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FOSTERING IN THE NEWS

Foster care inquiry sessions finally completed

November 17th, 2017

This year’s General Election resulted in the suspension of a key inquiry into foster care provision. With the election now well out of the way, the last two sessions of the foster care inquiry have  now taken place. The Committee has heard a wide range of opinion – along with evidence contributed by a number of different organisations connected with fostering. These include local authorities, universities, foster care service providers as well as a number of fostering organisations.

Alison Michalska, The President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said that a government nationwide recruitment campaign to deal with the growing shortage of foster carers was needed. She also expressed the view that as a group, foster carers were aging and needed to be replaced in sufficient numbers to deal with the rising number of children coming into the care system.

On the 7th November, the Education Committee was joined by a group of young people with direct experience of fostering. The articulate contribution they made regarding both the need to involve them more directly in the placement planning process was appreciated. They also said that a platform should be created that would enable them to engage with programmes such as the fostering stocktake.

Robert Goodwill MP, The Minister for Children and Families, came under scrutiny in relation to the condition of foster care in England,  as well as the progress of the fostering stocktake itself. Issues relating to capacity in the system – as well as the concerns of foster carers – were discussed. When asked about the fostering stocktake, Robert Goodwill said he expected to receive the draft findings before Christmas. He then confirmed that the government would respond to the findings in the New Year.

The latest figures show that the number of children now in care has reached a record high: 90 young people are entering the care system every day. In England and Wales, the number of ‘looked after children’ in care reached 72,670 in the twelve months to March 2017. This marked the biggest annual surge in numbers in seven years. The Chancellor is now coming under increasing pressure to address the £2bn funding gap that will confront children’s services by 2020.

The rewards of being a foster carer with 24 Seven

Join a welcoming and supportive group of people all motivated to do their utmost to support vulnerable children. If you foster with 24 Seven Fostering, you will know that you are making a hugely important contribution to helping vulnerable children and young people. We are happy to offer specialist training to enable our foster carers to build their careers in fostering. Sadly, thousands of children need foster homes through no fault of their own. Many have been abused or neglected – for some their birth parents are no longer able to look after them.

People apply to become foster carers with us from all ethnicities and cultural traditions. Phone us on 020 8861 7123 to learn more about life as a foster carer and its unique rewards (we can arrange a call back at a time to suit you.)

Remember, If you make the decision to become a foster carer it will be life changing. And there will be many questions for you to consider. Listed below are some of the more common questions that are asked.

  • Can you foster young people if you are gay or lesbian?
  • If I already foster, is it easy to transfer to 24 Seven?
  • What does the initial training involve in becoming a foster carer?
  • What checks and enquiries will be made into my circumstances?
  • Might becoming a foster carer affect my children?
  • Do I have to transport children to school?

There is a particular need to train people to become ‘parent and child’ foster carers. We also need people to train to foster teenagers or sibling groups. If either of these areas interest you particularly, we can provide you with further information.

We also recommend you visit the rest of our website where there is a lot more general information regarding foster care.

Pressure for free childcare for foster children

November 13th, 2017

There is mounting pressure coming from charities and a number of other organisations on the government to reverse a decision that could prevent foster children from getting an additional 15 hours of free childcare. An open letter has been sent to the ‘Guardian’ that urges the Children’s Minister, Robert Goodwill, to overturn this decision. This letter has been signed by leaders of organisations that include The Fostering Network, British Association of Social Workers, Coram BAAF, Children England and the National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers.

The letter draws attention to the fact that – “Children aged three and four across England are now entitled to an extra 15 hours of free childcare each week, with the exception of fostered children who have been explicitly and inexplicably excluded.”

It continues – “We believe it should be left to the foster carer and the social work team to decide what is best for each individual child and the wider fostering family. Foster children must have access to the same opportunities as other children, including the sons and daughters of foster carers who are eligible for the extra hours of childcare. We urge the Minister to rethink this decision immediately.”

Life as a foster carer with 24 Seven could be incredibly rewarding

Joining our community at 24 Seven, means being part of a welcoming and supportive group of people motivated to do their utmost to support vulnerable children. If you foster with 24 Seven, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a real difference. Many of our foster carers have acquired the confidence to further develop their careers through the specialist training we provide.

