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Celebrating children in foster care

The school half term is here and we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate some of the amazing achievements our children in care and foster carers have made since September. This academic year the return to school has been an anxious time, the children have had lots of new rules and guidelines to follow and parents and carers have also had to adjust to the new ways of school life. It has not been easy for anyone, but this pandemic has been especially difficult for vulnerable children and families. It is truly inspiring to see the children achieving and learning so much and demonstrating just how resilient they can be.

Since schools re-opened in September, several of the children looked after by our foster carers have moved schools and the transitions have gone smoothly. A* has only been with his carers for a few weeks but he has already navigated a successful school move and came home with a certificate celebrating how well he had done on his very first day. B* was having some issues with behaviour at his previous school but has already had a sticker for ‘good listening’ since he started at his new school recently. B is also working really hard every day at learning the alphabet and his sister D* was recently moved to the top sets for maths and English. Another child, C*, is eight years old but has recently moved up to age nine/ten reading books.

The children are not only having to deal with all the Covid-19 guidelines at school but are also having to settle into a new setting and are doing exceptionally well. It is not just the academic achievements we want to acknowledge. Children from difficult and traumatic backgrounds can sometimes find things like making friends, following rules and behaving appropriately quite difficult. This is often where foster carers need to use their skills to help guide and support the children through their challenges and together with the help of school staff can help children to learn coping strategies and understand how to follow rules. For example, G* previously  spent the majority of time at school out of the classroom with support staff but this term has been able to remain in the classroom with his peers and has received his biggest number of ‘positive points’ to date. T has been voted as student rep by his peers at college and B has received the head teacher’s award this half term for being kind.

foster child reading a book

Fostering is much more than giving a child a place to stay, foster carers can help children to learn, grow and achieve more than they ever thought possible. Occasionally, children and young people can find it difficult to ask for help and support and can try to deal with conflicts and issues at school in their own way, with some difficult results. E* has in the past had difficulty avoiding conflict at school but has recently been utilising coping strategies he has learnt from his teachers and carers. E* is now taking himself away from incidents and having some calming and thinking time before returning. In the past E* would have become physically or verbally aggressive in certain situations (like sharing a football at break) but is now using all the strategies he has learnt to avoid conflicts.

We are proud of all the children who have managed to maintain their attendance and make new friends during this difficult first half term back at school. Like the children they look after, foster carers have been overcoming their own challenges during this pandemic. We want to say thank you to all our carers who have continued to care for, love, support and inspire the young people they look after, while finding new ways to keep contact with birth families and keep up to date with training, meetings and appointments. There are new restrictions being introduced across the country and it looks like life may be about to get more difficult and complicated again but we know all our foster carers will continue to provide exceptional care to the children they look after. Children and young people are more resilient than they are given credit for and we are sure they will continue to achieve great things at home and at school in the months ahead.

Could you help to support a vulnerable child through fostering? If you are over 21, have a spare bedroom and are passionate about providing children with a safe and nurturing home, we would love to hear from you. To contact our of our team you can get in touch with our independent fostering agency by phoning 0800 524 4797 or emailing admin@focusfostercare.com

( * names have been concealed to protect children’s confidentiality)

fostering

To find out more about fostering and how to become a foster carer with our independent fostering agency, please read the following pages on our website:
Types of foster care.
Who can foster?
How to become a foster carer with Focus Foster Care.
Fostering – frequently asked questions.
The benefits of fostering with Focus Foster Care.