Statement of Purpose

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Matters included in the Statement of Purpose

As required by Regulation 3(1) of the Fostering Services Regulations 2011

  • Company information
  • Organisational Structure
  • Legislative Framework and Standards of Care
  • Introduction
  • Statement of the overall aims and objectives
  • Statement of services provided
  • Recruitment and assessment of Foster Carers
  • Training and Development
  • Placement support, supervision and additional services
  • Education
  • Health
  • Contact
  • Preparation for adulthood
  • Children’s Rights
  • Safecare and Safeguarding
  • Complaints, Allegations and Outcomes
  • Current Placements
  • Placement procedures
  • Matching
  • Placement process
  • Ending placements

This Service is Registered and inspected by Ofsted, Piccadily Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD Tel: 0300 123 1231

Statement of Purpose

Pilgrims Corner Fostering provides this statement to the Chief Inspector of Ofsted and to the following on request:

  • Any person working for the purpose of Pilgrims Corner Fostering
  • Any Carer or prospective Carer of Pilgrims Corner
  • Any child placed with a Foster Carer by Pilgrims Corner
  • Any parent of children placed with Pilgrims Corner
  • Any Local Authority and /or individuals expressing an interest in the services provided
  • The statement will be published on the company web site.

Company Information

Status and Constitution
Pilgrims Corner Fostering is a private limited company which provides accommodation to children and young people and has duties similar to those imposed on local authorities under Section 22 of the Children Act 1989, the Fostering Regulations 2011 and the Arrangement for placements of Children (General) Regulations 1991. We also operate within the framework of the National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services (England) 2011.

Organisation Details

Office Address:                                                     
SUITE 5
ENTERPRISE HOUSE
THE LINKS
HERNE BAY
KENT
CT6 5BP                                           

OFFICE HOURS TEL : 01227 283696
OUT OF HOURS FAX: 01227 283662


info@pilgrimscorner.co.uk
     

www.pilgrimscorner.co.uk

Organisational Structure

Pilgrims Corner Fostering is part of the Pilgrims Corner Group which provides quality residential, fostering and education services for children and young people who are looked after. The agency is a small family run organisation, offering a friendly and personable environment to all its staff and young people.

Pilgrims Corner was set up by mother and daughter Lyn Norman and Sarah Norman opening up the first residential unit in October 2005. The group has continued to expand with more residential units, a new school and the opening of the fostering agency in July 2009.

Sarah Curry              Lyn Norman

Sarah Norman           Lyn Norman

Both Lyn and Sarah have fostered themselves so fully understand the role and demands that being a foster carer brings.  “We aim to provide the best quality care to children and young people during a difficult time in their life by placing them with the best quality, highly skilled and trained foster families”.  Lyn and Sarah both still play an active role within Pilgrims Corner, Lyn is Financial Director and Sarah is Responsible Individual working very closely with the fostering team and foster carers.

Pilgrims Corner Fostering is always striving to improve and develop its service by working in conjunction with the National Minimum Standards, promoting the five outcomes. These emphasise the individuality of children, the importance of children in foster care having as full an experience of family life as possible without unnecessary restrictions, and the centrality of foster carers as core members of the team around the child. 

Pilgrims Corner Fostering has an experienced team which support all the agency’s carers.

Helen Smith - Fostering Manager
Lynn is an experienced Fostering Manager having worked in the independent sector for the last 10 years.  Lynn has a background in child protection and adult mental health.  Her role is to recruit new foster carers, improve outcomes for children and young people and develop the service. Lynn holds the DipSW and Level 5 in management.

 

Ian Woodnott - Supervising Social Worker 

Andrea recently joined the team having two years previous experience witha larger IFP. Her role is to support Foster Carers and encourage their development through training and experience..

Jaime Grier (DipSW) -  Social Worker
Jaime is a newly qualified Social Worker.  Prior to qualifying as a social worker, Jaime worked in the social care sector for over 6 years, including mental health rehabilitation and care of the elderly.  She has also worked voluntarily for 3 years with The Girl Guides.  It is Jaime’s role to supervise and support the foster carers.