People apply to become foster carers with us from all ethnicities and cultural traditions. Phone us on 020 8861 7123 to discover more about what life as a foster carer offers: we can arrange a call back at a time to suit you.

If you become a foster carer, it is certainly life changing and there are many questions to consider. Below are some of the more common questions we are asked. We also advise that you visit the rest of our website where there is a lot more general information about what foster care entails.

  • Can you foster young people if you are gay or lesbian?
  • What checks and enquiries will be made into my circumstances?
  • If I have a police record, will it stop me from being a foster carer?
  • Might becoming a foster carer affect my children?
  • Can you foster young people if you are gay or lesbian?

At 24 Seven Fostering we need to find more foster carers as over 7,000 new foster families are needed across the country to provide loving, stable homes. There is a particular need at the moment for parent and child foster carers – as well as foster carers for teenagers. If either of these areas interest you particularly, we can provide further information.

Mental health report should make a difference for foster care

November 7th, 2017

‘Improving Mental Health Support for our Children and Young People’ is a report from the Social Care Institute for Excellence which has only just been published. It is the work of an expert working group commissioned by the Department of Health and the Department for Education in England.The experts included the chief executive of The Fostering Network, Kevin Williams, his view was –

“Half of all looked after children have a diagnose mental health disorder and five times as many children in care have low subjective well being compared to children in the general population; the issue of transforming the mental health of looked after children could not be more urgent. Three-quarters of looked after children live with foster carers, so any such transformation must have foster carers and fostering at its centre.”

The report goes on to highlight that foster carers often feel deprived of the support that they need for the child in their care. This can be due to high thresholds, or simply not being included in key case meetings. Foster carers clearly play a vital role in the ‘team around the child’ yet it is not uncommon for them to be excluded and their views not sought. The report recommends that this should change and that the views of foster carers should always be taken into account.

It is also the view of The Fostering Network that foster carers themselves should have access to support for their own mental health and well being. As Kevin Williams stated – “We are pleased to see this properly recognised within the report as caring for the carers is essential in caring for children and young people.”

The Fostering Network has welcomed the forthcoming Green Paper on ‘looked after’ children and young people’s mental health in England. It will, the charity thinks, be the Westminster Government’s  chance to demonstrate that it takes seriously the mental health and well being of ‘looked after’ children.

Enrich your life by becoming a foster carer with 24 Seven

Joining the team at 24 Seven, means being part of a welcoming and supportive community. We have foster carers from all ethnicities and cultural traditions who are always willing to share their knowledge and experiences of fostering. There are now many vulnerable children and young people in urgent need of loving and stable homes. So if you foster with 24 Seven, you can be sure of making a lasting difference to the lives of needy youngsters. And, remember also, that a good many of our foster carers have acquired the confidence to develop their careers through the specialist training we provide.

Call us on 020 8861 7123  to discover more about what life as a foster carer offers: if you are working during the day we can arrange a call back at a time to suit you. Deciding to become a foster carer is certainly life changing – there are many questions to consider. To give you some idea, below are some of the more common questions we are asked. We also advise that you visit the rest of our website where there is a lot of general information about foster care.

  • Does smoking stop a person from becoming a foster carer?
  • Can you foster young people if you are gay or lesbian?
  • What checks and enquiries will be made into my circumstances?
  • Do I need to be a homeowner to foster children?
  • I keep pets so can I still foster?

At 24 Seven Fostering – it’s definitely time to care. Over 7,000 new foster families are needed across the country to provide loving, stable homes. There is a particular need at the moment for parent and child foster carers. If this interests you particularly, we would be delighted to provide further information.

The difference made in Cumbria by foster carers

November 2nd, 2017

The crucial role being played by the nation’s foster carers in helping care leavers achieve the best outcomes, is being focused on during National Care Leavers’ Week finishing this Friday. Cumbria County Council is also playing its part in highlighting the accomplishments of foster carers. The council has responsibility for 275 care leavers aged between 16 and 25. The youngsters are provided with support and help as they get ready to make the transition to independent living. Foster carers in Cumbria play a hugely important role, with ninety five per cent of young people currently being fostered in the county, deciding to stay with their carers when they turn eighteen. They are facilitated in doing this as part of ‘Staying Put’ arrangements – these permit young people to remain with their foster carers if they are in further education, training or employment.

