Statement of Purpose

Talawa Fostering Services believes that positive placements will aid positive outcomes for children and young people.

Talawa Fostering Services is a steadily developing fostering agency. The Directors are Jan Lord and Sian Baptiste who between them have extensive experience in the field of substitute family placement, working with young people and business management. Central to the Agency’s service provision is our commitment to

Promoting the highest standards of care at all times


Maintaining the integrity of a child-centred approach

As our strap line suggests we believe that positive placements can lead to positive outcomes for children and young people, and therefore we are committed to maintaining the following:

  • Providing a service which has the child as the focus and the central focus of the service

  • Providing a service which values and respects carers and their families

  • Placing children with carers who will provide sensitive care; taking account of all of their needs, e.g. promoting education and physical and emotional well-being

  • Providing placements where children can be positively valued and supported, and nurtured in a safe environment

  • Promoting a service which positively provides placements to address the child’s cultural and racial heritage, including children of black and white parents

  • Providing carers who have a high commitment to on-going training and development, with all household members fully involved in the process

  • Carers who can nurture the child’s potential and build their self-esteem

 

Service provision

 

Talawa Fostering Services offer a range of different types of fostering placements, for children and young people aged 0 - 18.

 

  • Short term fostering

  • Longer term fostering

  • Permanent placements

  • Parent and child placements

  • Independent parenting assessments by experienced social workers (CVs available on request)

  • Independent psychological assessments for parenting assessments (CVs available on request)

  • Direct work with children from qualified experienced therapists.

 

We specialise in placements for children with disabilities; parent and child placements and we are able to offer very experienced foster carers who are able to work with children and young people with complex needs, either in terms of their traumatic background and challenging behaviour.

 

Our carers will:

 

  • Help children/young people understand why they are looked after, being as honest and sensitive as possible in their communications with children appropriate to their age and understanding;

 

  • Interact with young people on all levels, in order to build a trusting relationship;

 

  • Help to promote the child’s dignity and nurture the development of positive self-image;

 

  • Help children and young people reach their full potential educationally and socially;

 

  • Work with the children and young people at each child’s own pace and in consideration of their feelings and opinions;

 

  • Positively promote the child’s ‘race’, ethnicity, language, religion, cultural background and heritage;

 

  • Have knowledge and understanding of child development, including the effects of abuse and be able to work with a wide range of behaviour;

 

  • Have the commitment to working with birth families;

 

  • Have a commitment to on-going training and development;

 

  • Support children to make positive moves through rehabilitation back to their birth family, or to a new permanent family or onto independence;

 

  • Have other relevant skills such as report writing, participation in planning meetings, reviews, and court work;

 

  • Have the ability to work with range of professionals.

As Directors we will:

·Endeavour to promote and demonstrate the integrity of the Agency in terms of our service provision and in our dealing with children and young people, foster carers, employees, social workers and other allied professionals;

·Ensure our Agency operates within an anti-discriminatory framework;

·Recognise our responsibility for ensuring that standards of good practice are applied and maintained;

·Involve the child appropriately in the functioning of the Agency – the voice of the child will inform Agency practice and procedures;

·Consult with the children/young people, their families and others significant to them, foster carers, and staff, on their experience of the service and on required improvements;

·Work in partnership with local authorities and allied professional bodies;

·Openly declare potential or actual conflict of interest in our dealings with local authorities, other Agencies, prospective and approved foster carers.

As directors we fully embrace our role and responsibilities as ‘corporate parents’ for the children and young people who will be looked after by our foster carers.

 

As part of the service we offer, we will work together with the child’s social worker to contribute to the assessment of the child or young person; assist in the formulation and implementation of individual care plans; work to facilitate contact with the child’s or young person’s family and other significant people as agreed and provide regular written reports to the placing agency.

 

Placing authorities are always invited to contribute to reviews of our foster carers.  We also welcome comments on any other aspects of our services.  Talawa Fostering Services is subject to continuous independent monitoring and quality control.

 

We aim to work in partnership with local authorities and our wish is always to have open and honest communication in our interactions with purchasers of our services.

 

The children and young people placed with Talawa Fostering Services’ foster carers will be offered the opportunity to live in a safe, structured and supportive setting, which we believe will assist their emotional and physical development and sense of wellbeing.

 

OUR VALUES

 

Our aim is to enable children to fulfil their potential.

 

Talawa Fostering Services ensures that our carers receive appropriate training and support so they understand and work positively with the children’s experiences and needs. Working in partnership is an important principle of the Agency. We acknowledge that there is a power imbalance in the arrangements between the local authority, the Agency, children and their families, and the carers. This will not prevent us from working in a spirit of partnership, where each party’s views will be listened to and acknowledged. Our expectation will be for open communication and sharing of information within the bounds of our legal obligations and confidentiality considerations.

