough foster homes for children needing them, so you could make a real difference!

General Enquiries: 020 8861 7123 We look forward to hearing from you.

Hotels used to accommodate foster children in Oregon

30th June, 2017

Fostering is becoming an issue that is affecting more countries around the world. It is gaining prominence as, quite rightly, all children wherever they are deserve the same chances in life. An International Foster Care Conference has only very recently been held in Greece. This gathered together experts from around the globe to focus attention on the need for fostering provision in many countries that do not have adequate service delivery models in place. To support the drive to keep fostering on the global stage and high on every nation’s agenda, we include stories that have an international dimension.

Fostering is in the news in America again. This time in Oregon: over one hundred and thirty children have had to be accommodated in hotels or offices. They have been left with unlicensed carers because no foster homes have been available.The state has attracted criticism: their response has been to point out that around seven and a half thousand children and young people are in foster care, but it has only been “a small minority” that have been put in hotels. It has become known that one five year old child was accommodated in a hotel for a total of fifty-five days.

The assistant attorney at the Oregon Department of Justice, Carla A. Scott, stated –
“The fact that a limited number of children may experience temporary lodging in a hotel each night is not enough to show that the same is likely to happen to thousands of other children.” It was pointed out by the authorities that some older children preferred being in a hotel rather than being placed with a foster family. The situation is not viewed as being satisfactory by CASA which is non-profit advocacy group for children and young people. Last September, their lawyers filed a lawsuit against the Human Services Department alleging the state’s practice of relying upon temporary lodgings has breached the rights of two young girls in the care system.

At 24 Seven, we will support you to make the difference.

If you make the decision to become a foster carer, we will support you through every stage of the application process – right up to the day you become an approved. And the support continues 24/7. We will provide you with the opportunities to attend training courses and develop your fostering career with us. When you call, a member of our friendly team will be more than happy to talk with you about what is involved in fostering children. You’ll learn about the process – what you can expect – from when you apply through to when you become approved to foster children. Here are just a few of the areas we can offer help with:

      • If I have a long-term health condition, can I still foster?
      • Do you have to own your own home to foster?
      • How old do you have to be to be a foster carer?
      • Can you foster if you are gay?
      • If I have a police record will that stop me from fostering?
      • How long does it take to be approved as a foster parent?
      • Can you foster a child as a single parent?

Call 24 Seven Fostering today for further information – there is no obligation. Remember, there are never enough foster homes for children needing them, so you could make a real difference! General Enquiries: 020 8861 7123 We look forward to hearing from you.

A bill of rights for foster carers in Massachusetts

28th June, 2017

Following on the heels of an International Foster Care Conference just held in Greece, feelings have been running high in Massachusetts. Some of the themes explored at the conference will have relevance to the attitudes of carers in this part of the US. Carers here are reporting that they don’t feel that they are adequately represented in the foster care system. The views of one former foster carer are likely to be typical: Quira Deng, said “We’re tired of feeling like they’re taking advantage of us…like we’re a babysitter,”

Foster carers are complaining that they are not being given enough information in advance of a child arriving in their homes. Issues that cover behaviour and health – as well as the number of times a child may have been in different placements are not being shared. Rep. Joseph McKenna, D-Worcester supports these concerns, saying “There’s been a number of cases where medical information or history of an individual’s behaviours have not been appropriately shared.” As co-sponsor of the bill, he also stated: “not disclosing that information can have serious consequences.”

The Department of Children and Families is coming under increasing pressure and have responded in part in relation to the bill of rights – “We are actively recruiting foster homes and adoptive families across the state and strive to build a large, diverse community of foster parents statewide.” It is intended that the bill of rights will force the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to give accurate and full details about a child before it is placed. The family background, behaviour, general health as well as how many times the child or young person has been moved before the placement will be detailed.

At 24 Seven, you can be the difference!

If you decide to become a foster carer you will be rewarded by knowing you will make a real difference to a vulnerable child. Once you are an approved foster carer, we are always here with the help, training and support to enable your fostering career to flourish. If you call us, a member of our friendly and knowledgeable team will be happy to chat with you about fostering. You’ll be told what you can expect right from the time you make an application, through to the day that you become approved to foster children. In the meantime, here are just a few of the areas we can offer help with:

      • Facts about fostering children
      • Do you have to own your own home to foster?
      • How old do you have to be to be a foster carer?
      • Can you foster if you are gay?
      • The fostering allowance
      • How long does it take to be approved as a foster parent?
      • Can you foster a child as a single parent?

Call 24 Seven Fostering today for further information. There is no obligation: General Enquiries: 020 8861 7123 We look forward to hearing from you.

The foster care system needs improvement worldwide

27th June, 2017

There was a gathering of foster care and adoption leaders in Greece last month, which is likely to have repercussions around the globe for fostering. This International Foster Care Conference has started the process of evaluating alternative forms of care for children being fostered. The perspective will be a global one: the Roots Research Centre led the conference agenda focusing particularly upon the failure of adoption and foster care laws to meet children’s needs. An emphasis was placed upon the lack of protection under Human Rights laws for children around the world.

The conference was held in Greece – Mary Theodoropoulou, of the Roots Research Center, said that “Foster care is a strategy in Greece for only a few children” and “Greece does not have yet a practical and fully detailed legislation on foster care. Children in need instead enter institutions, where they suffer in several ways. If they are lucky enough, they might end up to a foster family. Our hope is to promote foster care as a good practice for children in need. Along with this, we are working to educate and train foster parents.”

You can be the difference!