The cabinet member for Children’s Services, Councillor Anne Burns, stated:

“National Care Leavers’ Week is an ideal opportunity for us to shine a light, not just on the remarkable achievements of our care leavers, but on the essential role that our foster carers play in helping young people across Cumbria to pursue their dreams and achieve their potential.”

This year the theme of ‘National Care Leavers Week’ is ‘Togetherness’. It will focus attention on how foster carers, working alongside Care Leavers’ services, can make a huge difference to the prospects of care leavers.

Fostering with 24 Seven can make such a difference to the prospects of vulnerable youngsters

Joining 24 Seven is life changing – this is what our foster cares tell us! They also welcome the chance to play a key role amongst our supportive and friendly community of foster carers. At 24 Seven, we all work as a team to improve the prospects and life chances of vulnerable children. Many of these youngsters have often had to deal with various forms of abuse and neglect.

All our foster carers, through the progressive training we provide, develop the confidence and professionalism to really change young people’s lives. Our foster carers also have the knowledge that we are supporting them 24 hours a day all year round.

Call 020 8861 7123 to find out more. Becoming a foster carer is life changing and there are many questions to consider if you decide to foster: to give you an idea, these are some of the questions we are frequently asked:

  • I smoke – will this stop me from being a foster carer?
  • I once served a short prison sentence ten years ago for petty crime, would this prevent me from becoming a foster carer?
  • What checks will be made on myself and my family?
  • If I reside outside the UK, will I still be permitted to foster children?
  • I am now over 50 years of age – is this too old to foster?

Over 7,000 new foster families needed

At 24 Seven Fostering we celebrate diversity: we welcome applications from people from all backgrounds, religions and cultural traditions. And you are also welcome to apply to be a foster carer whatever your sexual orientation or relationship status.

Foster child supports their Pakistani foster carers

October 27th, 2017

A white British girl, Rebecca Brown, is determinedly making her voice heard to praise her Pakistani Muslim foster carers. “I am part of the family” Rebecca says: now eighteen years of age, she is an atheist and has lived with the Muslim family since she was twelve. Since the third month of her placement with the Muslim foster carers, Rebecca has referred to them as being her “mum and Dad”. Over the years with them, she has learned basic Urdu and has also been on a trip to Pakistan with the whole family. Rebecca has chosen to support her foster carers following the storm of controversy which recently broke around a five year old Christian girl being placed with Muslim foster carers. In that particular instance, the judge later found that concerns about the girl’s welfare had been unfounded.

Things have been far from straightforward for Rebecca since she has lived with her Muslim foster carers. She has encountered negative reaction with some of her school friends, even asking her if she is “living with terrorists”. Rebecca is determined that everyone should know that “they are just like any other family”.

The success of foster carers who meet the challenges of cross cultural placements should be applauded: the chief executive of the charity, The Fostering Network, Kevin Williams stated –

“over the last 20 years there has been much greater understanding of the need to support a foster child’s “culture and beliefs”. And that “foster parents are trained to ensure they are prepared to look after children of all backgrounds, with social workers acting as a safeguard.”

Foster carers needed – why become a foster carer with 24 Seven Fostering?

At 24 seven Fostering, we are especially proud of the standards, support and up to date training we offer our foster carers. It is meeting the children’s needs that drive us every day: our approach is to spend the time with our children and get to grips with the problems that they face. At the same time we encourage and support positive behaviour, making sure we recognise their educational achievements and support their ambitions. We are a community, which means we would be happy for you to meet with one of our foster carers to learn about fostering first hand. The record we have in providing the support to maintain placements is second to none. This is based on the care and experience we bring to the ‘matching process’ at the placement stage – as well as the speed we address any issues that may arise.

