News and Blogs

LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week #BeTheChange

7 March 2022

LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week returns for its tenth year. The campaign aims to raise awareness and drive change. This year the focus is on asking LGBT+ people to think about the range of vulnerable children they could care for. In Waltham Forest we have a need for carers for a wide range of children including children with disabilities, brothers and sisters and young parents and babies.

Waltham Forest are members of New Family Social, the UK peer support charity for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers. If you are LGBT+ and apply to become a foster carer with us, you will receive free membership. Tor Docherty, New Family Social Chief Executive said: ‘The need for more LGBT+ people to consider adoption or fostering is as great as ever, despite ten years of our successful campaign. When it started few agencies could answer the question ‘How many LGBT+ applicants do you have?’ Now it’s the bare minimum of information agencies should have when speaking to potential applicants. If you’re LGBT+ you can find agencies that want to hear from you and will offer you dedicated support.’

 For more information on LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week, please visit https://newfamilysocial.org.uk/afw22. To find out more about fostering with us, please join one of our events.  

 

Award Winners

Wednesday 1 December 2021

We are delighted to announce that we have won the Children and Young People Now, Public Sector Children's Team Award for our work on a campaign to boost foster carer numbers at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The criteria for the award was, the public sector team that has made the greatest impact to improving the life chances of children, young people or families.

*Anticipating an increase in the number of children entering care and the number of looked-after children who would need new homes, the team launched a Covid-response recruitment campaign. Over the course of the pandemic, the team found 88 children homes with in-house carers and recruited six times as many new carers over the year before.

Girl on swing

The Corporate Parenting Team at Waltham Forest has been proactively confronting the challenges around foster carer recruitment by utilising innovative digital approaches to attract and train new carers.

Judge, Kadra Abdinassir, Associate Director for Children and Young People, Centre for Mental Health

As headsets were no longer safe to use, we adapted our virtual reality foster carer training, commissioning a replacement 2D programme.

We are also expanding our Mockingbird model, where one foster home acts as a hub offering planned and emergency sleepovers and short break advice, training and support to six to 10 satellite households.

We still need many, many more carers to support our local vulnerable young people, as the numbers of young people in care continue to grow. Please get in touch with our award winning team to find out more.

*Source CYPN website.

Foster Care Fortnight Retirement Celebration

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Chris Long recently retired after 41 years of fostering and caring for 50 young people. Her outstanding commitment was  recognised by her Supervising Social Worker and the Fostering Team Manager recently. Christine was presented with flowers, a pamper set and a framed congratulatory letter.

Amongst the poignant highlights of her fostering career were her regular family holidays in Whitstable, Kent. She had a caravan there and took the children every summer so that they could have fun and spend time at the beach. Recently, one of the children she kept in touch with, wanted to know the location of the beach so that she could take her own children there. It is wonderful that she is now an adult who wishes to make happy memories with her children, just like she remembers them. Chris impacted so much fun and happy memories at that beach for her as she also remembers learning how to swim there. What an amazing fostering journey.

Thank you Chris - your contribution to local young people is greatly appreciated.

Fostering a child who is a refugee 

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Yesterday, the BBC One programme, 'The One Show,' featured a great segment about fostering refugees. The segment is at 26.19 minutes. This followed the news that the former England football star Gary Lineker is due to welcome a refugee to live with him.

UPDATE: On Monday 2 November 2020 Gary Lineker updated ITV's 'Good Morning Britain,' viewers with his first experience of fostering a refugee and shared a moving letter that the young person sent him after he left.

How can I foster a refugee child

To find out more about  becoming a refugee foster parent, please watch our film made in Waltham Forest.

Update 17/03/22 - in response to the tragic current events in Ukraine, BBC News have published this insightful article by Mariam Issimdar; Homes for Ukraine: The foster families who have taken in refugees.

Fostering During the Pandemic

Shqiponja, Foster Carer, May 2020

"This pandemic has been hard on us in different ways, with the uncertainty, the fear and having to dramatically change our every day lifestyles. It took some time to get used to the new routine of having to work from home and the children having to study from home. At first, it took a lot for them to get motivated and really understand why they still had to study, even if they weren't going into School and that this isn't a holiday. I created some activities to help them stay happy and active throughout this time at home. 

"Every so often we have a family meeting to explain to them specifically what is happening in a way that they understand so that they take the situation seriously. We have created a timetable and they make sure to stick to this.

"We have explained what an outstanding job the NHS has done for the UK and created posters (featured below) to show our appreciation and thank you for the NHS saving lives. This was helpful in allowing the children to stay connected with the outside world and understand why they can’t go out. We talk about how other people are helping and contributing. This keeps our hopes high and smiles on our faces.

"My foster children have also been finding their own ways to stay busy in the house. My foster son draws beautifully and has high attention to detail, he makes lovely drawings and shows them to us when he’s finished. My foster daughter is equally as creative, constantly making different things, experimenting, trying on different outfits, taking photos and videos. They are both making good use of their time, learning new skills and have gotten into the routine of doing their homework and submitting on time. We have also explained to them why it is important to stay fit and healthy whilst always staying at home and they both focus on their health by exercising."

Girl on swing

We created posters to show our appreciation and thank you for the NHS saving lives. This was helpful in allowing the children to stay connected with the outside world and understand why they can’t go out.

Shqiponja, Foster Carer, May 2020

Enquire now

Take the first step to become a Waltham Forest Foster Carer and change a child’s life forever. Fill in this quick form or call us on 020 8496 3437. A member of our team will get in touch to discuss further.

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