The majority of children that are placed with Future Families come under the umbrella of ‘mainstream fostering’ and are being placed with carers due to experiencing loss, separation abuse and neglect.
The local authority commission placements from Future Families and we have close and positive relationships with a range of different local authorities in the West Midlands Area.
Short Term Placement
Children can be placed with foster carers for a short period time whilst plans are being made about their future, this could include retuning to the care of a birth parent or family member or being placed with adoptive parents.
Long Term Placement
Many of our foster carers care for children for prolonged periods of time whilst a decision is being made about their long-term future, again this can include returning to family or moving on-to independent living.
Permanency involves matching carers with children on a permanent basis to enable children to stay with carers until the age of 18 years (and sometimes beyond).
Here at Future Families we are committed and dedicated to trying to keep sibling groups together in one household. Foster carers will generally need more than one room that is available and free for fostering brothers and sisters so that they are able to have their own room, space and privacy.
Future Families is able to provide respite placements to meet local authorities’ needs as well as providing respite provisions internally for all our carers to access. Our carers are flexible and experienced and will work alongside professionals and the mainstream foster carer to implement routines and boundaries familiar to the child.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC)
UASC placements require carers to meet the needs of vulnerable children who are likely to have experienced emotional distress and trauma suffered within their own country of origin. In most occasions, a child’s first language will be something other than English and they will most likely share a different culture.
UASC are mainstream fostering placements, although there may be additional needs identified as a result of the young person’s religious, cultural and language needs.
Training specific to UASC placements are provided by the agency within our learning and development programme.
Parent and child placements
These placements are specific to assist and support parents (mothers and fathers) care for their children within a fostering placement. We support our carers to assess and work alongside parents and the local authority whilst they provide direct care for their children and develop their skills as parents.
Training specific to parent and child placements are provided by the agency within our learning and development programme.
Children with disabilities
There are many children with a range of disabilities, such as physical disabilities, learning difficulties, sensory impairments or a combination of these that require foster carers to meet their needs. Future families are committed to ensuring that children with disabilities have the same opportunities as other children placed with our carers and are part of a family.
Carers are specifically recruited and trained to care for children with a diverse range of disabilities so that we can ensure that children’s individual needs are fully met. Carers are provided with support and training to enable them to develop skills, for example medical knowledge and communication skills.
Future Families works very closely with all its carers and the children placed ensuring that we visit our carers and children on a regular basis within the placement. In addition to these visits by social workers, our Support Worker is very active meeting children and young people on a regular basis to ascertain wishes and feelings, building relationships and taking children and young people out.
The Support Worker is able to initiate specific work with children as agreed with the local authority and Future Families that may involve play sessions, activities or meeting in the placement to engage in games and fun.
The Support Worker speaks with all the children in placement and produces a bi-monthly newsletter with their help advising children/young people about what is happening, acknowledges certificates, achievements and birthdays. Children’s groups are also organised where there is a range of activities they can participate in. This works alongside the birth children’s group and newsletter. On occasions the Support Worker will undertake joint groups with both children looked after and birth children.