Statement of Purpose2018-06-11T11:50:11+00:00

Our Statement of Purpose

FosteringMatters Limited is an Independent Fostering Agency, incorporated in May 2004, which has been operational since September 2004. The three directors, Geoff Mc Kay, Eileen McKay and Mike Castledine jointly own FosteringMatters.  Building on over 65 years of social work, family placement work and management experience between them, the Directors believed that they could offer foster placements that produced good outcomes for children and at a fee that enabled Local Authorities to access our service.

FosteringMatters provides good foster care placements to children and young people throughout the UK.

The directors are committed to the provision of services that offer quality of care, integrity at all levels of operation and respect for all we work with, whether Looked After child or young person, Local Authority employee, or foster carer. FosteringMatters  provides a service that has care, pride and commitment as ‘core’ values.

FosteringMatters is registered with and inspected by OFSTED, as required under the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011. Our URN is SC061740.

FosteringMatters works to the National Minimum Standards that guide our practice and services and reaches or surpasses these at all times. FosteringMatters has signed the Foster Carers’ Charter, which seeks to unite fostering services, carers and Local Authorities around a shared understanding.

This Statement of Purpose has been written in accordance with the Fostering Service Regulations 2011 and is regularly reviewed.

Core Values

  • Safety

  • Diversity

  • Protective

  • Family

  • Thorough

FosteringMatters’ Mission Statement

FosteringMatters provides services of the highest quality to children and young people, to foster carers and to Local Authorities.

This Statement of Purpose outlines our goals, values and vision.

The vision will underpin our operation and practice at all times.

Key Points

  • Children First

  • Welfare of All

  • Family

Principles and Values

FosteringMatters provides the highest quality services at all times. FosteringMatters directors and employees provides services that offer children and young people a genuine opportunity to achieve stability in their lives and to give them the opportunities and tools to maximise their individual potential. In accordance with the National Minimum Standards, FosteringMatters ensures “the child’s welfare, safety and needs are at the centre” of all we do.

FosteringMatters works with openness and honesty at all times. Our approach is informed by our view that all relationships should be underpinned by commitment to this value and that all services are offered to customers and service users in a way that ensures a sense of fairness and equity for all.

FosteringMatters’ work and practice demonstrates respect for all, including the children and young people placed with us, their families and our customer local authorities with whom we seek to work in full partnership. We work with our carers in ways that demonstrate our full commitment to them and our sense of ‘worth’ for the hard work they do in providing a home, safe care and nurture for those children and young people who are unable, for whatever reason, to live with their own birth families.

FosteringMatters works in an ethical and open way with all Local Authorities in partnership. Our fees and charges are clear, reasonable and cost effective, with transparency in regard to how these charges are utilised. Our carers receive fees and allowances that exceed those recommended by The Fostering Network and we  work closely with carers to ensure that these allowances are utilised to best advantage/benefit of young people placed as well as for the carers themselves.

FosteringMatters works tirelessly to ensure the young people in our care are safe, have a voice and their specific outcomes are identified, tracked and achieved.

FosteringMatters promotes equal opportunities for all and has a zero tolerance to discrimination in any form, this is underpinned by FosteringMatters Anti-Discrimination/Equal Opportunities Policy and training.

Each child or young person placed with us is treated as an individual with their own needs and potential, acknowledging their culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, personal health/disability, religion, language, preference and with services tailored to suit.

Key Points

  • Allowances Exceed Recommended

  • Full Commitment

  • Highest Quality

  • Tirelessly Work

  • Treated as Individuals

Objectives

FosteringMatters provides highly competent, dedicated, well trained and knowledgeable carers to Local Authorities across the UK. As FosteringMatters recruits carers across several geographical areas we offer the Local Authorities in those areas placements that are local for children and young people. We believe that the placement of children and young people within their own localities and communities is generally in their best interests. Such placements are also in the interests of local communities and Local Authorities.

Key Points

  • Dedicated

  • Own Localities

  • Multiple Geographic Areas

Working for Children

FosteringMatters recognises that we work with some of the most vulnerable members of society; maintaining a focus on safeguarding for children and young people in our care, along with an on- going consideration of their physical, emotional and educational development to meet their specific needs and potential. We are child focused and the child comes first.

