Information for approved foster carers

Following your approval as a Trafford Council Foster Carer the Family Placement Team is committed to supporting you in your role, and help build your skills through ongoing supervision and training.

Click on the plus symbols below to view more information on each section:

Support for foster carers

Fostering policies and procedures

Policies and Procedures by which all foster carers must operate. Provides clear procedures to be followed bycarers in their role as a foster carer. Trafford Policies and Procedures are written inline with legislation and government guidance and Regulations.

Family Placement Team duty service

Provides advice, guidance and a contact point on matters relating to fostering when your own Supervising Social Worker (SSW) is not available, including reporting seriousor urgent matters. The Duty worker is responsible for contacting carers regarding referrals and matching children with foster placements

You can contact them by phone during office hours: Monday to Friday 8.30 - 16.30.

Supervision

Formal arrangements for meetings between carers and their allocated SSW. Supervision is a two way process providing an opportunity to discuss any problems andways in which to improve. Supervision will include communication, support, learning and development and performance management.

Supervision will take place at three monthly intervals

Support groups

Support Groups are held once a month. Thisis a chance for foster carers to get togetherto discuss any issues. This is an informal meeting with a chance to chat over a tea orcoffee.

Out of hours

Trafford Emergency Duty Team can be contacted outside of working hours to assist with emergency situations. Contact them on 0161 912 2020

The Family Focus Team offers telephone support from 9am until 9pm in the evenings, seven days a week. Contact them on  07760 167256 and Freephone: 0800 040 7675.

Fostertalk

Membership for FosterTalk is purchased for foster carers by the Family Placement Team (FPT). FosterTalk provides advice, support and information on a wide range of issues relating to the role of fostering. FosterTalk is an independent advocacy service.

Fosterline

Confidential advice line for foster carers providing independent and impartial advice about fostering issues. Funded by the DfES and run in association with the FosteringNetwork.

Family FocusTeam

The family focus team offer 6-8 weeks of direct intervention work to support the goals of either maintaining the child’s placement at home or returning the child back to their family from an out home placement.The team operate 7 days a week, 9-9pm, working with children aged 8-18. Targeted support is to prevent entry to care or seek a rapid rehabilitation home and therefore will not be working with children who are looked after long term.The team will also offer telephone support to foster carers.

Open for foster carers from 4.30 to 9pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 9pm on weekends and bank holidays.

You can call them on 07760 167 256

KEEP

KEEP is a Training and Support Programme for both mainstream and Family and Friends foster carers and SGO carers. It aims to increase placement stability, further strengthen the skills, confidence and resilience of foster carers and reduce stress. In Trafford we offer the 16 week KEEP Standard Programme for carers of children aged 5 to 12 years and the 20 week KEEP Safe Programme for those carers who look after adolescents. For both programmes each weekly session is 90 minutes long and held in term time only.

All foster carers who graduate from KEEP Standard and KEEP Safe will then be offered the opportunity to attend regular support groups.

Mainstream and Family and Friends and SGO foster carers who are interested in KEEP should contact their Supervising Social Worker or any member of the KEEP Team. Enquiries can be made at any time throughout the year. However to undertake either of the KEEP Programmes you need to have a child of the appropriate age in placement.

Contact the KEEP Team (Ruth Goldwyn or Kay Marritt) on 0161 912 3349/3378

Foster carer family and social support

Social events

Various social events are arranged throughout the year for foster carers, their own children and foster children. The events are arranged by the Family Placement team and include the Annual Summer Fun Day and Christmas Party.

Emails are sent out to inform you of these events. Details can also be found on the fortnightly bulletins.

You can also contact your SSW for more details.

Leisure pass

Children in Care are entitled to a concessionary pass for use at Trafford Leisure Trust Centres. Foster carers can also apply for a pass to accompany children.

Please ask your SSW or child’s social worker for more details

You can contact Trafford Leisure Service on 0161 826 3954

Training and social

Foster carers’ children are thanked annually for the contribution they make to the fostering service. This is usually an invitation to an activity held locally, i.e. Chill Factor. The FPT also run training courses for foster carers’ children.

Emails are sent out informing you of these events or you can contact your SSW for more details.

Mentors

During the assessment process and following your approval as a foster carer you will be allocated a mentor, who will be an experienced foster carer who you can rely on to be at the end of the phone at times of need.

Please ask your SSW or contact the duty team member on 0161 912 5050 for more details.

Peer support model

The foster carer peer support model is based on the belief that foster carers are often best placed to identify issues that other foster carers encounter, and support them through these with practical and emotional support. The model is structured so that carers will be part of a small ‘cluster’ who can connect with each other, which will be facilitated by a‘cluster lead’.

The Peer support model is currently at the pilot stage where a small number of ‘cluster leads’are being identified to refine and evaluate the model before hopefully launching to all of our foster carers.

Training, learning and development for foster carers

Foster carer training

The FPT Training Officer provides an annual training programme of training courses available to foster carers. There is a comprehensive programme of training covering a wide range of subjects designed to equip carers and build on existing skills. It is part of the foster carer agreement to undertake training.

You can contact the training officer on 0161 912 2448 for more details.

Foster Carer Handback

The Foster Carer handbook should be used as a guide alongside Trafford’s Policies and Procedures.

The aim of this handbook is it to assist you in your role as Foster Carers and we hope that you will find this book an invaluable source of information on matters relating to fostering.

Personal Development Plans (PDP)

Each foster carer will have a personal development plan within their annual review. Through discussions with your allocated SSW you will assess your training needs and complete a PDP which identifies training courses for you to complete.

You can contact the training officer on 0161 912 2448 for more details.

