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Foster Care Fortnight 2021

This year Foster Care Fortnight is taking place between the 10th and 23rd May. Foster Care Fortnight is an annual campaign by The Fostering Network. The aim of Foster Care Fortnight is the raise the profile of foster care and to show how fostering can transform the lives of children and young people across the UK. The theme for Foster Care Fortnight this year is Why We Care. The Fostering Network are encouraging everyone in the fostering community to share why they foster and the reasons why they care. Our newest foster carer, N, has shared the reasons why she fosters in this blog post. We hope by reading her thoughts on why she cares you will be encouraged to think about fostering and feel inspired to help children in need in your local area.

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Coronavirus update March 2021

It has been twelve months since the first national lockdown was announced and the UK population were asked to stay at home. With the first anniversary of lockdown prompting the country to look back on all the events of the last year, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect and acknowledge the hard work of our team of foster carers, social workers and support staff here at Focus Foster Care. We are also looking forward…

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Fostering as a career – 6 facts aspiring foster carers need to know

Fostering is so much more than just a job. Foster carers do not choose this career as just a means to pay the bills, they do it because they have a passion to provide love and support to children in need. One of our foster carers has described fostering as a “feeling you get deep within your heart” and she is right. Foster carers are inspiring and selfless and they put their own heart on the line to help heal the hearts of the children who come into their care. It takes a certain type of person to be a foster carer and fostering will not be a viable career choice for everyone. However, if you are interested in becoming a foster carer and want to know more about what a career in fostering is like, this post is full of useful information.

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Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 – 5 resources for parents and carers

February 1st – 7th is Children’s Mental Health week. This week is organised by Place 2 Be charity whose aim is to help children suffering from various mental health conditions by providing education, counselling and support. The charity also provide parents, carers and school staff with information, guidance and training to enable them to effectively offer support to vulnerable children. The theme for Children’s Mental Health week 2021, is ‘Express Yourself’. Children and young people do not always know how to express how they are feeling, sometimes they may struggle to find the words or the desire to talk about their emotions and thoughts. A trusted adult can help children find ways to express their feelings and foster carers play a key role in helping vulnerable children and young people learn how to do this.

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Jobs that provide transferable skills for aspiring foster carers.

Are you considering a career in fostering but are unsure if you have the relevant skills? Although it may be an advantage, a person is not required to have worked in the childcare sector specifically to become a foster carer. There are many jobs that will provide individuals with the transferable skills and a foundation of experience and knowledge necessary to begin the fostering journey. Many professions will equip people with skills that can be used to successfully support and nurture children through difficult periods in their lives as well as the other aspects of the role including working as part of a team and keeping detailed written records. Read on to learn whether your current job role could help you realise your dream to foster a vulnerable child.

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Fostering during the Covid19 pandemic – what to expect from making your first enquiry through to attending fostering panel

Foster carers continue to be urgently needed as we begin this New Year. There are thousands of children in need of foster care across the UK and the pandemic continues to put vulnerable children at risk. Becoming a foster carer during the pandemic is possible and we encourage you to get in touch with our independent fostering agency if you are considering a career in fostering. During lockdown last year our newest team member N* made her initial enquiry into fostering with Focus. Whilst many businesses and industries have been put on hold, people working in the fostering sector have not stopped throughout all the challenges of the pandemic and we welcomed N* as our newest foster carer in July. If you are passionate about helping children to achieve their potential and believe every child deserves a happy childhood, we want to hear from you. To put your mind at rest and to tell you all about becoming a foster carer during the pandemic, we have an interview with N. N went through the whole process to becoming a foster parent in the early months of the pandemic and has shared her experience, right from the first enquiry through to attending our virtual panel. This interview will show you it is possible to become a foster carer during the pandemic and will hopefully encourage you to get in touch with us today if you are thinking about fostering.

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Become a foster carer in 2021 – have the challenges of the pandemic given you a new sense of empathy for children in foster care?

2020 has been a life changing year for everyone. Whether it be through contracting COVID-19, losing a loved one to the virus, facing financial struggles, battling loneliness, missing family and friends or balancing working from home with home-schooling – the pandemic has forced us all to adapt and face some of our greatest challenges. Yet here we are, the end of 2020 is here and you are still here reading this. You’ve made it through one of the toughest years in recent history. It’s important to reflect on everything that has happened but then it will be time to look ahead to 2021 and the things you can do to make a positive difference in the new year.

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Fostering at Christmas time – an interview with a Focus foster carer.

Life as a foster family is full of ups and downs, there are happy times and challenging periods too. However, Christmas and the festive season can be a particularly difficult time for children in foster care. When it was announced last week that Christmas bubbles could only be for Christmas Day and several areas of the UK were placed into tier 4, families were left disappointed that they couldn’t be together for the holidays. Thousands of children feel this sadness every year when they are unable to spend Christmas with their families, for various reasons. This is why foster carers are so important, they provide children with a safe and loving home and can help them experience a happy family Christmas that many of us have previously taken for granted. If you are thinking of fostering in the new year and are curious what fostering at Christmas must be like, our foster carer N* has shared her experience of her first Christmas period as a foster carer. N joined the Focus Foster Care family in July, she has two daughters who live at home and is currently a foster carer for one child.

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Anti-bullying week 2020 – United against bullying.

This week is Anti-bullying week, an event organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance. Anti-bullying week aims to address the issue of bullying and provide support, information and guidance for schools, parents, cares and children.

The theme this year is United Against Bullying and the week began with Odd Socks Day, an opportunity for children to celebrate their differences and individualism.

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What to expect from an initial visit with a social worker to discuss becoming a foster carer.

The first step to becoming a foster carer with our independent fostering agency is getting in contact with our team. You can either phone Focus Foster Care on 0800 524 4797 or email admin@focusfostercare.com . Following a conversation with a member of our team, if you continue to be interested in fostering, the next step would be for an initial visit at your home to take place. If you would like to be prepared for what is to come during this very early yet important stage of your fostering journey, we have answered some frequently asked questions about the first visit with a social worker in this post. Big life changes and decisions are often accompanied with some anxiety, we hope this post puts your mind at rest and helps you to feel prepared to confidently take your first step into life as a foster carer.

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