FosteringMatters works with openness and honesty at all times. Our approach is informed by our view that all relationships should be underpinned by commitment to this value and that all services are offered to customers and service users in a way that ensures a sense of fairness and equity for all.

FosteringMatters’ work and practice demonstrates respect for all, including the children and young people placed with us, their families and our customer local authorities with whom we seek to work in full partnership. We work with our carers in ways that demonstrate our full commitment to them and our sense of ‘worth’ for the hard work they do in providing a home, safe care and nurture for those children and young people who are unable, for whatever reason, to live with their own birth families.

FosteringMatters works in an ethical and open way with all Local Authorities in partnership. Our fees and charges are clear, reasonable and cost effective, with transparency in regard to how these charges are utilised. Our carers receive fees and allowances that exceed those recommended by The Fostering Network and we  work closely with carers to ensure that these allowances are utilised to best advantage/benefit of young people placed as well as for the carers themselves.

FosteringMatters works tirelessly to ensure the young people in our care are safe, have a voice and their specific outcomes are identified, tracked and achieved.

FosteringMatters promotes equal opportunities for all and has a zero tolerance to discrimination in any form, this is underpinned by FosteringMatters Anti-Discrimination/Equal Opportunities Policy and training.

Each child or young person placed with us is treated as an individual with their own needs and potential, acknowledging their culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, personal health/disability, religion, language, preference and with services tailored to suit.

Key Points

  • Respect For All

  • Safeguarding

  • Openness

  • Honesty

  • Equal Opportunities

Independence

FosteringMatters plays a significant role in assisting young people in their transition to young adulthood and in enabling such individuals to play their own part in society feeling integrated rather than feeling ‘excluded’ from the world around them. Important factors for young people being Looked After include skill and knowledge acquisition, a realistic attitude and expectation, to be resourced and supported that enables some risk taking. Such can be extended beyond a young person’s 18th birthday within our Staying Put placements as necessary.

Key Points

  • Young Adulthood

  • Play a Part in Society

  • Knowledge Acquisition

  • Staying Put Placements

Safeguarding

Safeguarding is a priority at FosteringMatters and we safeguard all children and young people placed. All foster children need to be safe from any form of harm. FosteringMatters provides a range of safeguarding training to staff, carers and panel members. FosteringMatters monitors safeguarding regularly, through carer and staff supervision, team meetings and management meetings, Local Authority monitoring and Ofsted data sets/notifications, all of which provides an opportunity to consider and reflect with a view to improving practice.

Key Points

  • Continual Supervision

  • Safe from all Harm

  • Rigorous Checks

  • Priority

Participation

FosteringMatters is a child centred service; we include children and young people, as appropriate, in as many aspects of FosteringMatters services as practical.

FosteringMatters recognises that children and young people play an integral part in the development of the services we provide; FosteringMatters will continually seek to hear the voice of the children and young people we care for. This includes a contribution to carer reviews, anonymous questionnaires, placement feedback and an opportunity to engage in our training (including online) in areas and issues that are important to them such as CSE and anti-radicalisation.

Key Points

  • Child Centred Service

  • Integral Part

  • Voice of Children

Matching

FosteringMatters works in partnership with Local Authorities and carers in order to identify and support appropriate and professionally matched placements for looked after children and young people.

Our dedicated referral officer, senior supervising social workers, carers and professional colleagues work together to ensure those children and their needs are well matched to carers who have the necessary skills to produce stable placements and good and best outcomes.

Children and young people placed with FosteringMatters carers can be assured that they are placed with the most committed and well trained individuals, who are supported and supervised fully by experienced, qualified, dedicated senior Social Workers.

The Directors and staff of FosteringMatters are committed to ensuring that all children and young people placed with FosteringMatters receive individual care that is specific and carefully planned in their best interests.

FosteringMatters protects all children and young people placed from all forms of abuse. FosteringMatters puts Safeguarding children at the forefront of our work and in its policy, practice and values.

Key Points

  • Professionally Matched

  • Fully Supervised

  • Individual Care

  • Necessary Skills

Services Offered

FosteringMatters works in accordance with and fully recognises all of the principles inherent in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

FosteringMatters works in line with all relevant national legislation and regulation, including the Children Act 1989, The Children Act 2004, The Fostering Services Regulations (2011) the Care Standards Act (2000) and the Fostering Services National Minimum Standards (2011).