So if you decide to foster with 24 Seven, you will be making a tremendous difference to your own life as well as the lives of vulnerable children. Call 020 8861 7123 to find out more – if you are working during the day, we will call you back at a time convenient to you. Becoming a foster carer is certainly life changing: there are many questions to consider and to give you some insight, these are some of the more common questions we are asked:

  • I now live outside the UK, will I still be permitted to foster children?
  • Myself and my wife are smokers, will this make it impossible for us to become foster carers?
  • I served a very short prison sentence ten years ago. It was for petty crime, would I be allowed to foster now?
  • What checks will be made on me and my partner?
  • Is it true that you can apply to be a foster carer whatever your sexual orientation?
  • I am now living in rented property – can I foster children?
  • I am now well past 50 years of age, does this make me too old to foster?

7,000 new foster families still needed to foster: remember To foster a child, you must have a spare room for them. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Dorset County Council recognises foster carers

October 23rd, 2017

This weekend, Dorset County Council put on its yearly ‘Children in Care Awards’. The occasion marked the commitment and dedication of the county’s foster carers. Some three hundred people attended the awards ceremony – a figure including the eighty award winners themselves. Social workers and county council representatives also attended. Apart from the foster carers themselves, awards were also given to children and young people for the effort and the progress they had made. Categories that attracted awards included the successful completion of work placements and educational progress. Another award category acknowledged the very special contribution made by the birth children of foster carers who welcomed children into their homes.

The special evening concluded with the presentation of six long service awards to a group- of ladies who had, between them, fostered for more than 120 years.

The Director of Children’s Services, Sara Tough – along with Cabinet member for learning and skills, Deborah Croney – presented the awards. Sara Tough stated –

“We are here to celebrate the achievements of these incredible people, and it’s fantastic to see so many people here to support them. Thanks to the work of our dedicated foster carers, social workers and schools, we are really making a difference to the lives of children in Dorset.”

Cllr Croney then commented –

“It is a pleasure and a privilege to be here today. We’ve met some brave young people who have overcome some significant challenges with the help of very special and dedicated supporters. Congratulations to all award winners, and particularly to the care leavers who have achieved so much and stand as an inspiration to others.”

Become a foster carer with 24 Seven Fostering: make a lasting difference to the life of  a young person

Our foster carers tell us that joining 24 Seven is life changing: they welcome being a part of a supportive and friendly community of foster carers. We all work as a team to improve the prospects and life chances of children who have often faced many problems in their lives. All our foster carers have the confidence and professionalism to really change young people’s lives for the better. This comes from the up to date training that is always available – as well as the knowledge we are with them 24 hours a day all year round.

Our foster carers look nothing better than to share their experiences of caring for children and young people. If you decide to foster with 24 Seven, you will be making a tremendous difference to the lives of vulnerable children.

Call 020 8861 7123 to find out more – if you are working during the day, we can arrange a call back at a time suitable to you. Becoming a foster carer is life changing and there are many questions to consider: to give you some idea, these are some of the common questions we are commonly asked:

  • If I am resident outside the UK, will I still be permitted to foster children?
  • Myself and my wife are smokers, will this stop us from becoming foster carers?
  • I served a short prison sentence twenty years ago for petty crime, would I be allowed to foster?
  • What checks will be made on me?
  • I am now over 50 years of age, does this make me too old to foster?
  • I live in rented property – will I be allowed to foster children?

7,000 new foster families still needed to foster

At 24 Seven Fostering, we welcome applications from people from all backgrounds, religions and cultural traditions. You are welcome to apply to be a foster carer whatever your sexual orientation or relationship status. To foster a child, you must have a spare room for them.

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Foster care abuse victim wins landmark judgement

October 19th, 2017

A woman who suffered abuse at the hands of her foster carers when she was a child, has just won a landmark battle. The authority concerned, Nottinghamshire County Council, said the matter was one of huge regret them. A council representative, Colin Pettigrew, said –

“she should have been safe in the care of her foster carers 30 years ago and she wasn’t, this is a matter of huge regret to us. “This Supreme Court determination will have far-reaching implications for us and every other local authority across the land which has children’s social care responsibilities.”

The woman had been both emotionally and physically abused in her first placement, and then suffered sexual abuse in her second foster care placement. She had been in foster care from the age of seven up to eighteen. In finding against the council, the judgement of the court was that it was “vicariously liable” after placing her with the two foster couples in the nineteen eighties.

