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The lessons lockdown is teaching children and young people – not all learning takes place at a desk

It has been over a month since schools across the UK closed and parents and carers were given the task of educating their children at home. Whilst many parents may be thriving in their new role as teacher and their children responding well to the change from classroom to kitchen table, other families may be struggling.

The pandemic has changed so many aspects of daily life in such a short space of time and people looking after children are now being asked to do more than ever before. Parents must now juggle working from home alongside caring for and educating their children, all whilst dealing with the anxiety and stress that comes with living through a global crisis. The pressure and expectation to ‘do it all’ can be overwhelming and many carers and parents may feel as though they are not doing enough to educate their children at home. It is important for everyone to remember that children will find it difficult to learn in a stressful environment and anxious and overwhelmed parents do not make for the best of teachers. It is equally vital that parents do not put added pressure on themselves during this time and only do as much home schooling as they can without negatively impacting their own and their children’s mental health. Home should be a safe and happy space and the last thing children and their care givers need right now is to be arguing over school work

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The fostering sector, Coronavirus and lockdown.

Coronavirus has changed the lives of millions of people across the world. Be it through contracting the infection, unemployment or the loss of normality and freedom through lockdown, people everywhere are being affected in many ways because of the pandemic. In the fostering sector, we are managing changes in the way we deliver our services due to the strict restrictions and guidelines put in place by the government to keep the population safe. For children in care and those living with foster families, the pandemic has caused many different challenges. At Focus Foster Care, our team, our carers and the children’s services we work alongside have all had to adapt so children are still being given the best care, their mental wellbeing continues to be protected, their learning promoted and everyone is being kept as safe as possible from Covid-19.

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Why choose Focus Foster Care – benefits of fostering with our independent fostering agency

There are many things to consider when enquiring into fostering but one of the most important decisions is choosing who to foster for. Local Authorities (LA) assess and approve foster carers through the council to look after children needing homes in that specific local area. Independent fostering agencies (IFA), like Focus Foster Care, recruit, assess and approve people from various areas and work closely with several local children’s services to find the best placements for children. Focus Foster Care is an independent fostering agency helping children from many different villages, towns and cities in the West and East Midlands and surrounding areas. However, we are not the only Independent Fostering Agency in this area, so why should you choose to join our family of foster carers and not foster with a different agency? This blog post highlights the reasons to choose Focus Foster Care if you are considering a career in fostering

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Meet the team – Ilfa Duale, family support worker

It is time for the latest edition of ‘Meet the team’. This is a regular blog feature where you have the opportunity to get to know a member of our team a little better. Focus Foster Care is one big family and we want you to feel comfortable and at ease when contacting us for the first time. We hope our ‘Meet the team’ posts will help you to get to know everyone at Focus Foster Care on a more personal level and encourage you to find out how you can join our family too. So far our registered manager, social worker, office administrator and supervising social worker have all been under the spotlight. Today it is Ilfa’s turn to introduce herself. Take it away Ilfa..

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Coronavirus and the wellbeing of looked after children – advice for foster families

Life as a child being looked after away from home can be full of anxiety and uncertainty. A child may feel like what happens with their lives is out of their control and moving away from their birth families (even if just temporarily) can be a really scary time. With the current Coronavirus pandemic taking over our lives, I am sure many of us feel similar to these children right now: scared, anxious and overwhelmed. We wanted to write a short post today to update you on what is happening at Focus Foster Care during the Coronavirus outbreak and to share important information on how this crisis will likely impact on looked after children. We hope everyone is keeping safe and would like to remind our foster carers we are still available on the phone any time you need us.

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Meet the team – Jess Rowe-Martin, office administrator

Welcome back to Meet the team, our monthly feature where we introduce another member of the Focus Foster Care team. So far our registered manager Kevin, our social worker Fiona and our supervising social worker Emma have all introduced themselves. The purpose of our Meet the Team posts is to help all potential foster carers to get to know every one at Focus and feel more at ease when making that first phone call and having their first home visits with one of the team. We understand that applying to foster can feel overwhelming and perhaps a bit daunting and we hope these posts will reassure those wanting to foster with us that we are just people too and there’s nothing to worry about. For today’s Meet the team post, we are handing you over to our office administrator, Jess.

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20 reasons to become a foster carer in 2020

The New Year is here and most people are setting themselves goals and resolutions for the next twelve months. Whilst we all have our own reasons for making resolutions like eat more healthily/take up jogging and so on, perhaps this year more of us should consider doing something that could change the lives of vulnerable children. Fostering is a challenge, it takes work but is also extremely rewarding. If you want to make a change in 2020 to your own life and make a positive impact on the lives of local children then fostering could be something for you to consider. At our independent fostering agency we believe every child deserves a happy childhood and we do all we can to embrace the lives of vulnerable children. 2020 could be the year you join our team of foster carers and really make a difference where it is needed most. We are not saying don’t take up jogging if that’s something you want to do but if you have a big heart and have been thinking about doing something really worthwhile and rewarding, perhaps you can make 2020 the year you begin your fostering journey. Here are 20 reasons why we think becoming a foster carer is a great goal to set yourself in 2020.

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Meet the team – Fiona Aristidou, social worker

Welcome back to Meet the Team, our monthly blog feature where you can get to know the people who work here at Focus Foster Care a little better. In our first post we introduced you to Kevin our registered manager, you can read all about him by clicking here. Today, our social worker Fiona is taking over. Our Meet the team features are here so you can get to know us all a bit better and, if you are considering becoming a foster carer with our independent fostering agency, hopefully you will feel more at ease about picking up the phone and having a chat with us. We are a small team, we are our own little family and we hope you enjoy getting to know us all. Now, over to Fiona…

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25 ideas to spend quality time together as a foster family this Christmas.

The festive season is now well and truly upon us and this year we have something very special to share with you. At this time of year we can all feel a lot of pressure to spend lots of money on presents for our children. Whilst of course we recognise gifts are a big part of Christmas, we urge you all to try and remember this quote in the lead up to Christmas Day , “Children need our PRESENCE more than they need our PRESENTS “.

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5 things every potential foster carer needs to know

Being a foster carer is not always easy and is something you should think a lot about beforehand. As with many things in life, you cannot ever be completely prepared for life as a foster parent; you can only know exactly what fostering is like when you are going through the experience yourself. However, it is always beneficial to research as much as you can and try and get a better idea of what life might be like if you were to become a foster carer. In this post we are sharing five things we think every potential foster carer needs to know. This list has been compiled with the knowledge of our social workers and team here at Focus Foster Care. If you are considering becoming a foster carer yourself then we hope this post helps you get a better understanding of foster care and what life will be like as a foster parent.

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