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Foster for Sefton in 2022! Make a difference to a young person’s life by being their #EverydayAngel

The dedication and support Sefton’s Foster Carers provide to vulnerable children in the Borough means many of these young people see their carers as ‘Angels.’

This New Year, Sefton is launching its #EverydayAngel campaign to show its appreciation for all the fantastic work they do and for the care they provide.

Sefton is also urging local people to think about becoming an #EverydayAngel themselves by fostering a local child and help to turn their life around.

Angela and Paul have fostered with Sefton Council for three years and are helping to spread the important message about this rewarding role.

Angela said “We’re just ordinary people. We don’t class ourselves as angels but as a foster carer it is almost like you are a guardian angel to some of these children.

“At the moment we are fostering two beautiful little girls as well as working full time. If we can do it, anyone can”

Christine and her daughter Olivia foster for Sefton and really see the difference they are making to children’s lives.

Christine said: “I love fostering, it’s so rewarding to help children and watch them grow and become more confident”

Olivia said “I love to help my mum out, putting them to bed and giving them cuddles and kisses. To me my mum is an angel and I know our foster children think that too” 

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

“Our foster carers are naturally loving people with big hearts. We know that they see themselves as normal people but to Sefton and the children they care for, they are a lifeline and they truly are our ‘Angels’.

“Through our #EverydayAngel campaign we want to highlight how Sefton really values all of our carers’ hard work and dedication.

“If you think you have those nurturing qualities and feel you have something to give then please get in touch with us and find out more.”

Sefton’s Foster Carers are paid for their skills, receive full training and support, plus allowances. Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team or by visiting the dedicated website at https://seftonfostering.co.uk/ 

Or they can call the freephone number – 0800 923 2777

Sefton Council appoints new Executive Director of Children’s Social Care and Education

Martin Birch
Martin Birch

Sefton Council has appointed a new Executive Director of Children’s Social Care and Education.

After a thorough recruitment process, the Council has appointed Martin Birch, who is currently Director of Children’s Social Care at Together for Children, in Sunderland. Together for Children is owned by Sunderland City Council but controlled by an independent board to ensure operational independence.

Track record

Cllr. Mhairi Doyle, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care said: “Martin has a strong track record and I am pleased that we have now appointed him to head up our Children’s Social Services teams at a time when they are facing unprecedented levels of demand.

“Sefton Council is well on with addressing the challenges raised by a recent OFSTED inspection and Martin will focus on driving those developments and improvements forward.

Sefton Council committed an extra £6 million to children’s social care in April and in September announced a further £4 million investment in staffing. Extra staff have already been appointed and the Council has established a transformation team supported by the Department for Education.

Committed and skilled

Cllr Doyle continued: “The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic mean that demands on our committed and skilled Children’s Social Care teams is unlike anything we’ve known before.

“Martin joins us at a time when we are putting in place the high-quality, responsive service that families, children and young people across Sefton need.”

Thrilled

Martin Birch who has been with Sunderland Council since 2018, but who hails from Merseyside said: “I am thrilled to have been given this wonderful opportunity. It’s an exciting time to join Sefton Council with significant investment within the Children’s Services, providing the impetus for the next chapter of the improvement journey.

“I am looking forward to working with colleagues to provide the very best services to children, young people and families within the Borough”.

Sefton Council and the Plaza Cinema join forces to help bring the festive cheer to foster families

Sefton’s fostering families were enchanted as they joined together for a special screening of Encanto at Crosby’s Plaza Cinema, as part of the Fostering Services’ Christmas celebrations.

Sefton partnered with the Plaza Community Cinema in Crosby to arrange for the showing of the new Disney film, which focuses on the importance of family. The event was organised to say ‘thank you’ to Sefton’s foster families for all the invaluable work they do to look after vulnerable children from the Borough.

Angela, who has been a foster carer for nearly 30 years and who came along to the screening with her foster children, said;

“All of the children have had a brilliant time at the pictures, and it’s been so good to get together and have a catch up with other carers.

“I absolutely love being a foster carer and have always known it was something I was going to do. If anybody is thinking about it, please get in touch with Sefton Council and you won’t regret it. It’s really, really rewarding.”

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

“I am so happy that we were able to bring our foster carers and their families together a Christmas time to create some special memories and put an extra smile on our young people’s faces.

“It has been a difficult year and we want to let our carers know how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication.

“Events like this show how, as a foster carer at Sefton, you will be part of one big family and support network so if you are thinking about fostering please get in touch.”

Christine Physick from the Plaza Community Cinema said;

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome foster families for a special screening at the Plaza. As a Community Cinema events like these are what we are all about.

“We’ve had a lot of happy children and happy families so it’s great to be able to give them a little celebration at the end of what has been a difficult year.”

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.

Find out more or make an enquiry on our dedicated website https://seftonfostering.co.uk/ 

Get in touch on our freephone number 0800 923 2777

To find out about films at Crosby’s Plaza Cinema, visit Plaza Cinema | Liverpool Community Cinema

 

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/ 

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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