Hampshire Fostering recruits, prepares, assesses and supports foster carers to meet the needs of Hampshire's looked after children.
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- 01489 587052
Where to go
- Fostering Hampshire Children
- Glen Lodge
- SO31 7HD
- Referral required
- Related links
- Fostering Hampshire Children
- What does your service do?
Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Services manages the legal duties in relation to placing children who need to be looked after. This service is provided through Hampshire Fostering Service aims . We aim to meet the needs of all Hampshire’s children who have been assessed as requiring a foster placement by providing a range of good quality, family-based care for children who are unable to live with their own families. This includes children with disabilities.
The aims of the service include:
* Recruiting and assessing prospective foster carers to ensure that we provide looked after children with a safe, stable and nurturing family experience which will promote their health, educational experience and wellbeing , and which will assist them in coming to terms with their life experience and reaching their full potential.
* Providing different types of foster placements to meet the needs of the children being looked after, including temporary, permanent and overnight short breaks (respite).
* Offering training and support to all foster carers, which will provide the necessary skills to enable them to care for looked after children and develop and enhance their potential. Hampshire Fostering Service provides the Family Link scheme which recruits, assesses and prepares foster carers specifically for supporting children and young people with disabilities.
We don’t work directly with children, but do work closely with the child’s social worker and other professionals involved to support the foster carer in advocating for the child in their care.(Video) 'Re-homing': America's shocking trade in unwanted children | 60 Minutes Australia
- Who does your service provide for?
Fundamentally, we provide a service for all children and young people in Hampshire who are being looked after or who have been looked after. We do this by supporting all foster carers assessed and approved by Hampshire County Council. This includes people from within a child’s family or wider network who have been approved as foster carers for that child specifically.
- How can I start using the service?
If you are an existing foster carer please speak with your Family Placement social worker, or the child’s social worker to access support or guidance for you or the child you are caring for. If the child who you care for has a disability the other information contained within Hampshire’s Local Offer about all local services may be useful to you. If you are interested in becoming a foster carer for a child or young people with special educational needs and/or a disability please phone us on 0300 555 1384 or visit our website for more information [http://www.hants.gov.uk/fostering www.hants.gov.uk/fostering]
- Where is it located and what areas does it cover?
The services are available throughout the whole of the Hampshire County Council (excluding Southampton and Portsmouth cities who have their own Fostering services). Some of our foster carers live outside of Hampshire but have access to the same support, training and supervision. We have four social work teams * Integrated Adoption and Fostering Recruitment Team – based in Swanwick but covering the whole county * Fostering Assessment Team - based in Swanwick but covering the whole county
* Eastern Hampshire Family Placement Team – supporting approved foster carers who lived in east Hampshire, Hart and Rushmoor
* Western Family Placement Team – supporting approved foster carers who live in the west Hampshire, Basingstoke, New Forest and northern Test Valley areas(Video) Former foster children say they endured abuse for years
- How are decisions made about who can use your service?
We welcome applications from people interested in Fostering from all parts of the community and all walks of life. We aim to recruit a range of foster carers to meet the needs of children in Hampshire, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. For more information about the recruitment process please visit our website [http://www.hants.gov.uk/fostering www.hants.gov.uk/fostering] All approved foster carers have access to the training, support and guidance available from the Family Placement Teams. Specific decisions about foster placements and Care Plans for individual children are made by social workers in other Children’s Services teams.
- How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making?
Social workers will always involve the foster carers in any planning or reviews regarding the child in their care. Social workers and foster carers develop skills in communicating with children/young people with disabilities, including using pictures, symbols and Makaton (an adapted version of sign language used by people with learning disabilities alongside speech). If the foster carer or the child in their care has communication/language needs, the service will arrange an interpreter/ support for them to ensure they can participate fully in the planning and decision making process. Foster carers are encouraged to give on-going feedback to enable improvements to the whole Fostering service.
- Is your service fully accessible?
Social workers from the Fostering teams will usually visit you in your home or somewhere else you choose. If you are asked to come in to an office for a meeting we will make sure the building is accessible for you and your child/young person. Please discuss your individual requirements with the team member.(Video) Hampshire County Council – Childrens Services
- What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEN and Disabilities had or are having?
Social workers have professional qualifications and have to continue training and learning to update their skills and knowledge throughout their careers. All foster carers approved by Hampshire County Council have undergone a thorough and comprehensive assessment process which includes information about how they might meet the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs an/or Disabilities. Extra training and support will be given to those foster carers who are caring for children with specific health, developmental or behavioural needs. For example we may help to arrange individual training for foster carers if this is needed to fulfil the child’s care plan; for example asking a Community Children’s Nurse to show foster carers how to feed a child using a gastrostomy tube.
- How will I know my child is safe?
All staff within Hampshire Fostering have had checks and references before starting work, to make sure they are safe and suitable to work with children and young people. All prospective foster carers undergo a thorough and comprehensive assessment and approval process which includes a number of checks and references to make sure they are safe to be caring for children and young people. Hampshire County Council has a Safeguarding Children policy which gives clear information about how children should be kept safe. All services that we arrange also have their own policy to follow.
- Who can I contact for further information?
All foster carers will have a named Family Placement social worker who is their main contact to discuss the child’s needs, any changes or concerns. This worker is separate to the child’s named social worker, but they work closely together. All teams have a duty worker who is able to help you if your named worker is not available. Outside of office hours, Children’s Services has an out-of-hours service number 0300 555 1373 (in an emergency please ring 999). If you have any concerns you should raise them with your named worker, or their line manager in the first instance. Further details of the Children’s Services complaints process can be found at [http://www.hants.gov.uk/childrens-services/contact-cs/cs-complaints.htm www.hants.gov.uk/childrens-services/contact-cs/cs-complaints.htm] If you are interested in becoming a foster carer with Hampshire County Council please contact us on 0300 603 5620 or visit the website [http://www.hants.gov.uk/fostering www.hants.gov.uk/fostering](Video) Hampshire County Council Adoption Service – Michael
All foster parents receive a foster care allowance to cover the cost of caring for a child. The minimum is usually between £137 and £240 a week. The total amount you get depends on: where you live.
For foster carers working with an Independent Fostering Agency the allowance and fee is set by the individual agency. The total payment can be dependent on age and level of care, however is a minimum average £450 a week per child placed rising to £1000 for specialist placements like Mother and Baby.
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Because of the time necessary to meet all of the requirements, including various inspections, and the necessary training, it typically takes sixty (60) days or more to become a licensed foster care provider. 3.
While foster carers are paid a professional fee for a professional task, and being a foster parent is most definitely a job, fostering is not first and foremost about the pay. Learn more about if you can work and foster today from our helpful guide.
Fact! You can foster and still work. It can be viewed as an advantage, although it is not a necessity, if you have previous experience of caring for, or working with children. This will put you in good stead for tackling any issues that may arise with the child placed in your care.