A partnership, with the children right at the very centre
Our whole service is focused on the needs of fostered children and young people we look after, so we’ve built up a strong framework of support around them. Clearly this includes foster parents and our team of social workers but can also be support staff and therapists. Beyond that however, there’s plenty more in place, and as an organisation that believes in involving people, we really do get children to share their ideas and feedback on what we’re doing – and how well!
Listening to children
Children have a real voice with FCA, our regions have a Young People’s Forum which gives them a platform for sharing their experiences with the leadership team. We even involve them in interviewing and training foster parents, so they’re an important part of everything we do. Their opinions count, so we listen.
Support groups for children
Just as we have support groups for foster parents, we’ve created them support groups for children in their care too. We bring them together to make friends and plans.
Activities and events
Another way we involve children is to organise events throughout the year. Along with locally held fun days and activities, these include poetry and photography competitions that are open to all children everywhere. The biggest event of all is ‘The Big Sing Off’ choir competition which involves every region in an X-factor style singing competition event – it’s a great day out.
We take time to recognise and reward their achievements in other ways too, no matter how small.
We also encourage local teams to get together and make a difference. We’re proud to support the Duke of Edinburgh awards which give young people the opportunity to gain skills and confidence as part of their step towards independent living. A number of children have achieved bronze and silver, and we’re now aiming for gold!
All of this work gives children the chance to get involved and express themselves, helping them grow as individuals.
We’ve created a positive and empowering culture where everyone feels respected, valued and able to contribute, one where we encourage children and young people to get involved and have their say.
By involving everyone, we grow stronger and better together. We’re focused on helping everyone become as good as they can be.
I like being fostered through FCA, they have fun activities and they have picked a good foster family for me, I feel like I came into care like a caterpillar and I have now grown into a butterfly.