Jane Blagden - Fostering and Panel Administrator
Pauline manages all administrative tasks and co-ordinates the operation of the agency fostering panel in compliance with the standards laid out in the Fostering Regulations 2011 and the National Minimum Standards 2011.

Nick Kerry

Nick Kerry - Therapeutic Support
Nick is a qualified Systemic Psychotherapist, Social Worker and Addiction specialist. He has extensive experience of working with foster care teams providing support to both young people and foster carers.

Foster Carers
Pilgrims Corner Fostering currently has 12 approved Foster Carers and 1 in assessment. Our Carers are predominantly in South East Kent.

Legislative Framework and Standards of Care

Pilgrims Corner operates within the Fostering Service Regulations 2011 and 2013 made under sections 22 and 48 of the Care Standard Act (CSA) 2000 and the powers under the Children Act 1989 (s59).

As an independent fostering Agency we are governed by and committed to ensuring we meet the National Minimum Standards laid down by the Department for Education under sections 23 and 49 of the CSA 2000. We strive to embed, achieve, maintain and exceed best practice in the services we provide, and adhere wherever possible to the following legislation and regulations:

  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Children Act 2004
  • Children & Young Persons Act 2008
  • The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000
  • Care Leavers Regulations 2010
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Disability & Equality Act 2010
  • Race Relations Act 1976 and amendment 2000
  • The Immigration, Asylum & Nationality Act 2006
  • Care Standards Act 2000
  • Fostering Service Regulations 2011
  • Fostering Service Regulations 2013
  • National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services 2011
  • Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations 2010
  • The Gender Recognition Act 2004

Pilgrims Corner uses the following resources for guidance

  • Outcomes for Looked After Children: Resilience framework (sense of belonging, self-esteem, self-efficacy, security and attachment)
  • Every Child Matters: Change for Children 2004
  • Care Matters: Transforming the Lives of Children and Young People in Care 2006
  • The National Assessment Framework DoH 2001
  • Children’s Safeguarding Boards: Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Procedures applicable to areas in which our young people live
  • Children’s Workforce Development Council: Training, Support & Development Standards for Foster Carers 2007
  • The Equal Opportunities Code of Practice
  • Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 4: Fostering Services
  • Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 2: Care Planning,
  • Placement & Case Review
  • The National Minimum Fostering Allowance and Fostering Payment Systems: Good Practice Guidance
  • IRO Handbook: Statutory Guidance for Independent Reviewing Officers and Local Authorities on their Functions in Relation to Case Management and review for Looked After Children
  • Sufficiency: Statutory Guidance on Securing Sufficient Accommodation for Looked After Children
  • Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers
  • Promoting the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children: Statutory Guidance for School Governing Bodies
  • The Role and Responsibilities of the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children: Statutory Guidance for School Governing Bodies
  • Statutory Guidance on Promoting the Health & Wellbeing of Looked After Children
  • Working together to Safeguard Children
  • Family & Friends Care: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities
  • Statutory Guidance on Children who Run Away or go Missing from Home or Care

Lynn Wilkinson Registered Manager, is responsible for the management, compliance and monitoring of all Standards. Sarah Norman, the Agency’s Responsible Individual, undertakes separate audits to ensure the requirements of the Standards are being met as well as monitoring:

  • Safeguarding
  • Children who go missing without authority
  • Complaints and their outcome
  • Compliments
  • Incident reports

Introduction

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

Our business began with its key staff working as Foster Carers who then progressed to opening their first children’s residential home in the town. Following a successful three year period the need for good quality foster care was highlighted. Hence Pilgrims Corner Fostering Ltd began.

The addition of a fostering service enabled our children and young people to move on to family living, allowing for a smooth, planned transition with ongoing support from residential staff.

In addition staff offer additional support to Foster Carers with very complex placements.

The fostering service is now available to all Children in Care particularly those who have experienced multiple placements.

Foster Carers have bespoke training but also have the opportunity to train alongside residential staff. They can also spend time in the homes to gain experience and understanding of children and young people who have experienced trauma.

