Supporting foster carers high on agenda for FCA experts at IFCO

Archived: Posted August 17, 2016
Jan Rees

FCA’s Co-founder Jan Rees, OBE is a speaker at the IFCO Conference in September

Supporting foster carers is critical to improving outcomes for looked after children and young people and will be the over-arching theme for workshops and sessions being run by Foster Care Associates (FCA) at the International Foster Care Organisation (IFCO) Conference in Sheffield next month (1st -4th September).

Jan Rees OBE, who was originally a foster carer and whose determination and innovative approach to child-centred foster care and support services for children and families, has been essential in the successful development of FCA and then Core Assets since its formation, will be running a workshop on ‘How effective support for foster carers can help a young person’, at 4pm on September 2.

Chrissy Rolfe is a psychotherapist and social worker with more than 20 years’ experience, based at FCA Cymru North, specialises in developmental trauma, attachment and provision of therapeutic placement and she will be hosting a workshop on ‘Sexually harmful behaviour: Safe and Secure. Focus on Foster Carers – the tale of two brothers’ at 11am, on September 3.

Ian Thomas

FCA Care Leaver, Ian Thomas will be speaking at the IFCO conference in September

FCA care leaver Ian Thomas, who works as national participation officer for FCA and advisor to the board for care leaver charity the Rees Foundation, has many years’ experience as a support worker with children in foster care and as a public speaker on his own care experience. He will be delivering a talk on ‘Living with Strangers – developing and delivering the voice of care experience’, at the Pennine Lecture Theatre, at 10am, on September 4.

Ville Kantola is a social worker in Finland, who works for Perhehoitokumppanit Suomessa Oy (PKS), which provides foster care services to municipalities and is part of Core Assets. He has been working eight years in child welfare, both in residential and foster care and has completed his social work master-thesis on parent and child placements. His workshop ‘Parents’ empowerment during parent and child placements in foster care’, takes place on September 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm.

Mark Costello, CEO at FCA comments; “Supporting foster carers is critical to ensuring positive outcomes for looked after children and young people and we are so proud to be able to field so much expertise from both our national and international teams on key learnings in this areas. As a pioneering, mission-led organisation, we are keen to innovate and conferences like IFCO are a great opportunity to gain new insight and to share experience that can benefit all.”

Two speakers from Rees Foundation, the care leavers’ charity set up by FCA founder Jan Rees OBE, will also be hosting sessions at the event. Project Development Manager at the charity Afshan Ahmed will deliver a workshop on ‘The Rees Panel Project – The value of care experienced panel members’ at 11am and another one at 4pm on ‘Living With Strangers – learning from care experience’, both on September 2.

Director at Rees Foundation, Sarah Milan will explore ‘Revolution Events – the power of peer learning networks’ at 4pm on September 3.

The IFCO 2016 European Conference takes place at Sheffield Hallam University from 1 -4 September. Visit http://2016conference.ifco.info/en/conference/about.html#.V6s9g5grK1s

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