Support for carers
Every Brighton & Hove foster carer has their own supervising social worker who is there to offer advice and support. They visit you regularly at home and can be contacted by phone or email. Every year they carry out a review to ensure that your needs as a carer are being met.
There is also an out-of-hours service run by members of the fostering and adoption team so you are never on your own. It runs from 5pm to 8.30am Monday to Thursday, with a weekend service from 4.30pm on Friday to 8.30am on Monday. The service also operates on all bank holidays. A rota is published every month so you know the name of the person who will be supporting you.
Throughout the year we host activities, events and support groups for our in house foster carers including a summer barbeque and a Christmas party.
Support for children – the Fostering Support Team
The Brighton & Hove fostering team includes the Fostering Support Team (FST). The FST is a group of fun, friendly and highly skilled professionals who work directly with children in our care. The team can improve the stability of a child’s placement and help young people get more from life.
Their work includes:
- Direct work: young people aged 7 to 16 are allocated a specific worker who works with them to build a trusting relationship. They then look at areas of need, including life story work, development of social skills, independence skills, developing social self-esteem, confidence and identity.
- Activities: after school, weekend and school holiday activities and events, which give carers a break during school holidays. Activities include trips to Thorpe Park, Knockhatch and Chessington.
- Groups: including a music group and an art therapy group.
The fostering team also offers trips and activities for the children of foster carers.
Training and development
We recognise fostering as a career choice and want all our carers to have the skills and expertise to feel confident in their role in providing a nurturing, secure home environment. We provide an extensive training programme to all our carers as well as Personal Development Plans to identify ongoing training needs and review training received. Fostering can be challenging and training provides the opportunity to network with others, share experiences and gain support.
All carers are expected to complete the Children and Workforce Development Council (CWDC) Workbook, and the fostering service offers support groups throughout the year for different parts of the workbook. In addition to our training programme and the workbook, carers can also work towards a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in fostering. There is an easy online booking application process for courses and we can pay for childcare if required so you can attend.
Brighton and Hove Foster Care Association
The Brighton and Hove Foster Care Association (BHFCA) is an independent voluntary group run by foster carers for foster carers. If you are approved as a foster carer for Brighton & Hove, you automatically become a member of the association.
The BHFCA’s aims are:
- to offer support to foster carers and their families and represent them as a group
- to encourage and promote learning and development of skills amongst the members
- to promote working partnerships between foster carers, Brighton & Hove children’s services and other agencies working with children in care.
The BHCA offers the following services:
- Keeps foster carers up to date with events via a quarterly newsletter
- Offers a buddy scheme to support new carers
- Arranges a variety of social events to bring carers together, including coffee mornings at foster carer’s homes, an annual Easter egg hunt and a Christmas pantomime trip
- Committee members sit on a variety of working parties and are consulted in relation to developments in policy and practice in fostering.
The BHFCA’s website address is: www.bhfca.co.uk
Fostering website Carers’ Page
There is a separate page for Brighton & Hove foster carers on this site, which can only be accessed by registered carers or prospective carers. It contains more useful information about support and events for existing carers. If you are currently fostering with us or are being assessed as a foster carer, please visit the log-in page, and go to "Create an account".
Foster Carers’ Handbook
This website is designed to give an introduction to fostering. We have a separate site – the Foster Carers’ Handbook, which goes into more detail about the different aspects of fostering. It is a useful resource for anyone at any stage in the fostering process.
The Foster Carers’ Handbook website address is: www.brightonandhovefosteringhandbook.org.uk