We also provide a wide range of services to complement our fostering service. These can be found later in this document.

Statement of Overall Aims and Objectives

The primary aim of Pilgrims Corner Fostering is to provide stability and continuity for children and young people. By considering the needs of each individual prior to being placed and throughout their stay with one of our families we experience minimal disruption and enhanced stability.

We aim to ensure the voices of children and young people are heard enabling them to make choices and contribute to their care plan. In addition we consult with young people and encourage them to comment and make observations about the care they receive from us. This feedback allows us to create a high quality service. We involve young people from the onset of their placement by creating safe caring plans and risk assessments together, progressing through various consultations to pathway plans and preparation for adult life.

Pilgrims Corner Fostering aims to provide the highest quality care ensuring the needs of all of our children and young people are fully met. To achieve this we only recruit Foster Carers with caring qualities, resilience and a high level of motivation. In addition we provide our Foster Carers with a tailored and progressive training programme delivered by experts in the field of child care.

In all cases we aim to provide a high level of support and supervision. 

Statement of services provided

We at Pilgrims Corner Fostering understand that children and young people present with different needs and complex care requirements. To enable access to the most appropriate provision we offer the following services;

  • Day Care
  • Respite Care
  • Short term placements
  • Long term placements
  • Emergency placements
  • Sibling group placements
  • Residential care
  • Education
  • Holidays
  • Parenting skills sessions
  • Psychotherapy
  • Alternate therapies
  • Art therapy

Our values are based on the Care Base Principles and show high standards of integrity and respect for all. We promote safety and wellbeing 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

Recruitment and Assessment of Foster Carers

The process -

Stage 1 Registering Interest (Enquiry)

After talking with one of the team we take some brief information and if appropriate will arrange a home visit. we send an information pack for Pilgrims corner fostering which will be posted or emailed within one working day. This pack contains information about fostering in general. we also send a copy of the Statement of Purpose enabling you to find out more about Pilgrims corner Fostering.

The Initial Visit

All enquirers are visited during the initial stages, and their suitability and motivation to foster is assessed.

These visits are a two-way discussion and are conducted by a qualified Social Worker or Manager experienced and skilled in the recruitment of foster carers.

During the visit we give information about the process, we are transparent about the level of information that is required before anyone can be approved as a foster carer.

From the outset potential carers are actively involved in the process to assist them in deciding if fostering is right for them.

We are always open about our expectations and how we will support people in achieving these

Application

Following the intial visit, if appropriate, the potential foster carer/foster family will be asked to complete and submit an Application Form. This also has the request for permission to undertake all the checks that are required in Stage One of the process. For example, references (some referrees will be visited) Ehnanced Police Checks (known as DBS - from the Disclosure and Barring Service), Medical Reports, Local Authority Checks, cr#urrent employer references will be undertaken and checks on all members of the household aged over 16years.

Preparation Training

Prospective Carers attend an initial 3-day training event based on the Fostering Network material named 'Skills to Foster'. This is very much a two way assessment process to determine if fostering is the right career choice.

Prospective carers are provided with a workbook which supports this training and allows for comments and reflection to be documented, this will assist with the assessment process.

Following attendance we will inform the prospective carers if we will be progressing to Stage 2 or advising why this may not be the case.

Stage 2 - Assessment

Following the successful attendance at the preparation training we will assign aqualified Social worker to undertake a comprehensive assessment with the prospective foster carer and their family. The information gathered will complete the British Association of Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) F Form assessment report. 

This assessment usually requires the Social Worker to undertake 20 hours of Direct Contact withthe family over a period of approximately 8-12 weeks.

The assessment report will cover; individual profiles of the applicants, existing and any previous relationships, children in the household, any adults living independently, description of family life, valuing diversity, perenting capacity and skills (you do not need to have your own children to become a foster carer) and the prospective carers ability to demonstrate how they have or wouold manage key areas which are known as 'Competencies'.

Prospective carers have access to all of the information and sign the assessment report once it is completed.

