Medway Council Fostering 2020
Thinking of a lifestyle change?
You may already have a lot of the skills and qualities needed to provide a loving and protective home for a child in Medway.
Fostering with Medway Council, following successful completion of assessments, will give you a new lifestyle opportunity with fresh challenges, training that leads to qualifications, stay-at-home, flexible working freedom, with an income.
Medway Council Fostering are seeking Medway-based Foster Carer’s to work with us, as part of Medway Council Children’s Services. If you have a spare room and can offer a child a secure and nurturing home environment, then consider fostering with us.
We have answered some of the most asked questions to help you decide whether fostering is right for you.
What is fostering?
Fostering comes with new life challenges, but is more rewarding than you can imagine. Building a child’s trust through the means of providing stability and security within a loving home environment are the foundations to fostering. Celebrating a child’s achievements, however small. Being inclusive of a child’s birth family and heritage enables a child to form a positive sense of their self; this then creates an ability for a child to see themselves in a positive way, to believe that they can achieve good things and are worthy of achieving these.
Our Foster Carers are skilled at enabling children in their care to feel accepted and to not be defined by their history. These skills, when applied in a non-judgemental way, can lead to a child or young person excelling in foster care, to being part of a foster family and gives children a chance to rebuild their lives.
Why do babies, children and young people enter the Foster Care system?
There are multiple reasons leading to babies, children and young people entering the Foster Care system. In the majority of cases, children have likely suffered trauma, violence, abuse, or may have come from a family breakdown, neglect or family illness.
Medway Council’s Foster Carers and children are regarded as unique cases that require a tailored approach, which is why we have interdisciplinary teams that are available for our Foster Carers to call upon. Through specialist training courses, our Foster Carers are taught personable skills on how to engage with children more effectively, especially at difficult times, and how to build on trust and the relationship.
Who can foster?
You can foster regardless of your age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and religion. You can also foster if you have pets, a disability, have children living at home, are a homeowner, or a private or social housing tenant.
To become a Medway Foster Carer, you must:
• be over 21
• be a British Citizen or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK
• have the time, resilience and commitment to care for a child or young person
You should also:
• have at least one spare bedroom
• have at least one main carer based at the home
• be a driver with access to a car
• be fit and healthy
• live in Medway or within a 20-mile radius
• offer a smoke-free environment
Your individual circumstances relating to the above will also be considered upon initial screening.
What is a Foster Carer?
It's who you are that matters! Often, potential Foster Carers worry about whether or not they are the sort of people we are looking for, but there really is no such thing as the ‘ideal’ or ‘perfect’ Foster Carer.
A Foster Carer commits the time and energy to children that are in their care and are required to have regard for the particular demands on a child separated from their family. Before being approved to foster, Medway Council Fostering ensures that all Foster Carers receive training.
To succeed at being a Foster Carer, Medway Council Fostering will equip you with the tools, skills and ongoing developmental training to help meet the needs of any child in your care.
A Foster Carer is someone who can:
• Remain non judgemental
• Accept a child/young person and their individual needs
• Have realistic expectations of a child/young person in their care
• Work in partnership with birth parents and professionals
• Offer safety, stability and security
• Offer stimulation and encouragement
• Build trust, talk to you and to celebrate achievements
• Patience, resilience and confidence to deal with situation which do not go to please
• To be observant in recognising when, as a Foster Carer, you need to step in, step back or seek assistance
• Self-reflection: to learn from experiences and lessons learned to continuously develop your skills.
Medway Council Fostering priority groups
Medway Council Foster Carers are generally approved for children aged 0 to 18, any ethnicity and any gender. A Foster Carer’s experience and current life situation will be taken into account when matching a child/young person to their family.
Occasionally, specialist Foster Care is required such as for a parent and child placement or for a child with special needs. A Foster Carer’s level of experience will be taken into account before these placements are made.
Medway Council Fostering are keen to hear from people who are able to care for children in one of our priority groups, as these children and young people are in urgent need of homes.
Our priority groups include:
• Siblings of all ages
• Children over 10
• Parent and Child
What are the types of fostering programmes that Medway Council offers?
Medway Council Fostering offers the following types of fostering programmes that can be discussed as to what would best suit you, your circumstances and your skills set.
Long Term/Permanent Fostering
What is Medway Council’s Fostering process?
During your application assessment you will have the opportunity to discuss with your assessor what type of fostering you would like to undertake. Some Foster Carers are approved only for respite and emergency care, others are approved for short term, some are approved for long term and permanency. Most Foster Carers are approved for any length of time but can cite a preference dependant on what fits in with their current lifestyle and situation.
Medway Council's fostering process:
Why foster with Medway Council?
To ensure that our Foster Carers are fully equipped to protect, support and are connected in their vital role in transforming children and young people’s lives, at Medway Council Fostering services, we pride ourselves on what we offer our carers:
• The children’s Social Workers, the Fostering Team and the Senior Managers of Medway are all based under one roof, enabling us to work together as a community, efficiently and effectively. These relationships assist us in providing intensive and consistent support to our Foster Carers and to our children in care.
• Fostering Mentors – experienced Foster Carers to support the new Foster Carers.
• Family Support Workers – a designated Family Support Worker to develop your knowledge with behaviour management strategies, parenting styles or support any other needs of the placement.
• Regular support groups – attended by Foster Carers and Social Workers for informal chats and opportunities to share advice, experiences and increase your fostering network.
• A Duty Social Worker - available during business hours and Out of Hours enabling you to access support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
• Competitive Fostering rates - plus support you to achieve recognised qualifications for your own career development.
• Our Social Workers, Managers and Independent Reviewing Officers work together to make decisions in the best interest of our children.
• Assessment - for our children in care, all placements are with Foster Carers who we have assessed and who we continue to train and support.
• Training agenda - extensive training which you are able to access both directly and online training sessions, as soon as you are approved. These courses cover a wide range of topics and relevant issues affecting our children.
Fostering is not without its challenges, but with the right support, community, training and attitude, you could make a difference to a child’s life. Medway Council’s Fostering Team can equip you with the skills and guidance to help you succeed as a new Foster Carer.
To find out more about fostering with Medway Council, you can give the team a call on 01634 335 726 or fill out our fostering enquiry form and someone from the team will be in touch for an informal chat at a time that suits you.
Placing Medway children, with Medway Foster Carers.