Statement of Purpose 2020
Review Date: April 2020
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE FOSTERING
Legislative Framework and Standards of Care
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
Ed Health Contact
Preparation for adulthood
Safe care and Safeguarding Complaints, Allegations and Outcomes Current Placements
This Service is Registered and inspected by Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD Tel: 0300 123 1231
Pilgrims Corner Fostering provides important information about the registered company and is a requirement under the Fostering Services (England) Regulations (2011) and National Minimum Standards for Fostering (2011). It is for anyone who needs to know about our fostering service including:
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.
The statement of purpose links with our Children and Young People’s Guides.
The document will be reviewed and updated in the following circumstances:
At least annually
Any significant changes to the status and constitution of the agency, or services offered.
Any changes to relevant legislation, regulations or guidance
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.
185 SEA STREET
HERNE BAY KENT
OFFICE HOURS TEL : 01227 283696
OUT OF HOURS FAX: 01227 283662
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.
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.
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 positive outcomes. Recognising 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.
In the last 6 months there has been a period of steady growth. This is mainly due to carers working for much larger organisations wanting to be a part of a much smaller agency, feeling that they are much more a part of the team working together. They appreciate the experience and support given by the fostering team. This has resulted in other carers following, looking to transfer.
Caroline Newman - Fostering Manager
I am Caroline Newman the Fostering Manager. I joined the team in November 2019, and I am in the process of registering with Ofsted to be the Registered Manager. I am a qualified social worker who has worked with Looked After Children for 30 years and in fostering for the last 15 years, I have been very successful in my management of 2 previous agencies.
I have a vast knowledge of Looked After Children from working with children for so many years, and I enjoy facilitating training. I have also piloted a large project with the Fostering Network.
Michele Chamberlain – Senior Social Worker
I have an extensive career of working with young people both in residential care and fostering since 1984.
I spent 17 years working in residential units where I progressed to the position of Registered Manager for a small residential unit.
In 2001, I qualified as a Social Worker and worked as a link worker in a fostering agency where I then went on to become a Senior SSW, Deputy Manager and then Registered Manager.
Prior to moving to Pilgrims Corner, I have worked as an Independent Social worker. This involved carrying out Form F assessments and working closely with a variety of agencies.
I have also undertaken Annual Home Reviews for various agencies and have had the opportunity to carry out Standards of Care Reviews.
I value the importance of ongoing training in order to maintain my professional development.
Tina Atteshis – Senior Social Worker
My name is Tina Atteshis and I have been a social worker for over 30 years. I worked in the Local Authority mainly Child protection working alongside the police to safeguard children and YP. I have a vast experience with working with children, looked after children as well as some court work.
I have worked in fostering as a senior supervising social worker for the past 12 years now and my specialism is safeguarding.
I also deliver the child protection and safeguarding training.
Sally Pratley-Woodward – Senior Social Worker
I have 30 years’ experience in health, social care and education, including extensive knowledge of mental health, autism and positive behaviour strategies. I have a passion for therapeutic parenting and particularly enjoy promoting the individual potential of children and young people within the care system, listening carefully to their views and ideas for the future.
Jane Blagden - Fostering and Panel Administrator
I work as the Panel and Fostering administrator covering all elements of fostering administration within the fostering department. I have recently returned to Pilgrims Corner Fostering following a year away working as an Assessment and Placement Officer for SEN in the Local Authority writing EHCP’s and seeking school placements. I also have 13 years of experience working as an administrator and support/case worker in the Local Authority C&F Team and as unqualified residential worker.
We have a pool of therapists, mentors and contact supervisors who all work independently so we can contract their services as and when we need them. They are all subject to safeguarding checks.
Pilgrims Corner Fostering currently has 18 approved Foster Carers and 7 in assessment. Our Carers are predominantly in Kent.
Legislative Framework and Standards of Care
Pilgrims Corner is managed in accordance with the principles outlined in the following:
The Children Act 1989
The Children Act 2004
The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000
Human Rights Act 1998
Disability & Equality Act 2010
Care Standards Act 2000
Fostering Service Regulations 2011
National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services 2011
Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations 2010
Care Planning, Placement and Case Review & Fostering Services (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013
The Care Planning and Fostering (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2015
The Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care (2007)
UK National Standards for Foster Care (1999)
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.
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:
Placements, emergency, short term, long term and respite
Placements for sibling groups
Parenting skills sessions
Safety and Stability
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
Following the initial 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 referees will be visited) Enhanced Police Checks (known as DBS - from the Disclosure and Barring Service), Medical Reports, Local Authority Checks, current employer references will be undertaken and checks on all members of the household aged over 16years.
We will also seek references from your own children’s school or college.
Preparation Training known as Skills to Foster
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 a qualified 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) the Form f assessment report.
This assessment requires the Social Worker to Direct Contact with the family over a period of approximately 6-8 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, parenting 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 would manage key areas of fostering.
Prospective carers have access to all of the information gathered except for references and sign the assessment report once it is completed.
Our Panel is made up from a variety of people with diverse experience in the childcare field. Voting Members include representatives from Health, Education, Police, and a Foster Carer from an alternative agency. In addition, there are Non-Voting members, a Panel Advisor, a Panel Administrator, and 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.
The Panel then make a recommendation regarding approval which is then passed to the agency decision maker (ADM) with 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.
We are taking the training to different locations to support accessibility for the foster carers.
Pilgrims Corner Fostering will maintain a training and development portfolio in order to record how they are meeting the skills required.
Skills to Foster
To be completed within 1st Year
Recording & Reporting
Safeguarding including internet safety
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 1 day
ADHD & Behaviour Management 1 day
Asperger’s & Autism 1 day
Working with traumatised children 1 day
Working with children who bully or are victims 1 day
Drug and alcohol dependency 1 day
Lying & Stealing 1 day
Extremism & Radicalisation 1 day
Child Sexual Exploitation 1 day
Working with children who self-harm 1 day
Children who display sexualized behavior 1 day
Life Story Work 1-3 days
Helping children with anger 1 day
Supporting children who have delayed development 1 day
The impact of secondary trauma 1 day
Working with parent and child placements 1 day
Working with unaccompanied minors 1 day
These lists are 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.
Weekdays there is an office-based Duty 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 a 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 social workers. 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 in 2 accessible locations with a wide range of themes.
Children placed with Pilgrims Corner Fostering can attend the company’s school and access therapeutic support and intervention.
Wherever possible children placed with Pilgrims Corner Foster Carers will attend mainstream education. 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 homework and they have the necessary equipment to complete the task. Foster Carers will be expected to assist with homework 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.
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.
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. Necessary risk assessments will be undertaken in conjunction with the Local Authority
Foster Carers are supported and receive training to enable them to support and promote contact for all children and young people. We also have a trained pool of contact supervisors.
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 dependent on the young person’s 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.
Pilgrims Corner Fostering fully embraces and upholds the rights of children and young people and endeavors 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.
Safer Care 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:
Absent without permission
Alcohol and drug misuse/ County lines
Internet safety and CEOP
Sexual exploitation and illegal trafficking
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.
As of April 2020, there are 25 children and young people placed.
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.
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
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;
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.
Following a decision for a placement to go ahead a preplacement 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.
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.
Recruitment of Staff
Pilgrims Corner implement a robust safeguarding policy and procedures regarding recruitment.
Thorough application forms and interviews
Disclosure and Barring Service Enhanced Checks
Reference checks from previous employers
Right to work and Identity checks
Social Work England registration for Social Workers
This document has been read and approved by a responsible individual.
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