In this latest hearing, it was determined by the justices that the council could in fact be held liable in respect of the physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by her foster carers: this was despite the council being found not to have been negligent in relation to the selection, or supervision of the foster carers concerned.

At the High Court and Court of Appeal, the woman had previously lost her claim against the council. Having the ruling in her favour, now, the woman was informed that the next stage of the litigation process was for damages to be assessed.

Become a foster carer with 24 Seven Fostering: make a lasting difference to the life of a young person

Being a part of 24 Seven is life changing. This is exactly what our foster carers inform us. They have benefited from joining our welcoming and supportive community of foster carers and social workers. Here everyone is totally focused on improving the prospects of the children in their care. They all have the confidence and sense of professionalism, our up to date training and mentoring provides. And they know that support is always available – literally 24 Seven! Our foster carers are always willing to share their experience and knowledge of caring for children and young people. If you decide to foster with 24 Seven, you can always be confident you will be making a tremendous difference to the prospects of vulnerable children. Many of our carers have also gained the confidence to develop their careers through further specialist training. Foster carers who do this, can benefit from higher allowances by caring for children with complex needs.

If you want to find out some more about what life as a foster would be like, call 020 8861 7123. If you are working during the day, we are always happy to arrange a call back at a time suitable to you. Becoming a foster carer is life changing and there are many questions to consider: to give you some idea, these are some of the common questions we are commonly asked:

  • If I am resident outside the UK, will I still be allowed to foster?
  • I smoke, will this prevent me from becoming a foster carer?
  • What checks will be made on myself and family?
  • I am in rented property – am I still allowed to foster?
  • I am now over 50 years of age, does this make me too old to foster?
  • I am a gay man – can myself and my partner be considered for fostering?
  • I served a short prison sentence twenty years ago for petty crime, would I be allowed to foster?

7,000 new foster families needed in 2017

At 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to care – this year over 7,000 new foster families are needed to provide loving, stable homes. We welcome applications from people from all backgrounds, religions and cultural traditions. You can also apply to be a foster carer whatever your sexual orientation or relationship status. To foster a child, you will need to have a spare room for their use.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!

And finally!

Check our website where you will find plenty of general information about becoming a foster carer and how your life will be rewarded.

A rise in numbers means more foster carers will be needed

October 12th, 2017

Official figures that have recently become available indicate that the number of children now in the  care system has risen at the fastest rate in five years: statistics now released by the Department for Education (DfE) highlight that for the year ending March 31st 2017, the number of children in care rose by 3.2 per cent; this was in the space of twelve months.

72,670 children were in care in the twelve months to the end of March 2017. This was compared with 70,440 the previous year and then 69,480 in the year 2015. This 3.2 per cent increase is the largest in five years as the figure rose from 65,510 in 2011 to 67,070 in 2012. This was a rise of 4.1 per cent. The actual proportion of children now in care has risen to the highest level on record. Right now, 62 out of every 10,000 children are in care: the figure had been set at sixty since 2013. The lowest recorded figure in recent years was in 2008. In that year, fifty four out of every 10,000 children were in care.

The statistics have also revealed that over the same five year period the numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in care have more than doubled from the figure of 1,950 in 2013. The proportion of children in care who are unaccompanied asylum-seekers is now at 6 per cent after being at 3 per cent since the year 2013.

The chief executive of children’s charity Coram, Dr Carol Homden, said regarding the figures –

“the rise in the number of children in care highlighted the importance of recruiting more foster carers and adopters.”

“The continued rise in the number of children who are looked-after demonstrates the need for prospective foster carers and adopters to come forward. These are the people who change the lives of this vulnerable group of children.”

Become a foster carer with 24 Seven and make a lasting difference to the lives of vulnerable children

Being a part of 24 Seven is life changing. This is what our foster carers tell us. They have benefited from joining a welcoming and supportive community, where everyone is focused on improving the prospects of children. They have the confidence and sense of professionalism that our up to date training and mentoring has provided. They know that support is available – literally 24 Seven. Our professional and motivated foster carers are always willing to share their experience and knowledge of foster care. If you decide to foster with 24 Seven, you can be confident you will be making a tremendous difference to the prospects of vulnerable children and young people. We know, from all the heartwarming stories about the lives our foster carers have ‘turned around’, that there can be few things as rewarding as foster care. And a good many of our carers have gained the confidence with us, to develop their careers further through specialist training. Foster carers who do this, can benefit from higher allowances by caring for children with complex needs, or a disability.

