Fostering: the simple things change lives
Lucy Stevens - 26th February 2021
Lai and Barrie, Essex We would really recommend fostering. If you are thinking of making the first step, we can testify that fostering changes lives. We took our first step 6 years ago; over that time we have looked after a range of children. Our first child was a teenager. Our role was really to prepare her for independence. She is a lovely girl and just needed gentle guidance and a loving, non-judgemental family. She stayed with us for a year and made so much progress in that time. She continues to be a close friend to our daughter and now has a good job in a hospital and a child of her own! What’s it all about? For us,
Tags: fostering, fostering agency, fostering Essex, fostering support, independent fostering agencies
Fostering – Taking the high road and the low road
Lucy Stevens - 10th February 2021
A foster carer’s perspective The UK is suffering a severe shortage of foster carers. One of the many reasons for this is that people generally don’t have a full understanding of what fostering looks like. So, why do people foster? What do they love about it? Where do they find the joy in it? We’ve asked some of our foster carers across Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire what they love about fostering and what they find difficult. This week we’ll be hearing from Julie, Nigel and Lesley. Julie, Foster Carer, Suffolk I love fostering and get real enjoyment and satisfaction from bringing out the best in a child. Fostering makes a huge difference in the life of a child but these
Tags: foster carer perspective, Fostering Cambridgeshire, fostering Essex, fostering Suffolk, independent fostering agency
Family contact during Covid.
Lucy Stevens - 15th January 2021
For foster carers, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have raised a plethora of questions about the day-to-day practicalities which have now been thrown into uncertainty. Last week, we published a blog about education for vulnerable children and the questions this throws up for foster carers. This week we will be looking at how the arrangements for contact with birth families have been affected by the lockdown and the impact on foster carers and the children they care for. Contact clarity? We’re trying to respond to the questions all foster carers have at this time, as and when we get clarity. The truth is that Local Authorities are all still grappling with how best to meet the needs of children, birth
New Year, New Lockdown, yet more challenges for Foster Carers
Lucy Stevens - 8th January 2021
2020 was a tough year for everyone but one could argue that it was particularly challenging for foster carers. Many carers entered 2021 with the hope we had left lockdowns and school closures behind us yet it transpires 2021 is no miracle worker! As we enter this new year and new round of restrictions, foster carers are yet again faced with many challenges. Can and should my child attend school? As with so much relating to the pandemic, there is no black and white answer to this. Many Local Authorities wish their looked after children to attend school. Looked after children are classed as “vulnerable” and therefore schools need to offer on-site teaching to them. The government guidelines state that
All is Calm, All is Bright?
Lucy Stevens - 14th December 2020
How to manage Christmas when you foster. Fostering the Christmas Spirit… Children all over the world love Christmas. The lights that transform the usually dull, dark streets, the houses lit up, the decorated tree, the jangle of Christmas tunes. The magic of an empty stocking on Christmas Eve that will be bulging by morning. Feeling loved and safe in the heart of a family who is in celebratory mood. But for many children living in foster care, Christmas is a really difficult time. In the bleak mid-winter For young people in foster care, the traditions that so define this time of year can act as triggers for children who have had adverse childhood experiences. These triggers could be anything from
Tags: christmas, covid fostering, fostering Essex, fostering service, fostering support
Hundreds of vulnerable children in your area need foster carers. Now more than ever.
Lucy Stevens - 17th August 2020
Could you help children's voices be heard? ...perhaps lockdown has at once emphasised a devastating problem and revealed a source of hope.... For many hundreds of children, lockdown has exacerbated a reality that many of us will never have to face. As restrictions have slowly eased, we have seen the tip of an iceberg that is the reality for our most vulnerable children. Many have been locked into abusive and neglectful homes with no hope of help and no ear to hear their voices. We know that reports of domestic violence have increased and we believe that the strains of lockdown on mental health, addiction, finances and relationships will have had a significant impact on children living in already difficult
Going Through The Fostering Application Process – Eastern Fostering Services
Lucy Stevens - 14th April 2020
I get back from Calais absurdly happy to see my family and determined to see this fostering thing through to its conclusion, to its beginning. It’s just as well because we are straight back into things. It starts with the small matter of a trip to the doctor for our medical assessments. Eastern Fostering Services (the fostering agency) provided us with the forms which we filled in and dropped to the surgery. An appointment was given and hey presto, I find myself slightly sleep deprived, weeing into a pot and answering the usual bland health questions. The long and short of it is that I am fit and healthy and so, it turns out, is my husband Jim. It’s all
Lucy Stevens - 8th April 2020
This young person has been with her foster carers for 6 years Every year the Fostering Network runs a campaign to raise awareness of fostering: Foster Care Fortnight. This year's theme is #ThisIsFostering. At Eastern Fostering Services, we asked our carers to show us visually what fostering looks like for them. As photographs started to pour in, we felt so moved by the images of family, togetherness and love that they revealed. #ThisIsFostering: family A photograph can speak a thousand words, but what is behind the photograph? The pictures that we are featuring come with their unique backstory. The couple featured in the photograph above have been caring for their foster daughter for 6 years. They have seen her through
The Virtual Reality of fostering
Lucy Stevens - 26th February 2020
Virtual reality and fostering, why? Independent agency, Eastern Fostering Services are using virtual reality in their fostering training. But why? And how? In reality, fostering is hard. Foster carers are expected to be able to cope with a range of challenges within their own home. Children come into foster care with all manner of grief, pain and damage and this can manifest itself in many ways. Virtually anything can happen... Challenging behavioursAttachment issues or disordersPost Traumatic Stress Disorder AnxietyDepressionSelf harmDrug and alcohol misuseViolence or aggressionSleep disordersMental health problemsConfusionDelayed developmentHypervigilance The list goes on. Indeed, foster carers need to be able to cope with whatever fostering throws at them. Many foster carers will say that they are prepared for any eventuality!
Tags: Eastern Fostering Services, Fostering Cambridgeshire, fostering Essex, fostering Suffolk, fostering training
‘Fostering has humbled us’ – could you give a child a second chance at life?
Lucy Stevens - 17th January 2020
Every child deserves to have a safe base and to grow up in a loving, supporting environment which nurtures their confidence and self-esteem. But in the UK alone, a new child is bought into care needing a foster family every 20 minutes. In the UK, the number of children waiting to be fostered is rapidly growing. In March 2019, 54,870 out of the 75,420 children in care away from home were living with foster families in England, but fostering services need approximately 7,220 more families to open up their homes to children in need. Could you help? East Anglian-based Eastern Fostering Services (EFS) is currently looking for families, couples and individuals to foster in the region. The small team makes