  • Emergency Placements

  • Respite Placements

  • Bridging Placements

  • Short Term Placements

  • Pre-Adoption Placements

  • Long Term Placements

  • Permanent Placements

  • Emergency Placements

  • Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Placements

  • Parent and child Placements

  • Children with complex needs including Disability Placements

  • Staying Put arrangement placements (post 18 years old)

FosteringMatters is able to offer placements that are regarded as not ‘mainstream’. We work with Local Authorities to identify suitable placements for parent/s and baby/child, placements, for children with disability and/or identified special needs, or other issues that require more specialist knowledge and care.

Key Points

  • National Legislation

  • Offer Non “Mainstream” Placements

  • Special Needs

Partnership

FosteringMatters offers a high standard of service provision and works in partnership with our Local Authority customers, monitoring and developing services to meet the requirements of those Local Authorities.   FosteringMatters supports Local Authority Social Work staff in their responsibilities to statutory Looked After Children processes.   FosteringMatters obtains feedback from Local Authorities with the intention of managing and developing services that meet Local Authority requirements and expectations and that meet or exceed national minimum standards. This includes many Local Authority monitoring and QPA processes.

FosteringMatters in activities, such as carer support groups, ensures that all carers work fully in partnership with FosteringMatters, with Local Authority Social Work staff and with the families of looked after children and young people.  We do this to maximise the welfare, stability and development of looked after children and young people and achieve a good outcome/successful placement.

FosteringMatters recruits and approves carers who demonstrate the right commitment and ability to fostering; we provide training that enables them to offer the standards of care that we require.

Key Points

  • Exceed Standards

  • Support Groups

  • Right Commitment

  • Successful Placements

Foster Panel

The role of the FosteringMatters Foster Panel is to make: a recommendation on the approval of new Foster Carer applicants, a recommendation on the statutory review of approved Foster Carers, a recommendation on the de-registration of Foster Carers and to act as part of the appeal process when de-registration is being considered.

FosteringMatters Foster Panel plays a significant role in the Quality Assurance process. Each panel member is required to complete a Quality Assurance Form for each panel application. The panel liaises closely with FosteringMatters Management through the Panel Chair; an essential Quality Assurance element. Panel QA feedback to FosteringMatters operations is considered and assimilated.

The Foster Panel Central List includes a wide range of experience. The Independent Chair and the Vice Chairs are qualified and experienced professionals. There is currently one member who is care experienced, three independent members, as well as experienced, qualified and HCPC registered Social Workers. Panel members develop their ability and effectiveness with business meetings, and training, sharing training with staff, carers and on-line.

Joint panel and operational staff training is arranged to enhance understanding, communication and ensure best practice.

Key Points

  • Statutory Review

  • Quality Assurance

  • Enhance Understanding

  • Best Practice

Foster Carer Approval

FosteringMatters recruits foster carers from a diverse range of backgrounds, ethnicities, geographical locations, economic situations and from differing family compositions. This ensures that we provide the most suitable match to meet the needs of children referred to us.   Potential applicants are not discriminated against on grounds of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age or economic status. However, prospective Foster Carers must be able to meet the needs of any child placed.

FosteringMatters carries out rigorous assessments of prospective foster carers and uses the 2013 BAAF Form F as the primary foster carer assessment tool.   The process includes a detailed assessment of the candidates’ background including their childhood, their educational experiences, their own life experiences, their upbringing, their own parenting experiences, their values and attitudes to diversity and any specific skills they may have e.g. working with disabilities, working with adolescents. Full checks including DBS, Local Authority checks and references are obtained, considered and contribute to assessment.

Key Points

  • Diverse Backgrounds

  • Non Discriminatory

  • Life Experiences

  • Full Checks

Carer Reviews

FosteringMatters ensures that reviews of carer’s approval are undertaken in respect of all carers on an annual basis in line with statutory requirements. The intention of such reviews (which are Standard and Outcomes based) are to continually improve the services offered by FosteringMatters and to ensure that all carers receive the support and training that is required to allow ongoing improvement in standards of service.

FosteringMatters consults with Local Authority staff in order to gain relevant feedback and information in regard to placements and carers at review times.  FosteringMatters also seeks the views of children in placement and foster carer’s children. Reviews of carers will be held more frequently where in FosteringMatters’ opinion it is deemed necessary to do so, for example where there is a contentious issue.