The decision to become a foster carer means you could transform the life of a child or young person. And you are never alone: with the help, training and support of 24 Seven Fostering, your fostering career will flourish. A member from our friendly and knowledgeable recruitment team will be pleased to have a chat with you about fostering. You’ll be told what you can expect from the time you make an application, right through to the day that you become approved to foster. Here are just a few of the areas we can help with are:

      • Fostering children
      • The fostering allowance
      • How old do you have to be to be a foster carer?
      • The fostering allowance
      • How long does it take to be approved as a foster parent?
      • Can you foster a child as a single parent?

Call 24 Seven Fostering today for further information and guidance. – there is no obligation: General Enquiries: 020 8861 7123 We look forward to hearing from you.

The deadline passes for the National Fostering Stocktake

23rd June, 2017

This is an important year for fostering as Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owers have been tasked with carrying out a ‘National Fostering Stocktake’ by the government. The deadline for submissions from stakeholders within the fostering industry was passed on June 16th. The evidence has been called for so that a better understanding of what is working well and why can be reached. The goal is to also identify where improvements can be made in order to achieve better outcomes for children and young people. The ‘Stocktake’ should also highlight where further research is needed.

This investigation into fostering started back in 2016 when Edward Timpson, the then Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families appointed Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owers to carry out the ‘Stocktake’. One of the key areas being assessed; perhaps with the most significance in relation to recruitment and retention of foster carers, is the role, status and function of foster carers in relation to other professionals. As there is a national shortage this year of over 9,000 foster families, the conclusions will be eagerly awaited.

The findings are due to be released this December.

You can make a difference to a child!

If you become a foster carer you could make a huge difference to the life of a vulnerable child or young person. You can do this with the help, training and support of 24 Seven Fostering. A member from our friendly and experienced recruitment team will be happy to have an informal chat about what fostering involves: what you can expect from the time you make an application right through to the day you become an approved foster carer. Just a few of the areas we can help with are:

      • Fostering children
      • The fostering allowance
      • Foster carer payments
      • The fostering allowance
      • Training

Call 24 Seven Fostering today – there is no obligation: General Enquiries: 020 8861 7123 for further information and guidance.

Foster carers recognised in Queen’s birthday honours list

22nd June, 2017

This year, it is encouraging to see that the Queen’s birthday honours list contains a number of foster cares who have been singled out for their services to fostering. Giving prominence to the tireless efforts of dedicated foster carers around the country is important in keeping the spotlight on fostering. This is especially important as there are currently over 9,000 new foster families needed in the UK. The experiences of foster carers Pauline and Roger Hill from Enfield typify the dedication of carers who have received awards this year. They began fostering in the early 1980’s during which time they have cared for seventeen children – some of whom have been particularly vulnerable.

The couple responded to hearing news of their award – an MBE – by registering their delight, but modestly stated they felt surprised as they weren’t “any better than any other foster carers.”

24 Seven fostering would like to congratulate all the foster carers and social workers who have been recognised for their selfless efforts this year.

You can make a difference!

Become a foster carer and make a real difference to a vulnerable child or young person’s life. You can do this with the help, training and support of 24 Seven Fostering. Simply give our friendly team a call for information. We will be happy to tell you what fostering involves and what you can expect from the time you apply through to becoming an approved foster carer. Just some of the topics we can help with are:

      • Fostering children
      • Fostering babies
      • Foster Carer Payments

Call 24 Seven Fostering: General Enquiries: 020 8861 7123 for further information and guidance.

Union works to recruit more foster carers

21st June, 2017

A National Fostering Stocktake is now underway. The work is being done by Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owers at the instruction of the Secretary of State for Education. The Stocktake is inquiring into “the status, role and function of foster carers in relation to other professionals as part of the team working with a child in care”. The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain has been representing some foster carers in the country since last year; they are now aiming for the employment rights of foster carers to be raised as part of this exercise. The union also wants to bring foster care workers rights bill before the government, which “would allow foster carers trade union representation in disciplinary hearings, give them statutory protection for whistle-blowing, and guarantee paid holidays.”

Foster carers, social workers, local authorities and agencies will be welcoming The National Fostering Stocktake. It will at least focus attention on the hard work and commitment of all those who dedicate themselves to caring for vulnerable children and young people.

You can make a difference!

Become a foster carer and make a real difference to a child/young person’s life. You can do this with the help, training and support of 24 Seven Fostering. Simply give our friendly team a call for information. We will be able to tell you what fostering involves and what you can expect. Just some of the topics we can help with are:

      • Fostering children
      • Fostering babies
      • Fostering Allowances

Call 24Seven Fostering: General Enquiries: 020 8861 7123 for information and guidance.

Devon experiences a shortage of foster carers

June 20th, 2017

Across the country, there is a real shortage of foster carers: the county of Devon is keen to attract people into fostering. Over the last six months, 200 children and young people have been referred to one of the leading fostering agencies in that part of the world. This number is made up of 16 parent and child referrals, 41 sibling groups and 59 children and young people with specific needs.

At this particular time there were no fostering placements available for 46 individuals.

For people who would like to learn more about becoming foster parents, a special information event is being held later this month on June 27th at Headway Devon, The XCentre, Commercial Road, Exeter. It starts at 6pm and will finish at 9pm.

And closer to home…

Have you been considering becoming a foster carer? If you have, please call our dedicated recruitment team on 020 8861 7123: our job is to provide you with all the information you need to become a foster carer with 24Seven. Be reassured that we offer both our applicants and foster carers with the very best in training, support and career development. Never forget that once you are an approved foster carer with our agency, the support will be twenty-four seven, 365 days a year. Wherever your interest lies – perhaps fostering children, teenagers or possible fostering babies, please call us.

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Testimonials

"24 Seven were soon to take away our reservations and any fear we had of failing. We were nurtured and guided through what should be a very nerve wracking time. Instead, it was to be a time of revisiting our past and looking forward to the future with open minds and realising we made the right choice to foster."