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Sefton listens to the views of children whose parents foster

Throughout October Sefton has been celebrating Sons and Daughter Month. This is an annual campaign to recognise and say ‘thank you’ to the children of fosters carers for the important work they do in welcoming vulnerable children into their home.

In the lead up to Sons and Daughters Month, Sefton listened to children from fostering families who spoke about how fostering impacts their life, the challenges that growing up in a fostering family brings and the benefits it has.

The children told us;

They explained that the extra rules, lots of visitors to the house could be hard. The biggest impact was seeing their parents time and attention divided.

Some children described the ‘buzz’ of meeting new children and how it brought their family closer;

Cllr Mhairi Doyle MBE, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:

“It’s so important for us to recognise the vital role that children of foster carers play in helping vulnerable young people. Thank you to all those who shared their thoughts and feelings with us. Listening to your voice is key in helping us to continually improve and shape the service to ensure that it benefits children in our care and foster families.

“Our Sons and Daughters really are a testament to our foster carers as they welcome many children who may be scared or unsure, into their homes, make them feel safe and secure and help them settle in.

“If you are thinking about fostering and you already have children, please don’t see this as a barrier. Sefton involves the children of foster carers every step of the way and do all that we can to make them feel valued. Our carers with children tell us how fostering has many benefits in enhancing their life and bringing them closer together as a family unit.

Angela Sitoe Sefton Fostering’s Training Development Officer, conducted the survey and said:

“I was bowled over reading the children’s experiences and by how generous and welcoming they are.  It is clear this can be difficult at times. Thanks to all who support the children in our foster families to be open, loving and where possible make life long connections.”

Sefton’s Foster Carers receive full training and support, plus payments for their skills and allowances. Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team. Get in touch on our freephone number 0800 923 2777

People can also find out more on our dedicated website https://seftonfostering.co.uk/ 

Sons and Daughters Month and our Fostering Family

This October Sefton has been celebrating Sons and Daughter’s month. This is an annual campaign to recognise how children of foster carers play a vital role in helping young people in care feel welcomed and part of their family.

Paul is one of our dedicated foster carers. Him and his wife Angela have three children, work full time and have been fostering for Sefton for three years. Paul wanted to share his heart-warming experience about how his children have really embraced foster care.

“When we were considering fostering, one of the main things we wanted to ensure was that it was going to be the right thing for our own children as well as any children we looked after.

“We have 3 birth children, boys aged 7, 13 and 15.

“We involved them at every stage of the assessment process and still continue to. Before we take on any new children we sit down as a family and discuss the who might be coming to or home. To us we are not just foster parents we are a Foster Family.

“Here we are now, 3 years in and I can honestly say that all of the children we have looked after have enhanced our family and that is by a large part due to our sons welcoming new children into our home and looking after them in their own small ways that have made such a huge difference. Our older children play football in the garden and our younger child plays with them with his toys and games. This really has helped the fostered children settle in much quicker. It has also helped our sons too, with their confidence and sense of pride, particularly our youngest who is proud to say he is a foster family.

“It so important to involve your birth children as it affects them in a huge way too. They do sacrifice a lot sharing not only their toys, but their parents too. For this reason, Sons and Daughters week is one of the biggest weeks in the year for Foster families.

“Thank you to all of the Sons and daughters of all of the foster families for the fantastic work and sacrifice you make.”

Sefton’s Foster Carers receive full training and support, plus payments for their skills and allowances. Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team. Get in touch on our freephone number 0800 923 2777

People can also find out more on our dedicated website https://seftonfostering.co.uk/ 

 

Council encourages people to set sail on a new challenge and foster for Sefton

It was “ship ahoy!” for Sefton’s Fostering Team and foster carers this week as they took a voyage of discovery for

people thinking about taking up fostering.

Setting sail on the ‘Pride of Sefton’ canal boat, the group headed from the Titanic and into the Albert Dock, to raise awareness about fostering and the need for local people to give loving homes to children in Sefton.

The Pride of Sefton is a community focused wide beam canal boat, operated by Sovini Charities, which provides opportunities for passengers to discover Liverpool’s rich heritage by sailing through its hidden waterways.

Among those on board were Angela and Paul, who have fostered with Sefton Council for three years. They joined the crew to help to spread the important message about the rewarding role of fostering.

Angela said: “Fostering has been one of the best things we have ever done. We have three children of our own and we both work full time and our foster children really become part of our family life.