Panel

Our Panel is made up from a variety of people with diverse experience in the childcare field. Voting Members include representatives from Health, Education, Thereapy, Police, Foster Carer from an alternative agency. In addition there are Non-Voting members, a Panel Advisor, a Panel Administrator, a Panel Medical Advisor. The voting members of the Panel are Independent of the agency and ensure a positive and rigorous contribution.

The Panel, in addition to making recommendation on approval, has a quality assurance function and provides an annual report and regular feedback on the development of the organisation and the quality of its assessments.

Prospective Foster Carers and the Social Worker who undertook the assessment, attend the Panel and will be asked questions regarding their application, assessment and to provide more detailed information/clarification if necessary.

Approval

The Panel then make a recommmendation regrding approval which is then passed to the agency decision maker (ADM) whith whom the final approval decision rests. The ADM is a qualified Senior Social Worker and independent of the agency.

Prospective Carers will be informed verbally immediately and the decision confirmed within 10 days.

Training and Development

Pilgrims Corner gives considerable priority to all staff and Foster Carers’ training and use only experienced and highly qualified trainers. 

Training is especially tailored to the needs of Foster Carers and the programme ensures continuing development.

Each year a comprehensive training package is devised to fit alongside the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young Peoples Workforce.

All new applicants attend a pre-approval training course, “Skills to Foster” endorsed by the Fostering Network. Following approval their Supervising Social Worker will complete a Personal Development Plan to help ensure they have the relevant skills and knowledge to support them in their fostering role. Foster Carers will be supported to complete the Training, Support and Development Standards within their first year of approval. All Foster Carers approved for a year or more are encouraged to undertake the Level 3 Diploma. We also encourage experienced Foster Carers to become involved in presenting training course/workshops alongside staff.

In line with the Fostering Regulation 2011 and Minimum Standards 2011 there is an expectation that all Foster Carers attend training regularly and complete all mandatory training within times scales. It is our expectation that the primary care will undertake the mandatory training within the first twelve months of approval, the secondary carer or working partner will complete these courses within twenty four months of approval.

All Foster Carers should complete a minimum of six courses per year.

Pilgrims Corner Fostering will maintain a training and development portfolio in order to record how they are meeting the skills required.

Pre Approval Training

 

Skills to Foster

 3 day course

 

Core training

Duration Valid for

TSD Standards

To be completed within
the first year of approval.
 

Recording & report writing

1 day

 

Safeguarding

1 day 1 year

Safe Caring

1 day  

First Aid

1 day  3 years
Supporting /managing behaviour 1 day or 3 days  
Health & safety and fire awareness 1 day  

 

Advanced training

Duration

Valid for

Managing allegations

1 day

 

Promoting Health

1 day

 

Promoting education

1 day

 

Attachment

1 day

 

Promoting contact

1 day

 

Equality & diversity

1 day

 

Promoting independence

 

 

ADHD  & behaviours

1 day

 

Aspergers & Autism

1 day

 

Working with traumatised children

1 day

 

Working with children who bully or are victims of bullying

1 day

 

Working with drug/alcohol dependency

Lying and Stealing  
Dealing with and preventing allegations  
Extremim and radicalisation  
   

1 day

 

 

Specialist training

Duration

Valid for

Working with children who self harm

1 day

 

Working with children displaying sexualised behaviour

1 day

 

Life story work

1-3 days

 

Helping children with anger

1 day

 

Supporting children with delayed development

1 day

 

 

The impact of secondary trauma on Foster Carers 1 day                 
Working with parent & child placements  1 day  
Working with unaccompanied minors 1 day  

 

These lists is not exhaustive.

Placement support, Supervision & Additional Services

Pilgrims Corner Foster Carers can access 24 hour support 7 days a week, 365 days per year from a qualified and experienced Supervising Social Worker.

Foster Carers receive support and supervision from their named Supervising Social Worker. This is in the form of regular phone contact and email/text messaging. Home visits for supervision/support take place every 4 weeks as minimum, additional visits are needs led. Newly approved foster carers receive weekly visits for the first 4 weeks of their first placement, followed by fortnightly visits for the following 2 months.