“Children who are looked after should have the same opportunities as all other children for education, including further education and higher education, and access to other opportunities for development. They should also, where necessary, receive additional help, encouragement and support to address special needs or compensate for previous deprivation or disadvantages”.

(The Children 1989 Act Guidance).

 

We have handbooks for parents and children, children and young people, which will be given to all children and young people of an appropriate age.

In conclusion, Talawa Fostering Services is committed to recruiting and retaining a team of skilled, dedicated foster carers.  We believe that the best way to achieve this is to offer comprehensive assessment, initial and ongoing training programmes, high levels of individual and group support and financial recognition appropriate to the task.  Foster carers are valued members of the care team, afforded the status and respect commensurate with their responsibilities.

 

 

THE VALUES THAT UNDERPIN OUR WORK

In coming into the public care system, children face a tremendous amount of loss. Our service aims to recognise this, and to provide care in a way that will minimise unnecessary loss and provide children with as much continuity as possible. Understanding the impact on children of their life experiences before becoming ‘looked after’ is critical in this process. These issues are particularly significant for black and minority ethnic children, and disabled children. We also recognise the stigma of being a ‘looked after’ child. Our aim is to enable children to fulfil their potential. Our agency will ensure that our carers receive appropriate training and support, to understand and work positively with the children’s experiences and needs.

 

Working in partnership is an important principle of the agency. We acknowledge that there is a power imbalance in the arrangements between the local authority, the agency, children and their families, and the carers. This will not prevent us from working in a spirit of partnership, where each party’s views will be listened to and acknowledged. Our expectation will be for open communication and sharing of information, however we will be mindful of our legal obligations and confidentiality considerations in general.

 

  • Each individual is unique and has an inherent right to develop their potential, regardless of their previous life experience.

  • Children have the right to be looked after by adults who offer them respect, concern, affection and experiences appropriate to their individual needs.

  • The significance of the child’s birth family, their race, culture, religion and their origins.

 

SERVICE PRINCIPLES AND OBJECTIVES

 

Children, young people and their families, are provided with foster care services that celebrate achievement, value diversity and promote equality of opportunity, which will in turn achieve the best outcomes for children.

 

Talawa Fostering Services will ensure that children placed with our foster carers will:

 

  • Be carefully matched with a carer capable of meeting their assessed needs.

 

  • Be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and deprivation.

 

  • Be encouraged to maintain and develop family contacts and friendships as set out in their care and contact plans and placement agreement.

 

  • Have a written health care plan and receive health services, including information and education appropriate to their age and understanding to enable them to participate in decisions about their health care needs.

 

  • Have a personal education plan that priorities their learning and educational needs and encourages them to realise their full potential.

 

  • When they are approaching the end of their stay in care, they have a pathway plan and whilst being fostered they are helped to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for independent living.

 

  • Continue to receive support and guidance for as long as is necessary after being in foster care.

 

  • Have access to services which recognise and address their needs associated with their gender, religion, ethnic origin, language, culture, disability, sexuality and:

 

  • have their identity and self-esteem valued and promoted

 

  • have their ethnic, cultural and religious background accurately recorded, understood, respected and preserved

 

  • be supported and encouraged to develop skills to help them deal with all forms of discrimination.

 

  • Receive specific services to meet any disability and support to help them maximise their potential and lead as full a life as possible.

 

  • Receive encouragement and equal access to opportunities to develop and pursue their talents, interests or hobbies appropriate to their age and ability.

  • Be able to exercise their rights to participate in decisions related to the care they receive.

 

  • Plan for their future - according to their age, experience and understanding.

 

  • Be provided with advocacy and support where necessary to exercise those rights.

 

We seek to ensure that our foster carers understand the impact on children of their life experiences before becoming ‘looked after’.These issues are particularly significant for black and minority ethnic children, and disabled children.We also recognise the stigma of being a ‘looked after’ child.Our aim is to enable children to fulfil their potential.

 

CODE OF CONDUCT

  • All employees working for Talawa Fostering Services will be expected to uphold the Agency’s rules and expectations regarding confidentiality.

 

  • All employees will be expected to behave in a professional manner in their dealing with the general public and with allied professionals.

 

  • When disagreements arise in the working relationship, they will be dealt with speedily and openly, and in a professional manner.

 

  • Abusive, racist or other derogatory language will not be tolerated, even if presented in jest.

 

  • No allowance will be made for violent or threatening behaviour from any member of staff.

 

  • Any person working for Talawa Fostering services must declare gifts received to their line manager.  Gifts or tokens such as flowers or chocolates are acceptable.  However, any other items cannot be accepted and must be declined.  Monetary gifts are absolutely unacceptable.

 

  • Where the disagreement is between the Agency and carers, there will be an independent element in resolving it.  All carers and their families, and Agency staff will have access to the complaints procedure.

 

  • When a young person is looked after by one of the Agency’s foster carers, they will be given a Children’s Guide to the Agency, and a copy of the Complaints Procedure.