Paul went on to say: “Its just so rewarding and for some people you will never feel that it’s the right time, but you just have to find out more and you will never look back”

Sailing along Merseyside’s waterways, Joan who also fosters for Sefton said:

“My partner Mike wasn’t sure at first but after chatting we decided to go for it and ten years later, we are still enjoying every minute.

“This is why we’ve come today to help Sefton to try and encourage more people to foster for the Council because there are children out there who really need the care and support we can provide.”

Helen Collins, who works with Sefton Fostering’s Recruitment and Support team said:

“Coming out on beautiful days like this not only brings Sefton’s fostering family closer, but also allows us to speak to people face to face, share experiences, and let them know how much they can make a difference to the lives of young people.

“Thank you to Sovini and ‘The Pride of Sefton’ crew who never fail to give us an amazing trip and help us spread the word in a fun way.”

Sefton’s Foster Carers receive full training and support, plus payments for their skills and allowances. Anyone who is thinking about fostering should get in touch by speak to one of the team on our freephone number 0800 923 2777 to find out more.

People can also find out more on our dedicated website https://seftonfostering.co.uk/ 

A Chance to Meet ‘Lifechanging’ Foster Carers Sue & Derek

Sefton Council’s Fostering Services is delighted that local foster carers Sue and Derek will be attending its next virtual information session between 6 and 7pm on Tuesday 17th August. Charlotte, now 17, who has lived with Sue and Derek for six years said the couple changed her life.

Charlotte said:
“Living with Sue and Derek changed my life. They treat me really well, look out for me, do what’s best for me and it’s like being in a proper family.

“They’ve taught me to believe in myself so much that I am now working with the ‘Learning Foundry’ on a business idea I have for a youth bus which will help children meet friends and get advice and help.

“I don’t know where I would be without Sue and Derek’s love and support”

Aimed at anyone who has even thought about fostering, the online sessions are a chance for them to find out more about this rewarding role. At the next event Sue, who has been fostering for 18 years, and Derek, who has just been approved and is now fostering with Sue, will be talking about their own experiences and answering questions.

Speaking about life as a foster carer, Sue said:
“Being a foster carer can be one of the best things you can do. I have seen children unsure about their future, turning their lives around.”

Sue has created such a bond with the children she has looked after, that she has gone onto foster some young people, long term.

Sefton Council needs more foster carers and is inviting anyone who thinks they can give a loving and stable home to children across the Borough to attend the introductory session.

Maria Spatuzzi, Sefton’s Fostering Support Team Manager said:

“Fostering a child is an opportunity to change their life and help them to achieve their full potential.

“We hope anyone that has given fostering any consideration will join us for the online session on Tuesday 17th August to hear what Sue and Derek have to say about what is an extremely beneficial and rewarding the role.”

To join the session people should click on the link to the Teams meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 17th August.

Click here to join the meeting

To make an enquiry or find out more please visit www.seftonfostering.co.uk or call free on 0800 923 2777.

Sefton’s Fostering Team put their best feet forward to take part in a national TikTok challenge

Sefton Council’s Fostering Service have put on their dancing shoes and taken on the ‘Jerusalema Dance Challenge’.

The challenge originated as a TikTok video, but it went viral last year and is now a global sensation.

Fostering teams all over England are now taking part in the dance which is creating a wave of awareness across the country about fostering and the vital role it plays in so many children’s and young people’s lives.

Northumberland’s Foster Care team kicked…or danced off the challenge in May and other local authorities including Sefton, followed in their footsteps.

Lisa Lyons Interim Executive Director of Children Social Care and Education said; “Dance has a great way of bringing people together and the ‘Jerusalema Dance Challenge’ is a perfect example, so we are delighted to take part in the challenge for one main purpose.

“The song behind the dance means ‘go with me, protect me and take me home’. I think this is something with resonates with the role of a foster carer as someone who opens their home to a child or young person to protect and take care of them, longer term or preferably until they can go back to their family home.

“This challenge is a really fun way to celebrate foster care and raise awareness about the need for more local people to help our children and think about fostering for Sefton.”

Click here to watch the Sefton Fostering Team’s ‘Jerusalema Dance Challenge’.

Sefton’s Fostering Service #Jerusalemachallenge – YouTube

To make an enquiry or find out more please visit www.seftonfostering.co.uk or call free on 0800 923 2777.

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