We want our applicants to have all the information to enable them to make the right decision: fostering can be both challenging and demanding – as well as rewarding. It is not for everyone. Our specialist advisors have considerable experience of foster care and are always happy to answer questions in a friendly and relaxed way. So, if you want to find out a little more about what life as a foster would be like, please call us on 020 8861 7123. If you are working during the day, we are happy to arrange a call back at a time that will be convenient to you. Becoming a foster carer is life changing and there are many questions to consider: to give you some idea, these are some of the common questions we are asked:

      • If I live outside the UK, will I still be allowed to foster?
      • I smoke, will this prevent me from becoming a foster carer?
      • I am a lesbian – can me and my partner be considered for fostering?
      • What checks will be made on myself and family?
      • I have a dog in my home, can I still be a foster carer?
      • Is it true that I have to be a homeowner to foster?
      • I am over 56 years of age, am I too old to foster?

Please also take the time to look at our website where you will find plenty of general information about what fostering involves.

At 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to care – this year over 7,000 new foster families are needed to provide loving, stable homes. We welcome applications from people from all backgrounds, religions and cultural traditions. You can also apply to be a foster carer whatever your sexual orientation or relationship status. To foster a child, you will need to have a spare room for their use.We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Charity pays tribute to the sons and daughters of foster carers

October 10th, 2017

This is an important week in the calendar of The Fostering Network – the leading foster care charity: it marks the beginning of a month of celebrations aimed at recognising the valuable role played by the sons and daughters of the nation’s foster carers. The annual campaign ‘Sons and Daughters Month’ highlights the immensely valuable part played by birth and adopted children in welcoming fostered children into their own families. Kevin Williams, the chief executive of The Fostering Network said –

“The sons and daughters of foster carers are incredibly valuable members of any fostering household. Tonight over 64,000 children right across the UK will be living with a fostering family, and thousands of foster brothers and sisters will make them feel more at home, safer, happier and more loved. We thank them for their contribution.”

Approximately half of all the foster care households there are have adopted or birth children still residing at home. Their presence there can make a key difference in helping foster children settle into their new homes. This can be particularly significant in relation to making a placement stable.

The contribution these children make is something that certainly warrants recognition. It is also true that many birth children can also benefit from being part of a fostering family. In the opinion of The Fostering Network –

“Seeing life from another’s perspective can be an enriching experience and can help a child learn and develop as an individual.”

Deciding to become a foster parent means that you will be offering a service that can really brighten the future of some vulnerable youngsters. Fostering is assuming parental responsibility on a temporary basis for a child outside your own family. Children are placed with foster carers via their local authority which has the responsibility for them.

Beginning a career fostering with 24 Seven can enrich your life.

Being a part of 24 Seven will mean you will be joining a welcoming and supportive community. We will provide you with up to date training combined with professional guidance and support at all times and whenever you need it. Our professional and highly motivated foster carers are always willing to share their knowledge and experiences of foster care. If you foster with 24 Seven, you will be making a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people. We know, from all the heartwarming stories about lives ‘turned around’, that there are few things as rewarding as foster care. And a good many of our foster carers have gained the confidence with us, to continue to develop their careers through specialist training. Foster carers who do this can benefit from higher allowances if they can care for children with complex needs or a disability.

Calling 24 Seven will not result in pressure to make a decision. We want you to have all the information to make the right decision: fostering can be both challenging and demanding – as well as rewarding. Our specialist advisors have considerable experience of foster care and are always happy to answer questions in a friendly and relaxed way. So, if you want to ‘put a toe in the water’  to find out a bit more about what life as a foster could be like, call us on 020 8861 7123. If you are working during the day, we are happy to arrange a call back at a time that will be convenient to you. Becoming a foster carer is life changing and there are many questions to consider. Just to give you some idea – these are some common questions we are asked (we also recommend that you browse our website where there is plenty more information).

