Outlook Fostering helps Essex foster carers
PUBLISHED: 17:10 22 May 2013 | UPDATED: 11:28 23 May 2013
Ask any of Outlook Fostering's foster carers how looking after a child or young person has changed their life and you can expect quite an eye-opening list of triumphs and challenges.
But foster carers who have fostered for Outlook all agree on one thing, fostering has meant working with a strong, committed team in ways which have opened their eyes.
One foster carer said: ‘We feel part of a team. There’s such a positive environment of ongoing skills and training. Someone is always available to talk to for support and advice, even in the early hours if need be.’
Outlook Fostering is an independent fostering agency dedicated to placing young people with the appropriate carers. As a result of a careful selection and matching process, more than 70% of the children placed through the agency are with their foster carers on a long-term basis.
A member of the Outlook management team says: ‘The physical and emotional wellbeing of our children is at the heart of everything we do. Foster carers who can provide a caring home and appropriate accommodation are in great demand. A foster carer needs to be able to provide a safe, stable and nurturing environment and have experience of working with children in a practical or professional capacity. They must also complete an assessment and be willing to commit to training.
‘As an Outlook foster carer the rewards will be amazing. The knowledge that you are helping a young person to enjoy a stable, safe environment is very rewarding. You will also receive a generous financial allowance and two weeks respite, which could take the form of payment or your young person could attend one of our activity holidays.’
Jane, 43, and her partner live in the South East. Jane was once a project manager before taking a job in a children’s home and starting to care for foster children on a respite basis, for weekends or longer.
Jane and her partner are foster carers to a teenage girl who has been placed with them for around four years. Jane says she picked Outlook, partly because of their ‘exceptional’ support networks and training, which mean that she never feels alone.
She explains: ‘I think I did this because I wanted to make a difference.’