A minimum of 2 unannounced visits are undertaken each year. Peer mentoring support is also available for new and existing carers.

Foster Carers provide daily or weekly logs which are emailed to our fostering administrator. These are read the same day by your Supervising Social Worker or the Fostering Manager. Any issues are followed up the same day.

Support groups are held locally every month with a wide range of themes.

Children placed with Pilgrims Corner Fostering can attend the company’s school and access therapeutic support and intervention.

Education

Where ever possible children placed with Pilgrims Corner Foster Carers will attend mainstream education. As mentioned earlier Pilgrims Corner have their own school for children who may struggle with the size and expectations of a mainstream environment.

All Foster Carers are expected to promote all forms of education; attending parents evening, concerts, open days etc. Carers will ensure there is a quiet space for a young person to undertake home work and they have the necessary equipment to complete the task. Foster Carers will be expected to assist with home work and projects.

Foster Carers and Pilgrims Corner Fostering will maintain records of educational attainment, rewards and attendance to ensure children and young people are achieving their potential.

Health

Pilgrims Corner views the health needs of children and young people in a holistic sense; from physical needs through to emotional, cultural, mental and sexual health. Supervising Social Workers ensure these are monitored and assessed through daily/weekly logs, regular supervision, visits to the foster home and liaison with appropriate health professionals.

Reports detailing this work and identified issues are provided monthly for placing Social Workers and at the young persons Looked After Review. Health matters are monitored by the Fostering Manager and reported quarterly in the Agency’s Regulation 35 report for our Directors and Ofsted.

The physical health needs of all young people are address by ensuring they remain registered with their own GP and dental services where possible. All health assessments, checks and immunizations are carried out in line with legislation (Children Act 1989) and recorded in children’s health books.

Pilgrims Corner believe that promoting and providing education on health and related issues, e.g. smoking, substance misuse, diet, will not only improve the health of young people using our service but also their self esteem. Children and Foster Carers are encouraged to develop a deeper knowledge of health issues through training days, workshops and information sharing.

Pilgrims Corner Fostering work with a range of therapists as well as the local CAMHS teams.

Contact

Every child has the right to have contact with his/her family and friends’, providing this does not affect his/her safety and wellbeing. We seek to ensure contact arrangements where appropriate are accurately and clearly detailed in the placement plan.

Foster Carers are supported and receive training to enable them to support and promote contact for all children and young people.

Preparation for Adulthood

Pilgrims Corner Fostering fully recognise the need to adequately prepare the young people in our care for adulthood and independence. In our care planning process, we use a range of activities and target setting including a life skills folder dependant on the young persons ability and style of learning. These are provided to every young person over the age of 14 years to include into their pathway planning. Set out in small manageable steps enabling the Foster Carer and the Supervising Social Worker to evidence any gaps in their independent living skills before they are required to live away from the foster home.

Children's Rights

Pilgrims Corner Fostering fully embraces and upholds the rights of children and young people and endeavours to ensure that every child is listened to and valued, protected from harm and provided with a safe family environment.

Every child will be encouraged and supported to develop their full potential, be involved in the decision making about their lives and have access to high quality education as well as access to their family/friends and significant others.

Every child will be cared for by adults who offer respect, concern, affection and experience appropriate to meet their individual needs.

No child will be discriminated against and each will be supported to receive healthcare to fully meet their needs.

Every child will be given opportunities to develop skills and interests, will be prepared for life as an adult and will be advised how to complain if they are unhappy or things go wrong.

More details regarding children’s rights are found in the Children’s Guides.

Safecare and Safeguarding

We protect all children placed with Pilgrims Corner Fostering by ensuring all Foster Carers and household members over the age of 18 undergo rigorous checks not only pre-approval but continuously throughout their time as a carer.

We ensure every fostering family has their own safe caring policy and procedure specific to the young person(s) placed with them. The young person engages in this process and the preparation of a risk assessment. These documents are reviewed and amended annually or when there are changes within the family or the young person’s circumstances.