      • If I live outside the UK, will I still be allowed to foster?
      • Do I have to be a homeowner to foster?
      • If you smoke, does this prevent you from becoming a foster carer?
      • Can you foster young people if you are gay or lesbian?
      • What checks will be made on myself and family?
      • I am probably moving home soon, can I still apply to be a foster carer?
      • I have a dog in my home, can I still be a foster carer?

At 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to care – this year over 7,000 new foster families are needed to provide loving, stable homes. We welcome applications from people from all backgrounds, religions and cultural traditions. You can also apply to be a foster carer whatever your sexual orientation or relationship status.

Foster care: ‘Muslim case’ judgement order to be issued

October 6th, 2017

In the recent controversial case involving a Christian girl being placed with a Muslim family, a judge has issued a ruling that the child concerned should live with a family member. The local authority involved – London Borough of Tower Hamlets had at the time it rejected reports that the foster family concerned did not speak English. The authority stated that the girl had been placed with an English speaking mixed race family. Originally, legal restrictions were placed on the reporting the case: this did not prevent a tide of controversy with several newspapers describing the situation as being one where a Muslim family had tried to impose its cultural values on a vulnerable Christian child.

At the time, the local authority had responded by referring to inaccuracies in the original reports. Tower Hamlets Council were, however, themselves prevented from commenting further. In a statement released by the authority they expressed the view –

Tower Hamlets Council has the welfare of children at the heart of what we do. the decision to choose foster carers for a  child is based on a number of factors, including cultural background and proximity to promote contact with the child’s family and the child’s school in order to give them as much stability as possible.

A family court judge, Judge Khan Sapnara, has now made the decision regarding the girl’s immediate future and will be issuing an order later.

A career fostering with 24 Seven can be life changing.

Joining 24 Seven will mean you will receive up to date training. This will be combined with professional guidance and support – whenever you need it. And that support will be there around the clock. Our welcoming community has professional and highly motivated foster carers always willing to share their knowledge and experiences of foster care. If you foster with 24 Seven, you will be enabled to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable young people. We know, from all the encourage life affirming stories about lives ‘turned around’, there are few things as rewarding as providing foster care. And many of our foster carers have gained the confidence with us, to further develop their careers through specialist training. This means some of our foster carers benefit from higher allowances by looking after children who might have a disability, or present with other complex needs.

Calling 24 Seven will not result in pressure to make an immediate decision. We want you to have the time and information to make the right decision: fostering is not for everyone; it can be both challenging and demanding. Our specialist advisors are people with considerable experience of foster care. They are always happy to answer questions in a friendly and relaxed way. So, if you can spare, perhaps twenty minutes for an initial conversation call 020 8861 7123. If you have to work during the day, we are happy to arrange a call back at a time convenient to you. Becoming a foster carer is a life changing decision: there are many questions involved. Just to give you some idea – these are some common questions (we also recommend you browse our website where there is plenty of information).

      • If I live outside the UK, will I still be allowed to foster?
      • 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 young people if you are gay or lesbian?
      • What checks will be made on myself and family?
      • I have several pets in my home, am I still able to foster?
      • Is it true that you cannot foster a child if you smoke?

24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to care – over 7,000 new foster families are needed. We welcome applications from people from all backgrounds, religions and cultural traditions.

Recruitment of Foster Carers – No Reason to be Alarmed

3rd October, 2017

With the national fostering stocktake due to report its findings later this year, there is a growing focus on fostering in the UK. The leading foster care charity, The Fostering Network, has acknowledged that finding the right kind of people to take up foster care as a career is never going to be easy. The charity estimates that an additional 7,000 foster families are needed this year – a reduction on the figure at the start of the year of some 9,600. Every year, The Fostering Network runs a high profile campaign – ‘Foster Care Fortnight’ so every attempt is being made to recruit new foster carers. The charity is upbeat stating their belief that meeting this number is “entirely achievable.”

