Coronavirus and Me – Nation-wide survey for children and young people in Wales

You’ve been staying home to stay safe over the last few weeks. People who can help to make a difference to your life want to listen to how you have felt about having to do this because of the Coronavirus and any effect it has had on you.

This survey has been written by these organisations with help from children and young people:

  • Welsh Government
  • Children’s Commissioner for Wales
  • Children in Wales
  • Youth Parliament for Wales / Senedd Ieuenctid Cymru

The survey closes on 27th May so please complete it as soon as you can.

 

Five simple steps to Foster

intra fostercare

1. Talk to us
Pick up the phone and speak to a member of our friendly fostering team on 01437 774650. Find out how we can help you start your fostering journey. We will be happy to answer any questions and outline the fostering process.

2. Meet with us
If you decide to take the next step, we will visit you at home to find out more about you and members of your household. This is an opportunity for you all to ask any questions and for us to see your home and the space you have available. Together we will discuss which type of fostering is right for you and whether it is the right time to get started.

3. Your application
After meeting with us we will invite you to fill out an application. You will need to supply a number of references and undertake several checks, including employment references, background checks and medical reports.

4. Your training & assessment
To help you prepare to become a foster carer you will attend a fostering preparation course to hear about the skills required for fostering and meet some of our foster carers. During the assessment you will talk about your life, early years, current family situation and experiences that could affect the way you would care for a child. During this time you will consider the age of children and type of fostering placements you would like to offer. These visits and discussions will be the basis of a fostering assessment report about you and your family. Your fostering social worker will guide you through this part of the process and share the report with you.

5. Your approval
You will be invited to attend a fostering panel with your fostering social worker where your report will be presented. The panel is a group of people who have experience and knowledge about fostering. They will discuss your report and you may be asked questions. The panel will recommend whether you are ready to be approved. Following approval you will receive ongoing training and support from your supervising social worker and will become part of our growing fostering community.

Launch of the Post Approval Learning and Development Framework

One of the National Fostering Framework’s (NFF) work-streams has been the development of the Learning and Development Framework for Foster Carers.  The Fostering Network and AFA Cymru led on the development of a Learning and Development Framework.  There was extensive consultation with foster carers and staff across Wales which made a significant contribution to the development of this work.  The purpose of the Learning and development framework is to offer a consistently high standard of post approval training to all local authority foster carers across Wales.

Currently there are variations in local practices in learning and development between local authorities; in Mid and West Wales we are proud to have been offering a high standard for many years.

The national fostering framework vision Learning and Development statement says “Fostering Families in Wales are offered great learning opportunities that meet their professional and personal needs, reflects their growing experience and supports them to provide high quality care for children and young people”

  • Principle 1 – The NFF post approval learning and development framework forms part of the professional development pathway for foster carers in Wales, who are recognised as part of the social care work-force in Wales”
  • Principle 2 – “Post approval learning and development provides foster carers and their families with opportunities to benefit from shared learning experiences, alongside professionals as part of the team around the child”
  • Principle 3 – “Post approval training has consistent quality and content. Foster Carers own the responsibility for their motivation to develop and achieve personal learning goals”
L & D Powys Launch 30/01/2020
Powys Launch of the Post Approval Learning and Development Framework for Foster Carers, 30th January 2020.

 

aunch of the Post Approval Learning and Development Framework
Pembrokeshire Family Placement Team recently launched the Post Approval Learning and Development Framework for Foster Carers at their Christmas Craft Coffee Morning held on Wednesday 20th November. This initiative is one of the National Fostering Frame work’s (NFF) work streams which aims to provide a basis for a national approach to delivering learning and development for foster carers across Wales.

 

On Thursday 14th November, as part of Skills to Foster (4 day initial training course delivered by the Fostering Team for “would be foster carers”), the Ceredigion Fostering Team launched the Post Approval Learning and Development Framework for Foster Carers.

Induction Framework

completion of the Induction Frameworkcompletion of the Induction FrameworkCarmarthenshire Fostering Service are very proud to have presented our Local Authority Foster Carers, Vicky and Chris Jones and Deborah Jones with certificates for the completion of the Induction Framework.  Despite being very busy with caring for their families and really embracing fostering for Carmarthenshire, Vicky, Chris and Deborah have embraced Learning and Development opportunities to support their strengths and confidence in caring for children and young people.

The Induction Framework programme facilitated by Social Worker Ms Janet Freimanis is one of the first in Wales and recognises the need to support our foster carers throughout their journey with ongoing Learning and Development opportunities.

They were presented with their certificates by Carmarthenshire Fostering Panel’s Independent Chairperson Mr David McGregor at their first year Panel review in recognition of the wonderful support they have provided to some of our most vulnerable children. Carmarthenshire Fostering Service are very lucky to have them on board and we look forward to working with Vicky, Chris and Deborah for many more years to come.

Boxing Day Mascot Race

Cal the Fostering Bear took on the challenge of running the annual mascot race at Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, during halftime at the Scarlets v Ospreys match on Boxing Day.

Cal ran the length of the rugby pitch, Cal didn’t win the race but he gave a brilliant performance in front of a large crowd of rugby supporters.  Well Done Cal!

Could you foster Jack?

Jack* is a 12 year-old boy who is sociable and affectionate with a great sense of humour. Those who know Jack well describe him as loving, determined, kind, funny and energetic.  He enjoys music (especially Elvis!), cartoons, swimming and he loves playing outdoors; and his favourite place to visit is Folly Farm. He loves sensory play and enjoys getting messy with paints and sand.

Jack has a diagnosis of Global Developmental Delay, asthma and has limited speech but is encouraged to be independent and will often communicate his needs and wants.  Jack requires adult supervision at all times as he has very little awareness of danger and can be very busy.

