Fostering News | March 2021 edition

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Fostering News

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Welcome to the March edition of Fostering News. Spring is just around the corner and there are better days to come as lockdown restrictions ease over the next few months. We have a message of thanks from Steve Edwards and get your diaries ready to book in our first virtual FLAG meeting in April. Happy reading ūüėä!

Message from Steve Edwards

Dear Foster Carers,

I hope that everyone is as well as can be expected. It’s been an incredibly difficult year for everyone, both professionally and personally. I know that it’s never been a more challenging time to be a foster carer, it’s also never been a more important time to be a foster carer. I hope that as we move forward and out of the pandemic we take what we have learnt over the past year to make our fostering service even stronger.

We have a virtual FLAG (foster liaison and advisory group) meeting arranged at 7pm on the 26 April 2021. FLAG meetings provide us with an opportunity to say thank you, and to listen to your views on how we can make our Fostering Service even better. I hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend. As always,  thank you for the incredible care and love you provide to the vulnerable children in your care.  

Steve Edwards

Service Director, Youth Families and Social Work

FLAG returns!

desk with keyboard and notepad

The foster liaison and advisory group (FLAG) offers you the opportunity to raise issues and concerns, influence foster care practice, and hear news on both local and national developments for foster care and looked after children.

FLAG meetings are usually held quarterly, however since the first lockdown began last March they have been on hold, so we're excited to be able to bring them back, virtually!

Our first online FLAG meeting will be on Monday 26 April at 7pm. Please email fostering@nottscc.gov.uk if you are able to attend and the recruitment team will share the Microsoft Teams link with you to enable you to join the video call.  

There are currently openings for volunteers for the roles of Treasurer and Chair - if you would like to get involved in one of these roles, please let your supervising social worker know! Here's a bit more info on what's involved:

Chair responsibilities include setting dates and venue for quarterly meetings, inviting foster carers and guest speakers, addressing issues raised by foster carers with senior management, distributing agendas and minutes.

Treasury responsibilities include management of group finance, processing payments for venue and foster carer expenses.

Support for older looked after young people

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Money Matters for those aged over 16

Learning about money and finance is really important and so we are pleased to promote free courses through The Money Charity for young people aged 16 ‚Äď 19, that are being delivered virtually and can be flexible to suit individual requirements. For more information please contact:¬†achievement@nottscc.gov.uk

 

Thinking about university plans?

Now is the time for young people to start thinking about their future plans ‚Äď if this involves applying for or starting any university and they are aged 17 or 18 years old, then we can help support this process by exploring options, choices and myth-busting any worries. We can also link up with an academic mentor through Nottingham Trent University. For further information then please contact:¬†achievement@nottscc.gov.uk

Looked After Team and Leaving Care Service

Therapeutic Care in Focus

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A message from Melissa - Social Work Practice Consultant (Therapeutic), DDP Practitioner:

We are working hard to develop a trauma informed approach across the Fostering Service, and our starting point has to be the role of establishing safety. The impact of trauma on sensory processing needs is particularly important to consider.

Children and young people may display a whole range of behaviours at home and out in the community (including at school/college) which are directly linked to their sensory processing needs and the impact of early life trauma.

The following links provide some good information relating to this:

Sensory processing and trauma - Adoption East Midlands

 

Calming strategies - video from NHS Worcestershire Health and Care

 

SAND (Autism Sensory Therapy Magic Meltdown Therapy) video

- provides a visual aid which may help some children if they are emotionally dysregulated

Adoption UK webinar

- while this webinar is focused on adoptive carers, the content is relevant for all other carers working with children and young people with sensory processing needs. The webinar contains a discussion with Sarah Lloyd Specialist Occupational Therapist, and author of 2 books which I highly recommend:

‚ÄėImproving Sensory Processing in Traumatized Children' (2016), and

‚ÄėBuilding Sensorimotor Systems in Children with Developmental Trauma‚Äô (2020)

Special mention

After many years, Kath Hughes, South Team Fostering Manager, is moving onto a new role within the Council but outside of the fostering service. From supervising social worker, respected panel member and finally dedicated team manager, Kath’s commitment and professionalism will be greatly missed but we wish her all the best with her new venture.

Additional Annual Leave for NCC employee foster carers

If you are an employee, Nottinghamshire County Council have adopted provision within the Special Leave Policy for up to five days leave with pay (pro-rata) to support employees who are also foster carers to attend assessments, meetings, training or settling in of a foster child as part of their fostering role. If you are one of our foster carers who also works for Nottinghamshire County Council then you will be able to access this leave.

Online recruitment events

We are continuing to hold regular virtual recruitment events. If you have any friends or family who you think would make excellent foster carers then please signpost them to one of our events - if they are approved you will receive a referral payment of £250!

Our next events are on Tuesday 16 March, Wednesday 21 April and Thursday 12 May. For start times and links to join the events check out the website.

Fostering events

If you would like to support us at one of our events to share your experience of fostering for Nottinghamshire County Council then please drop us an email at fostering@nottscc.gov.uk, thank you!

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