Figures released today (8th January 2014) by the Fostering Network, the leading charity for all those involved in foster care, indicate the need for additional foster carers throughout the United Kingdom is as critical as ever. Taking into consideration the turnover in the foster workforce, the numbers of children in care in any one day and the need to increase the size of the pool of available foster carers, the Fostering Network has calculated the need to recruit a further 8,600 foster carers during 2014. Carers for teenagers, children with disabilities and sibling groups are in demand constantly, and matching these young people with foster carers with the appropriate skills to care for them is a challenge all foster care providers face each day. In England alone, during 2013, nearly 500 sibling groups were separated purely due to lack of carers. There is no doubt that fostering is a challenging career but there are many people who would make excellent foster carers and we at Pathway Care need them to come forward as a matter of urgency. To become a foster carer, you don’t need formal qualifications; your life experience is more important so if you have a spare bedroom in your home, could offer care and support to a child or children and are ready to make a positive difference to their lives, we need to hear from you. Pathway Care carers enjoy excellent training, comprehensive support and a generous allowance, so take the first step in your fostering career by completing the form on the right hand side of this page today.
With mobile and social media booming on the internet, Pathway Care is in the process of establishing a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. This addition to the Pathway Care brand has been born out of the need for instant and quality communication with our existing and potential stakeholders to ensure that we provide the best quality of service to everyone we deal with. In addition, the introduction of a social media presence will help improve our online presence and visibility on search engines such as Google. For those unfamiliar with the concept of social media, the term social network has been around since the 1950s, but the meteoric rise of social-networking sites such as, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, has turned a dated phrase into the hottest buzzword of the Internet age. With this in mind Pathway Care are very excited to announce, that we are officially launching our Facebook and Twitter pages. You can find our Facebook page here: facebook.com/PathwayCareFostering or by searching for Pathway Care in the search box. You can find our Twitter page here: twitter.com/PathwayCare or by searching for the Twitter handle @PathwayCare. If you require any further information in regards to this launch, please do not hesitate to contact the PR & Communications department, you can call direct at 02920 815321.
Each year, we contact our ‘customers’ to ask them for feedback on our service. Foster carers, children, young people and local authorities are approached to let us know how well we’ve supported them. The positive aspects of our service and suggestions of areas for improvement. We actively encourage all feedback and use it to improve and shape our services. If you are one of our valued foster carers, are being looked after by our foster carers or are a member of staff at a local authority who has received a consultation survey from us, please could you ensure you complete and return the form to us by Friday 28th March? If you’ve lost your blank survey, they are available to download here: Foster Carer Survey Children aged 4 – 11 Young people aged 12+ Local Authority Survey For every completed survey we receive we will donate £2 to the Make-a-wish Foundation Once responses have been collated and the results of our 2013/14 survey are known, we shall publish ‘infographics’ on our website: www.pathwaycare.com/, so watch this space for further announcements!
Evidence indicated that the ethos and practices employed by the agency were well developed and well placed to provide good quality care to children and to monitor their progress (findings of CSSIW inspection of Pathway Care, Cardiff) Foster carers and staff of Pathway Care’s South Wales region were delighted to receive a glowing report following an inspection by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) in February 2014. Consultation took place with our foster carers, the children for whom they care and staff of the organisation during the three day inspection and the resultant report spoke of our positive contribution to the lives children and young people in our care. The report found our foster carers were subject to comprehensive and well developed vetting and training and were well supported by a robust management and staff team. The children and young people in their care provided feedback for their foster carer’s annual review, were encouraged to communicate with staff at Pathway Care and participation groups were held to consult them on their role in fostering and their support needs. Pathway Care’s Sharon Cavaliere was justifiably proud of the glowing report As regional service manager, I am really pleased with our inspection report. It clearly reflects the quality of care provided by our foster carers and the professional and experience level of support provided by both the social work and management teams. A copy of the full report is available to view Inspection Report 2014
Members of the team at Pathway Care’s Bristol office took a fun trip to Lazerquest in Weston Super Mare recently, with a group of both looked after and birth children – some of the carers joined in on the fun too. It was a great day, and everyone had a great time, even though it was exhausting for some. After the lazer tagging had come to an end, everyone sat down to enjoy a spot of lunch. The team are very much looking forward to the next Laserquest ‘adventure’ next year.
Statistics released during Foster Care Fortnight, by charity the Fostering Network, indicate a crisis looming for vulnerable children and young people in need of the safety and security of a foster home. In a survey of 2,600 foster carers, the charity found 75% were aged 45 plus. A mere 4% fell into the 20 to 34 year age bracket. Robert Tapsfield, Chief Executive of the Fostering Network, undertook media interviews to spread the message that more young people aged 21 and over are needed urgently to avert the crisis. Mr Tapsfield spoke of the wealth of experience and life skills offered by mature foster carers, but warned that at some point in 10-15 years, many would be looking towards retirement leaving a huge shortfall in this vital service. It’s vital we reach out to more younger people in their 20’s, 30’s & early 40’s and are clear that their age is not important, but rather their skills and qualities to look after fostered children. Each day, 63,000 children are fostered by 52,500 carers. Every 20 minutes of every hour of every day, a child or young person comes into care. To cope with this demand alone, a further 8,600 new foster homes are needed this year. Don’t let age be a barrier to you becoming a foster carer – young or not so young, the message is clear; it’s your skills and ability that count. Contact the Pathway Care Carer Recruitment Team on 0844 915 0101 or click here to take your next step towards becoming a foster carer.
Nearly three quarters of people believe they would not be accepted as foster carers. We provide you with the statistics and dispel the ‘myths’ of fostering in this infographic.
In a bid to raise awareness for the ever-growing need or foster families in the UK, TV chef and former model, Lorraine Pascale, will be revisiting her past in a new documentary on BBC 2, entitled ‘Fostering & Me’. Having spent much of her time growing up in various foster homes, Lorraine’s understanding of the importance behind recruiting foster families is more than apparent. The documentary finds her exposing some of the hard truths of the world of foster care, as well as exploring her own, often distressing experiences. Click here for more information on ‘Fostering & Me with Lorraine Pascale’.