A social worker will support you in your fostering career. Can you foster? Can you change lives? Take our quick survey.
The support from your supervising social worker could make all the difference.
Kam explains how she supports foster carers.
As a supervising social worker for a Local Authority my role is to support you in your vocation as a foster carer. There are many ways this can be provided and will include the following:
- keep in frequent touch with you, your family and children or young people in placement through regular visits, email and telephone calls
- arrange for or facilitate any additional support services needed
- provide support and guidance for you with attending meetings, writing reports, keeping records etc.
- provide support and guidance to help manage contact visits and communication between the child/children and their birth relatives
- encourage your development as a foster carer by identifying specialist training needs.
- Support you to achieve your learning and development objectives and further your skills and knowledge set
- Ensure all required recordings are up to date hence providing a detailed account of the progress of children placed with you
- Facilitate face to face appointments in your home to provide supervision in line with fostering regulations and service provider policy.
Within my remit I will work alongside you and the child’s social worker. The child’s social worker will work alongside me on matching a child who fits with you in terms of approval and also fits with a child that you can see yourself fostering. We continue to share information and attend review meetings to discuss progress. The child’s social workers keep in touch with the children/young person placed with you throughout their placement, making their statutory visits, and make care planning decisions with and for them.
My role is about building relationships with foster carers and their families. I will get to know your whole family including your own children. This enables me to offer you the support you and your family require. My job is to ensure you are provided with the right training, support and information to enable you to provide the best possible outcomes for the children you foster and to help progress your career as a foster carer. I will be able to suggest strategies to help keep the young person and foster family safe and make representation during child reviews supporting the child’s social worker in making relevant referrals for specific support through the care plan.
It is necessary for me to carry out a review after your first year of fostering called an annual foster carer review. The review can and often does recommend a change of approval such as being approved for more children, change of the ages of the children you foster or different categories such as ‘parent and child’ or ‘long term’. Annual foster carer reviews are also a formal opportunity for you the foster carer to give feedback to the panel both positive and negative about your year in fostering.
Foster carer supervision enables me to understand foster carers’ frustrations and the things that bug them, as with every working situation there are challenges to be met, such as when you may feel your views about a child are not considered by professionals. I can recall many occasions where I have been able to advocate for and present the views of my foster carers to other professionals in sometimes intimidating environments. Fostering can be stressful and my aim is to help relieve this stress and pressure.
It can be that everyone involved in the care of a child or young person has the same end goal in meeting the child’s needs, only sometimes they view it from different angles. My aim is that foster carers feel heard, seen and valued as professionals as part of the wider team around the child. Sometimes foster carers will require additional support and I would wholly recommend Fosterline as an independent source of advice and support. Not every time will I agree with the views or actions of the foster carers I supervise but I trust Fosterline to provide an objective and impartial view that is totally confidential.
My message as a supervising social worker to anybody wanting to become a foster carer is “please don’t be put off by the stories you hear, there is a lot of support available to foster carers. We need more people to become foster carers and offer loving homes to vulnerable children. The rewards are immense as are the challenges, but if you love children and enjoy a good challenge, please consider this life changing career.”
Kam- Local Authority Supervising Social Worker
Can you foster? Can you change lives? There is a constant need for foster carers with a shortfall of around 9,000 in this year alone. Don’t delay; start the process today.
Find out if you fit the criteria to foster by completing our quick online survey. (only 11 tick box questions)
Call Fosterline in confidence to find out more about becoming a foster carer on 0800 040 7675. Qualified Fosterline Advisers are available 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.