A big thank you and a very Merry Christmas to all of our foster carers!
Lucy Stevens - 20th December 2021
We could describe this year as the lockdown equivalent of the hokey cokey. In, out. In, out! It’s certainly been a challenging old time for you, our highly valued foster carers. We wanted to use our last blog of the year to thank you for your resilience, commitment, and general awesomeness which you have all displayed in abundance throughout 2021. So many reasons to thank you We are so thankful that we have had opportunities this year to meet with you and the children during our events over the summer. We enjoyed two beach days, go-karting, and a lovely family picnic day during the summer during which it was clear to see the fruits of your labour. All the children
Fostering Focus: Attachment and fostering children and young people
Lucy Stevens - 10th December 2021
Many children in foster care will have suffered abuse and neglect within homes where domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse or mental health problems are prevalent. In such circumstances they are unlikely to have experienced a positive family home life where they felt protected, had their needs met and were able to develop close attachments. In addition, all foster children, irrespective of their family backgrounds, will have experienced the trauma of loss and separation from family members and familiar surroundings which can further impact on their emotional and psychological development. It is not surprising, given their past experiences, that many children in foster care feel unable to trust and present challenging behaviours. What is attachment and why is it important
Fostering at Christmas
Lucy Stevens - 7th December 2021
For many children, Christmas is a magical time. They are at fever pitch over the sparkling lights, the decorations, sweets and presents, and the prospect of Father Christmas. Christmas consolidates that feeling of being loved and safe in the heart of a family who is in celebratory mood. But for many children and young people living in foster care, Christmas is a really difficult time. A darker side of Christmas. The traditions that so define this time of year can act as triggers for children in foster care who have had adverse childhood experiences. These triggers could be anything from the sight and smell of alcohol to loud music or noises, laughter and booming voices. Sensorial experiences like these can
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