Doubts have grown and question marks raised over managing to source enough new foster families due to a spate of recent media statements. Some of these have alluded to there being a crisis in foster care. Earlier in September, ‘Action for Children’ issued a report claiming that 85 per cent of adults in the UK who were surveyed expressed little or no interest in fostering. Whilst registering that this statistic was “disappointing”, the view of The Fostering Network is that it is not indicative of a crisis. To support this, the charity has some persuasive statistics: in the United Kingdom as a whole there are 27 million households and if only 0.03 per cent of these were to become fostering households, the demand for 7,000 new foster families would be met. That also equates to only three out of every 10,000 households.

24 Seven Fostering work to improve the lives and prospects of vulnerable children – Join us.

You might well have been thinking about becoming a foster carer for a long time. It is a big step – and by no means for everyone. But if you do want to make a significant difference by offering a future to children whose lives are often blighted by neglect or abuse, please contact us. We ensure that all our foster carers benefit from high quality training. This is combined with support around the clock 24 Seven. We also guide our carers so that if they wish, they can specialise in looking after children with complex needs. Our goal is to ‘care for our carers’ and make fostering a satisfying and rewarding career.

If you call us, you will be put through to a member of our specialist recruitment team. They will answer any questions you might have. We ensure that there is no pressure to make a decision to become a foster carer – and absolutely no obligation. If you wish to find out more, call 020 8861 7123. If preferred, we can then arrange a call at a time more convenient for you if you are working during the day. These are a selection of some of the more common questions we receive – of course, if you have others, our recruitment team will be pleased to answer them.

      • Are gay and lesbian people allowed to foster?
      • I have two pet dogs, can I still foster a child?
      • 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?
      • I have heard you cannot foster a child if you smoke – is this true?

We are continually updating our website so please take the time to look round. There is a lot of information about foster care. We hope you find it valuable and will consider giving us a call. 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to care – over 7,000 new foster families needed this year alone! We’re hoping you might be one of them!

Foster care charity signals concern regarding child protection thresholds

21st September, 2017

A survey of frontline social workers, which has been carried out on behalf of the All Parliamentary Group for Children APPGC, has drawn a concerned response from the leading charity, The Fostering Network. After reviewing the survey’s findings, Kevin Williams, the chief executive of the charity stated: “We have read with concern the findings of the survey which found that thresholds for qualifying as a “child in need” had risen over the last three years and that the majority of social workers feel that financial considerations are a key factor when decisions are being made on whether to offer early help to vulnerable children.”

The findings also revealed that forty five percent of social workers believe that financial considerations are a key factor influencing decisions concerning whether a care order should be made. The charity has stated concern over the figures: they have been arguing that decisions are “too predicated on what is best for the budget, rather than what is best for the child.”
It is also the case that for quite a period of time, the needs of young people coming into care are increasingly complex. Because it appears that the decision whether to bring a child into care is financially driven, more children are being left longer in environments that could be exposing them to neglect or trauma.

Crucially, The Fostering Network has within its submission to the national fostering stocktake, called for – “placement decision making to be moved from the business or finance teams of a local authority to the children’s teams. Money must not dictate where a child is placed – instead meeting the needs of that child must always take priority.”

24 Seven improve the lives and prospects of vulnerable children – join us

You might have been thinking about becoming a foster carer for a while. It is a big step – and not for everyone. If you do want to make a difference and offer a future to children whose lives are often blighted by neglect or abuse, then we can enable you to do so. All our foster carers receive high quality training and support around the clock. We guide our carers so that they can; if they wish, specialise in looking after children with complex needs. We make fostering a career and support our carers to be true professionals.

If you call a member of our specialist recruitment team, they will answer all the questions you might have. There is no pressure to make a decision to foster and absolutely no obligation. If you want to find out more, please call 020 8861 7123 – we can arrange a call at a time convenient to you if you are working during the day. These are some of the more common questions we are asked – if you have others, we our recruitment team will be more than happy to answer them.

      • Will I be allowed to have a say in who I am asked to foster?
      • I am in a same sex relationship, can I foster a child?
      • Can I foster a child if I do not own my home?
      • I want to foster a refugee child, do I need special training?

We are continually updating our website which means it is worth having a look round. There is plenty of information about all the aspects of foster care. We hope you find it valuable and consider giving us a call. 24 Seven Fostering – it’s time to care – over 7,000 new foster families needed this year alone! Hopefully you might be one of them!

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."