Key Points

  • Continually Improve

  • Views of Children

  • Carer Approval

  • Statutory

Working as a Carer with FosteringMatters

FosteringMatters states that the recruitment and retention of dedicated and competent carers is fundamental to our success. Recruitment and retention successes are based firmly upon the highest level of support, professional fee, good management and meaningful training. There is no “them and us” within FosteringMatters, we are all part of the same team.

To enable our carers to meet the needs of the children they look after, carers will receive from FosteringMatters:

  • Dedicated support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

  • Minimum of a monthly visit from a supervising Social Worker (SSW).

  • Regular phone support from a SSW.

  • Support in meeting the child’s educational needs.

  • Support of SSW at professionals meetings.

  • A Professional fostering fee/allowance when a child is in placement.

  • Training that aids carer skills and development, including Initial Skills to Foster, TSD, and regular on-going training.

  • Carer support group meetings.

  • Fostering Network/Fostertalk membership for all carers.

Key Points

  • Dedicated

  • Together

  • High Retention

  • Family

Training

All FosteringMatters carers have access to regular training. It is essential for carers to continually improve their levels of knowledge and ability and that access to appropriate training on a regular basis provides the opportunity for this development. It is a requirement that FosteringMatters carers attend training.

FosteringMatters offers Fostering Network Skills to Foster, preparation training and ongoing post approval training for all carers. The training provided is sourced according to carer’s needs and levels of experience.   FosteringMatters provides a balanced mix of resources; some training is provided ‘in house’ by experienced and qualified professional staff, whilst other more specialist programmes are provided by externally sourced organisations.

FosteringMatters ensures that all carers are able to progress through their caring career, building knowledge and skills as they do so, including on-line certified modules that enable carer knowledge gap to addressed quickly, e.g. for a specific young person.

Key Points

  • Build Knowledge

  • Certified Modules

  • Regular

  • Improve

Organisational Structure

Directors Eileen McKay, Mike Castledine and Geoff McKay own FosteringMatters and are qualified and experienced social workers and managers. Mike Castledine is the Responsible Individual and Chris Morgan who is an experienced and qualified Social Worker and manager is the Registered Manager.

FosteringMatters currently employs five qualified and experienced senior Social Workers who are HCPC registered, one of whom is the Deputy Team Manager. The team are all supervised by the registered manager.

FosteringMatters foster carers will only be supervised and supported by qualified Social Workers.

In addition to ongoing Post Qualification training all FosteringMatters staff are encouraged and resourced to attend training relevant to their roles.

Key Points

  • Qualified

  • HCPC Registered

  • Registered Manager

Quality Assurance and Monitoring

FosteringMatters provides services that meet or exceed National Minimum Standards.  Rigorous Quality Assurance systems contribute to ensuring that the children we care for are provided with a high level of care.

In addition to the independent Quality Assurance function provided by the foster panel, FosteringMatters data collection and monitoring enables managers and staff to track and monitor the progress of children throughout their time with our foster carers. Our internal systems and IT equipment ensures that records and checks are up to date. Additionally monthly staff and management meetings ensure an ongoing focus on the quality of our care is achieved.

Monitoring is further facilitated by frequent formal and informal supervision of staff and carers, auditing of case files and standing agenda items at team meetings and management meetings.

Our Ofsted data set and Annual and panel reports provide quality assurance functions.

FosteringMatters engages with Local Authorities and consortia groups in Fostering Framework and Monitoring activities that establishes and maintains a Q & A focus, identifying and addressing any shortcomings and celebrating achievement.

Key Points

  • Rigorous

  • Ongoing

  • Frequent

  • Audit

Complaints and Representation

FosteringMatters has a complaints and representation system in place, including centralised management for monitoring and analysis. FosteringMatters manages complaints and representations properly and in a timely manner.

FosteringMatters tries to resolve issues informally and where possible, directly between the complainant and the subject of the complaint, but where formal process is instigated, we will resolve issues in a thorough and timely manner.

FosteringMatters provides services that are of the highest standard at all times with the result that complaints are low in number, but when made are investigated thoroughly and any learning included within our services.

In the event of allegations being made against foster carers or staff FosteringMatters offers to fund an Independent Advocate.

Key Points

  • Timely

  • Thoroughly

  • Learn

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