Following the success of Adoption Activity Days, these events for fostering aim to focus on securing families for children who need to remain looked after under fostering arrangements.
The ethos of the events remains the same, in that the emphasis is on bringing together children and young people who are waiting for permanence with a wide range of foster carers who want to commit to caring for children on a long term basis. Foster carers to date have traditionally needed to rely on the available written information about a potential new placement and getting a real sense of a child and their personality is more difficult to achieve. Activity days therefore provide an opportunity for meeting the child and their carers and importantly for an element of “chemistry” to take place.
With increasing numbers of children entering care, the highest number on record, Coram is keen to ensure the focus on securing permanency for children is applied equally to all children waiting for a family and that may mean via adoption or fostering. This was the motivation behind the agencies participating in the three pilot activity days over the last twelve months. They wanted to put the spotlight back on fostering and to provide a parity of service in terms of family finding for older children who need to remain looked after. Agencies were also particularly keen to involve children in their own family finding and decision making.
Participating agencies included Kent, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Slough, Reading, Maidenhead, Windsor and West Berkshire; and the events involved 30 children and 22 fostering households with 13 matches were secured. Follow this link for an evaluation of the pilots.
- Agencies relayed that they felt the days provided an opportunity to speed up and improve the quality of the matching by involving foster carers and children much more.
- When a match was not secured, some current foster carers (4 in total) subsequently sought to formalise their long term commitment to a child
- Foster carers felt that children were less likely to be ruled out when met in person compared to the usual placement referral information, which tended to be overly negative
- Children relayed in their feedback postcards that they loved the activities and it was good to meet other children who were also in care.
We are putting on briefing sessions for people / agencies who would like to find out more. We have two sessions in the next month:
- Wednesday 20 September at Coram, London (flyer)
- Tuesday 3 October in Manchester
If you are interested in attending please contact [email protected]