Fostering Services Guide

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Introduction

Pilgrims Corner Fostering Ltd is a small family run business based in the south eastern coastal town of Herne Bay in Kent.

Our business began with it’s key staff working as foster carers and progressed to them opening their first Residential Children’s Unit in the town. Following the unit operating for three years a need for good quality foster care was highlighted and so Pilgrims Corner Fostering Ltd began.

Not all foster placements can work, so we have the residential care setting to provide support for our foster carers.

Our fostering service is available to all looked after children/young people however, because of our expertise and knowledge we would aim to place children and young people who have been experience multiple placement breakdowns prior to coming to us.

Our carers will train alongside our residential staff and spend time in our residential units, this gives our carers an unique opportunity to gain practical experience of looking after children who have challenging behaviour. This means that when the children/young people are ready to leave residential care and go back into foster care, we can match families and everyone knows exactly what to expect of each other as they are familiar with each other prior to placement. This will provide stability for the children/young person and help to minimize the possibility of the placement disrupting.

We limit our carers to no more than 2 placements at any one time ( unless sibling groups) , this ensures that our foster carers will be able to devote their time and energy to working with the children.

We also provide a wide range of services to complement our fostering service, these can be accessed to support, advise and assist our carers in their caring of the children we have placed with them.

These services can be found later in this document.

Aims and Objectives

The main aim of our company is to provide stability and continuity for our children and young people by considering the needs of each one of them prior to entry and throughout the length of their stay with us and one of our families.
We realise that many placements can disrupt through lack of support for our children and young people and our carers. We will provide our carers with ongoing training and high levels of support by our social work and residential staff.

We also have our own educational provision so we can provide for children and young people when it is not possible to find a place for them in a local educational facility.

All of our residential staff are highly trained individuals with a wealth of experience and as they have the ability to work well as a team it strengthens them and their ability to manage children with complex needs and behaviours.

Our young people are encouraged to comment on and make observations about the care that they receive from us. This feedback allows us to create a high quality service for them, so we involve them every step of the way, from initial assessments on themselves to Pathway Plans when they leave. Without our young people we have no business, so best we use our most powerful tools and involve them wherever we can.

Our children are valued and supported in whatever way is best for them and it is because of this that we have actually been successful in moving our young people back home or back into foster placements from our residential unit.
Most would admit that this is difficult to do, but in reality it is easy when you given young people a sense of control over their future.

Principles and Standards of Care

Children and young people need a nurturing, understanding and flexible environment to enable them to thrive and flourish. We understand that our children/ young people come from very complex and diverse backgrounds and it is this part of our matching process which can either make a good match which will work well, or if not undertaken properly, can make a poor match which brings heartbreak and stress for all involved.

Our carers will be trained to a high standard. Above all, our carers are able to recognise the needs, feelings, wishes, hopes and potential of each child/young person and their future and help them to develop to that potential.

Our values are based on the Care Base Principles and show high standards of integrity and respect for all. We promote safety and well being under the guidance of the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

We promote for all:

  • Education
  • Positive outcomes
  • Safety and stability
  • Personal development
  • Anti-discriminatory policy and procedure
  • Religious beliefs
  • Cultural differences

Full training and supervision is given to all of our carers to enable them to work in the ways which we so heartily promote.
Training schedules are available to view on request and are available to other agencies also.

Services we also provide

  • Day Care
  • Respite Care
  • Holidays
  • Education
  • Residential Care
  • Summer Camps
  • Emergency Placements
  • Long Term Placements
  • Short Term Placements
  • Sibling Group Placements
  • Parenting Skills Sessions
  • Psychotherapy
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Art Therapy

Safe Recruitment of Staff and Carers

Under the most recent legislation and regulatory guidance we only recruit according to the guidance given in the safeguarding of vulnerable groups act 2006.

All staff and carers are subject to criminal record bureau enhanced disclosures, none may begin to work without a satisfactory one being obtained.

Any prospective carer is required to undertake:

  • the skills to foster course;
  • a form of assessment with our social worker;
  • relevant checks: Crb, local authority, we also implement the recomendations of the brighton and hove serious case review;
  • a full medical;
  • attendance at panel;
  • completion of induction training in our residential units;
  • appropriate fostering induction training;
  • on successful completion of all the above criteria they will be allowed to start work with us.

Monitoring and evaluating staff and carers

All staff and carers are subject to regular supervision sessions. Any attempts to avoid these can and will result in their registration being reviewed by our Fostering Panel.

All staff and carers are expected to undertake an NVQ3 in Children and Young People as a minimum expectation of training.

One day courses will be offered each month and carers will be expected to attend. There will be provision for the children/young people in their care to be taken care of whilst they are attending such courses.

Initial Complaints and Compliments

Fostering Manager

Pilgrims Corner Fostering Ltd
Verona House, 45 Station Road
Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5QQ
Tel: 01227 370808 

OR 

Director of Care

Pilgrims Corner Fostering Ltd
Verona House, 45 Station Road
Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5QQ
Tel: 01227 370808

Ofsted

Piccadilly Gate, Store Street
Manchester M1 2WD
Tel: 0300 123 1231
www.ofsted.gov.uk


The Office for the Children's Commissioner

33 Greycoat Street
London SW1P 2QF
Tel: 020 7783 8330
Email: info.request@childrenscommissioner.gsi.gov.uk

Monitoring and Evaluation

Pilgrims Corner Fostering has strict policies on the monitoring and evaluation of it’s service. The registered person has in place systems for monitoring and reviewing the quality of care our service provides.

Carers are monitored and reviewed through regular supervision sessions, training meetings and through the annual review process. Children, their families and Social Workers will be asked to provide feedback on the standard of care offered.

The number of foster carers we have will be closely monitored as a means of ensuring that we remain financially viable and that we are also able to deal effectively and efficiently with the children we place and the carers who take care of them.

It is in our best interests to provide placement stability for the children and young people we take care of, we strive to ensure this by carefully considering the needs of each individual child and only agreeing to place them once we have identified a carer within our company who can match the needs of the child. Our carers will be trained in all areas of foster care and the training they receive within our residential setting will give them an advantage over many other foster carers as they will have seen and dealt with a range of behaviours which usually exceed the remit of foster care.

Conclusion

Our reasons for wanting to operate a fostering agency come from the experience of having previously been in the role ourselves and also identifying a need for such a service through operating our residential unit.

We endeavour to recruit carers who have a genuine interest in providing children and young people with a home from where they can experience family life and use this as a base to prepare for adult life and reach their potential.

We provide training which is interesting, informative, fun and relevant to the type of children they care for.

Our levels of support for the children we take care of and for our carers and staff are exceptional.

Our fees are realistic and reasonable and we will discuss these with you during interview.

For further information please call: 01227 370 808 or 01227 283 696. E: admin@pilgrimscorner.co.uk