Jack responds very well to good routines and he sleeps all through the night. He does needs support and encouragement with his personal care as he finds these tasks quite upsetting.

Jack attends a specialist unit for children and has the support of a one-to-one teaching assistant. He  is very sociable with other children, especially younger children, enjoys school and seeing his friends.

Jack has been through an extremely difficult year for such a young boy, however in the last 6 months in a calm and loving environment he is starting to thrive; he’s able to concentrate better in class, made new friends and in general made amazing progress.

Would you be able to give Jack a home? We are looking for a long-term foster placement for Jack where there two carers who are able to give him the high level of supervision, support and love he needs.  Jack needs a calm and quiet environment but one which can provide him with adequate stimulation and positive social interactions. His foster carers will need to be patient, warm, responsive and reliable.

Foster carers have a real chance to make a positive difference to the lives of children.  They receive on-going training, 24-hour support and financial allowances.

If you think you have the love, skills, time and commitment to become Jack’s foster carers, please contact our Fostering Recruitment Team for an informal chat and to answer any questions on 0800 0933 699 or email fostering@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

To find out more about fostering in general please get in touch or visit our website foster.midandwest.wales/carmarthenshire

*Please note images and names do not relate to the foster child’s profiles and have been changed to protect identities.

Skills to Foster

On Thursday 14th November, as part of Skills to Foster (4 day initial training course delivered by the Fostering Team for “would be foster carers”), the Fostering Team launched the Post Approval Learning and Development Framework for Foster Carers. This plan is one of the National Fostering Frame work’s (NFF) work streams. Its aim is to provide a basis for a national approach to underpin a more consistent delivery to learning and development for foster carers across Wales. It is a pilot scheme which new recruits will be part of, the longer term plan is to deliver to all foster carers.

In the pictures are the applicants, foster carer mentors and some of the fostering team.  All the applicants on the course have given a commitment to progressing their applications onto the assessment stage which is a brilliant outcome.

Ceredigion urgently need more Foster cares, the demand for foster placements outweighs our current resources.  If you know anyone who would be interested in becoming a Foster carer please encourage them to phone the contact centre 01574 574000.

We also have information leaflets available (free of charge!!) you can pass onto interested family and friends. These can be requested from Ceredigion Fostering Team, tel no 01545 574000.

Cookery session in Y Sied

Cookery session in Y SiedThe Sons and Daughters of foster carers group met after school on Friday 15th November for a cookery session in Y Sied, Nantgaredig.

The children enjoyed making pizzas and cupcakes and spent time socialising with other children whose parents foster for the local authority. The sons and daughters group meet regularly throughout the year to discuss topics relevant to their role as children of foster carers.

The purpose of the sons and daughters of foster carers group is to show the children that they are valued for the role they play in their families who foster.


Steam Rally Event 2019

Carmarthenshire Fostering Recruitment Team were at the Steam Rally Event 2019 at Pembrey Country Park on Saturday September 28th and Sunday 29th September.

Lots of you called at our stand to have an informal chat with our staff and to meet our mascot Cal the bear. We enjoyed seeing you there.

Working together to improve the future of children in foster care

IMPROVING the future of children and young people in foster care is at the heart of a new regional partnership.

Fostering services from the four local authorities of Carmarthenshire, Powys, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire have come together to form Foster Mid and West Wales.

The aim is to work together with local children to create a strong partnership and ultimately to improve the outcomes for young people in foster care. The key message is Local Carers, Local Children, Local Services.

A new regional fostering website has been launched together with a Foster Carers’ Charter which sets out a vision for future service delivery.

Mid and West Wales Foster workshop

Launched at the National Botanic Gardens at Llanarthne it was a celebration of the amazing work and dedication of the local authority staff, foster carers and their families across all four regions.

The event included a demonstration of the new website to help with the recruitment of foster carers throughout the region; and foster carers had the opportunity to share their personal foster care journeys.

Carmarthenshire’s Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “A regional approach brings together the joint experience and success of our individual fostering services to allow us to learn from each other and enhance recruitment and training opportunities for fostering across the region.

“Foster Mid and West Wales is passionate and committed to providing stable and nurturing homes to children and young people; providing specialist training and round-the-clock support to the exceptional team of foster carers and their families.

“It takes compassion, a sense of humour, flexibility and an open mind to foster and Foster Mid and West Wales is very lucky to have so many wonderful foster carers to help our children and young people become independent, confident and happy individuals, with great life choices ahead of them.”

Regional Foster launch with cakeCllr Rachel Powell, Cabinet Member for Powys County Council Children’s Services, said: “It was a great pleasure to be present at this event, with so many humbling accounts from the four regions, which emphasised the value of our foster carers and the unique, professional role that they provide for our young people who we need to care for.

“There are so many valid reasons to be a foster carer and as part of the Mid and West Wales Fostering launch, there is a firm welcome to further discussions from anyone wishing to find out more. The assumption that to be a foster carer you need to be part of a two parent family is simply not true. Fostering involves unique individuals who are passionate and genuinely want to support children and young people in their lifelong journey, which can be hugely satisfying.”

Cllr Catherine Hughes, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services for Ceredigion, said: “Ceredigion County Council is proud to be part of the regional partnership, we’re committed in making sure that young people in foster care and foster carers are fully supported.

“The new website will be a great resource for existing foster carers and also anyone who may be considering giving fostering a go – it’s worthwhile to take a look.”

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services Cllr Tessa Hodgson said: “Foster carers provide a vital service to children and young people across the region, a loving stable foster placement can turn a life around #changeafuture. 

“This new strong partnership and regional working will help to provide those critical placements and support for foster families.”

To find out more about becoming a foster carer in your local area visit the website for further information, as well as case studies and news visit foster.midandwest.wales