Why should you foster with Greater London Fostering?>
You have a lot of choice about who to foster with
Which is why we thought we should spend some time saying why we think we great:
GLF has been looking after foster children since 1998. We pride ourselves on always putting children ( your own as well as foster children ) at the centre of everything we do. In order to look after children successfully we need to look after foster carers well, so we offer genuine 24 hour professional support, interesting and relevant training, peer support and a competitive financial package to support people in the challenging but rewarding task of fostering. We like to think of ourselves as a community who share a common passion: providing the very best care we can to each and every one of our children.
Fostering is a profession and requires substantial training and professional development which
GLF provides to its foster carers.
Skills to Foster training: Initially applicants undertake a three day training course as part of their assessment. This covers the basic skills required to foster and helps people to really understand what it is they are taking on .
Newly approved foster carers participate in a three day course which deals in more depth with a range of issues to do with fostering for GLF. The course covers things like safety in the home, record keeping, financial issues for fostering etc.
By the end of their first year of fostering all foster carers must produce a portfolio of work which evidences that they have met government required standards for fostering. The GLF team helps people achieve this.
Fostering Changes course
This is a one day a week twelve week course for more experienced foster carers which looks at behaviour management strategies for children whose lives have been disrupted. Foster carers find this course really helpful.
GLF has an education coordinator who runs a series of courses on how foster carers can best support their children in education. These range from one day courses to those which run once a week for a number of weeks.
In addition to the above GLF runs an ongoing professional development programme which over time covers all the key issues which come up in fostering.
Monthly training programme:
Fostering can be a lonely activity so G LF tries hard to provide community support to its foster families so that no one feels isolated or left alone to cope. We arrange events and activities for the whole fostering family and those people who help them. Last year’s events included trips to Southend, camping breaks, a Summer Fun day, pantomime trips at Christmas and end of year parties for both adults and children. Lifelong friendships have sprung from these activities as well as informal networks of support which prove their worth when fostering becomes tough.
GLF has a quarterly newsletter :
with photographs of recent events, agency news and information about new carers so that people who live near each other can look out for each other.
GLF owns two houses in Brittany:
which are available for our foster families to use at nominal cost throughout the year. Children love the indoor heated swimming pool and the freedom they have to play out of doors in the countryside. Foster carers can enjoy a cheap holiday abroad.
Foster carers are paid both an allowance for the child and a fee for the work they do whenever they have foster children living in their family. Sometimes it takes a long time to find a suitable child for a particular family and at other times children leave foster families unexpectedly. In these circumstances fostering can be an unreliable source of income as foster carers only get paid when they are looking after a foster child. Some foster carers are able to claim state benefits whilst others can fairly easily find temporary short term employment. Others have partners with a regular income and a few with very flexible work arrangements manage themselves to combine fostering with employment. All prospective foster carers need to think about how they will support themselves financially when they have no children in placement.
To try and help with this problem GLF operate a bonus scheme whereby foster carers receive approximately one weeks additional fee for every six months fostering they do. This money can go towards tiding families over between placements. Alternatively it can provide an income during periods of agreed respite or simply go towards a more expensive summer holiday or other expenditure of the foster carers choosing.