Why aren’t more people fostering?
Lucy Stevens - 29th November 2021
This week two carers from Eastern Fostering Services spoke to ITV News* about fostering. They were asked why more people aren’t putting themselves forward for the role. In truth, fostering presents a bit of a challenge. It is a vocation that must be thought about, understood, and prepared for. It is not a decision that you want people to rush into. Fostering is hard work and requires resilience and commitment. Conversely, there is a significant shortage of foster carers in the UK and an increasing number of children entering foster care, so we need to recruit more carers quickly. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in the recruitment of foster carers is misinformation. Many people don’t fully understand how the
Let’s bust some common fostering myths
Lucy Stevens - 19th November 2021
There are lots of misconceptions about who can foster. We thought it would be useful to answer some of the most common fostering myths. Can I foster if I’m single? Some people wonder if they might be prevented from fostering because they are single but being single is not a barrier to becoming a foster carer. As long as you are able to provide a comfortable and nurturing home for children and have a good support network we would love to talk to you about fostering. Am I too young to foster? If you are over 21 and interested in becoming a foster carer, get in touch with us. Some child care experience is beneficial but this could be from
Why I love being part of a team who is making a difference in the lives of children and young people.
Lucy Stevens - 10th November 2021
Supervising social worker, Sam Grant, tells us what it is she likes about her role at Eastern Fostering Services. I’m Sam and I’m a supervising social worker at Eastern Fostering Services. This means I support and advocate for Foster Carers and the children they care for. My role includes: Emotional and practical support to foster carers through regular supervisionIdentifying and supporting foster carer training and development needsDesigning and delivering trainingAdvocating for the foster carers and the children to professionals in social care, education, health and well-beingWorking with professionals to deliver the best outcomes for childrenSupporting the carers in fostering review meetings, educational meetings and in promoting additional support for children and carersOrganising social events for children and carers to help
Fostering and contact with birth families.
Lucy Stevens - 21st October 2021
Contact: A vital yet complex part of the fostering role. Supporting children to have contact with their birth families is one of the most important elements of fostering in many ways. Yet it is also potentially complex and can be fraught with difficulties for children, birth families and foster carers alike. The topic of contact is vast and provokes strong reactions amongst children, birth families, foster carers, and social workers. This blog aims to give an overview of how contact works, what complications can arise and how important it is to get contact right for the child and their families. It’s important firstly to be able to appreciate all parties’ perspectives that are involved in contact arrangements and the impact
Managing challenging behaviours when fostering
Lucy Stevens - 15th October 2021
What are challenging behaviours and why might foster carers see these in the children they care for? The children who we care for are all individuals. They all have their strengths and wonderful personal qualities. Foster carers know how important it is to notice and to celebrate the many positive things about the children they are fostering. Often this is not difficult to do as they are all brimming with potential. However, because of the experiences many children in foster care have lived through, they may well display behaviours that can be challenging to manage. These might include: Aggression – verbal or physicalOppositional behaviourEmotional dysregulationSelf-harmEating disordersDissociationSexualised behavioursIssues with toiletingIssues with personal hygieneStealing or stockpiling foodDepression and anxietyRisk taking behavioursBehaviours associated
Fostering and violence in childhood
Lucy Stevens - 6th October 2021
A violence that doesn’t discriminate…..a society that might. A huge proportion of children who are growing up in foster care have experienced violence. It would seem, looking at the statistics that violence doesn’t discriminate. If you look at the contributing factors leading to boys and girls coming into foster care, you will find in the overwhelming majority, regardless of their gender, domestic violence and abuse as well as cultural and societal violence. However, whilst it is true to say that in many cases domestic violence is perpetrated by both partners, it is clear that women are more often the direct victims. Similarly, on a cultural and societal level, women are victims more often than men. This is as much the
I hope so much one day to see my family again
Lucy Stevens - 28th September 2021
It’s been a while since I have written about our Afghan foster son who came to live with us when he was 14. I remember at the time, writing about the hunted look he wore when he first stepped foot over our threshold five years ago. He was young, he was scared, he had seen too much. He possessed not a word of English and simply the clothes he stood up in. If ever there was a fish out of water, he was it. He lived with us for three years. We cared for him as he processed the trauma he had lived. Not just the cruel, arduous journey he had undertaken but the life that had preceded it. As
More children than ever are coming in to foster care. Why?
Lucy Stevens - 21st September 2021
As Placements Manager at Eastern Fostering Services, I read hundreds of referrals a month for children who are in need of a foster carer. Whilst the trends I am speaking about are anecdotal, I get a good insight into what the national picture is when it comes to foster care. How are foster carers found for the children who need them? As a small fostering agency, Eastern Fostering Services receive requests for foster carers (referrals) from several Local Authorities. Many of these come from “local” Local Authorities: in our case, Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire as well as Norfolk and London. But we also receive requests from Local Authorities as far south as Devon and as far North as York. These
Fostering in the wake of Covid. What’s changed?
Lucy Stevens - 17th August 2021
On the surface, life in the fostering sector has continued throughout the pandemic. Children have continued to come into care, foster carers have been approved (albeit in smaller numbers), carers and children have coped with the strain of lockdowns and the social isolation Covid has brought. There have been many challenges for all of those who work in the foster care sector and of course for the children growing up in it. Lurking in the background throughout all those challenges has been one dreaded question: What is going to happen when we open up again? Many of us suspected that as professionals once again began seeing children in schools or during home visits or medical appointments, we would inevitably see
Fostering in focus: Transferring fostering provider
Lucy Stevens - 21st July 2021
In this blog, we meet Julie. Julie has been a foster carer for over 10 years. We asked her to share a little bit about her story and how she ended up fostering with Eastern Fostering Services and her process of transferring fostering provider. “Speaking to other foster carers is a must!” Transferring Fostering Provider: It’s all about the support! I originally started fostering with a small agency, which I loved. I believe they made me the carer I am today and taught me so much more about good fostering than I feel most carers know. Good fostering practise, for me, is about advocating for the child, finding well-matched placements and being able to get the quality and level of