Health and safety checks are completed annually and reviewed during unannounced visits of which there are at least two per year.

Pilgrims Corner Fostering have a wide range of detailed policies and procedures supported by training to ensure all appropriate safeguards are adhered to. These include:

  • Safeguarding
  • Behaviour management
  • Bullying
  • Absent without permission
  • Alcohol and drug misuse
  • Smoking
  • Internet safety-CEOP
  • Sexual exploitation

Complaints, Allegations and Outcomes

Comprehensive policies and procedures are in place and provided to all staff, Foster Carers and Local Authorities.

The Registered Manager is responsible for ensuring all complaints are recorded in writing along with any action taken and the outcome of any investigation.

During the period January 2013 - January 2014 the agency received 2 complaints/allegations which were satisfactorily dealt with in accordance with our policy and procedures.

Current Placements

As of October 2015 there are 10 children and young people placed by the following Local Authorities:

Kent and East Sussex

Placement Procedures

Referrals for placements are accepted from all Local Authorities by Pilgrims Corner Fostering.

When a referral is made the referring Local Authority are requested to provide an extensive range of information:

  1. The purpose of the placement
  2. Family and Placement history
  3. The child’s identity/race/culture
  4. The Care Plan
  5. Time scales
  6. The child’s wishes and feelings
  7. Risk Assessments

In the case of an emergency placement where it is not possible for the referring Local Authority to provide all of the above information at the time of referral they will be asked to provide as much information as is available. If this placement goes ahead they will be expected to provide any outstanding information within 5 days.

Pilgrims Corner Fostering knows it is particularly important for the agency and the Foster Carer to have all of the information about the child/young person and their family to ensure the safe care of the child and the household.

Matching

Referrals will be considered by the Fostering Manager in conjunction with the Supervising Social Worker.

Stage one of matching includes:

  • Carers with the correct approval status, age range, gender, short term, long term etc.
  • Those within the location required
  • School transportation
  • Contact regularity and transportation

The second stage matching process should consider the child’s needs and the proposed carer’s ability to meet that need in relation to the following;

  1. Identity/race/culture
  2. History
  3. Behavior
  4. Emotional
  5. Health
  6. Contact
  7. Child’s wishes and feelings

Consultation will take place with the proposed Foster Carers. If they are willing to proceed and consent has been received from the Social Worker/Local Authority of any other child/young person in placement, the Fostering Manager will contact the placing authority. Form F’s and other appropriate paperwork and information will be sent. 

Placement Process

Following a decision for a placement to go ahead a pre placement planning meeting should be held to establish a clear Placement Plan/agreement. This involves sharing all of the information available and agreeing the content of the Placement Plan/Agreement. Delegated Authority should be set out and medical consent from the placing authority or parent given to the Foster Carers.

Education provision, health needs and regularity of visits by the Placing Authority’s Social Worker should be clearly documented along with arrangements for contact.

Where it is not possible to hold a pre-placement meeting; for example if the child/young person is placed in an emergency, a planning meeting must be held within five days of the placement being made.

Ending Placements

Placements will not be ended by the agency for reasons other than:

  • The end of the placement is within the child’s Care and Placement Plan or Pathway Plan
  • To protect the child
  • To protect members of the household
  • In an emergency where other or more suitable arrangements to maintain the placement cannot be made.

If the Placing Authority is proposing to end the placement for reasons other than those stated above, Pilgrims Corner Fostering will inform the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer.

Whenever a placement move is being considered the wishes and feelings of the child/young person will be sought. Where their wishes and feelings are not being observed the reasons for this must be explained to them. The Placing Authority should not move a placement until the child has had an opportunity to express their view.

If a move to another carer within the agency is being considered, this will be treated as a placement move with the same level of matching required.

Where young people are reaching their 18th birthday consideration will be given to continuing the placement if it is in their best interest.

Foster Carers are encouraged wherever possible to maintain contact with children and young people who have moved on.

Email: admin@pilgrimscorner.co.uk