Home based learning - information packs and online training

The Department for Education has published Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Carers. This is intended to support you from approval through the first two years of service. The standards cover the main areas of the foster care role and what you should know, understand and be able to do. The DfE also publishes a guide for foster carers to accompany the standards.

You can download these documents from the GOV.UK website.

You can also contact the training officer on 0161 912 2448 for more details.

Health support

Health for children in care

Community nurses

There are two Community Nurses for Children in Care who are based within the Children in Care Service and located at Trafford Town Hall.The nurses will be informed when a child comes into care and will work with the child, carer and social worker to ensure the child’s initial health assessment is carried out. The nurse will follow up any health problems identified and refer to other health services where necessary. Foster carers can contact the nurses directly for advice on a range of health issues. The nurses have a wide range of knowledge on health issues and can provide carers and children with information and advice.

Foster carers can contact the nurses directly. They work Mon to Fri 8.30am - 4.30pm

Contact details

Liz Ross
Specialist Nurse
0161 912 3518/07787 511435

Elaine Sherard
Staff Nurse
0161 912 2819/ 07841 781800

Emotional and mental health

Healthy Young Minds (HYM)

Based within the Children in Care Service are a team of Child Psychologists who work with foster carers, children, social workers and parents to support children in care to have thei remotional and mental health needs met. The Service provides an annual 8 week Attachment Training Course for foster carers. The service provides support to children placed with foster carers through direct appointments or via group or family therapy.

Carers can access referral forchildren placed via the child’s socialworker.

Find out more on the Pennine Care NHS Trust website

Contact details

Ruth Goldwyn 
Clinical Lead
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
HYM Lead for Children in Care
0161 912 3505

Jo Meadows 
ConsultantClinical Psychologist 
HYMLead for Children in Care
0161 912 3505

42nd Street

42nd Street believe that a range of different approaches can be effective in responding to young people's mental health needs and this is reflected in the variety ofservices they offer. As well as therapy, counselling and individual support, 42nd Street offer a wide range of youth work interventions including drop-ins, groups, arts based projects and a youth volunteering project. 42nd Street work with young people 13 – 25 (and in some schools down to 11 years old) in Manchester, Salford & Trafford. All their services to young people are free.

Contact details

Helpline/Referrals: 
Mon, Thurs & Fri 2pm to 5pm.

General Enquiries: 
Mon to Fri 9.30am to 5pm

Helpline: 
0161 228 1888

General enquiries: 
0161 2287321

Email:
theteam@42ndstreet.org.uk 

Visit the 42ndstreet website

Drug misuse

Phoenix Futures

Free, confidential 24/7 drug information and support line.

24 hours a day 7 days a week; phone 0800 77 66 00 or visit the Phonenix Futures website

Frank

You can also visit the Frank website, or call them on 0800 77 66 00

Sexual health

TALKSHOP

Talkshop offers advice and information to young people aged 11 to 18 years (25 with additional needs) and the front door to the 11 – 18 Early help hub. Trafford youth workers based at Talkshop can help with any issues which are affecting the lives of young people. Talkshop host a range of services, they can give advice on:

  • housing
  • relationships,
  • bullying,
  • drugs
  • alcohol
  • anger
  • stress

They also have an LGBT group and a young parents group.

Talkshop can offer one to one support; it's all free - confidential and non-judgmental. Young people can also use Talkshop’s PCs with free internet access to do CVs and homework.

Talkshop Sale Waterside
Sale 
Trafford
M33 7ZF

Monday
Drop in 1 – 3pm 
Clinic 3 – 6pm

Tuesday
Drop in 1 – 5pm

Wednesday
Drop in 1 – 5pm
Youth forum 5.30 – 7pm

Thursday
Drop in 1 – 5pm

Friday
Connexions and counsellingwork – by appointment only

Contact details

Tel: 0161 912 2453

Email: talkshop@trafford.gov.uk 

or visit the Talkshop Trafford website

Facebook: www.facebook.com/talkshopsale

Twitter: @TalkshopSale

Support with education

Virtual School

The education and achievement of children is actively promoted and valued and children are supported to achieve their educational potential. The Children in Care Service also have access to the services of a Virtual School. The Virtual Schoo lHeadteacher is located within the Service for part of the week. They assist in the coordination of the education of Children in Care.

Contact Lynsey Burridge lynsey.burridge@trafford.gov.uk for more information.

Designated teachers

Each school has an appointed designated teacher for children in care who are responsible for monitoring progress and giving advice and support.The designated teacher is responsible for the school’s input into the child’s Personal Education Plan.

You can access the designated teacher via the child’s school

Support to reduce offending

Prior to the implementation of a Statutory Order (Out of Court disposals) - Youth Offending Service (YOS)

The aim of an Out of Court disposal with supporting interventions is to divert young people wherever possible from entering the Criminal Justice System.

This is specifically for for young people arrested by the police for first time and/or minor offences – who can receive Community Resolutions, Cautions, or Conditional Cautions. YOS are alerted to all arrests of young people by police. Foster carers can contact YOS to discuss support required.

Contact details

Kate Waugh
Team Leader
0161 911 8201

Already offending - YOS statutory team

YOS provide assessments, determine intervention plans and supervise young people on bail, on remand or sentenced by the courts for criminal offences. Statutory intervention for young people offending is determined by the courts.

Contact details

YOS duty manager
0161 911 8201

Appropriate Adult (AA)

Child Action ensure that young people from Trafford who are arrested and taken into police custody have access to an appropriate adult. It is in the best interests of the young person for their appropriate adult to be their carer/ someone they know. In a small number of cases a parent/carer may be unable or unsuitable to attend and an appropriate adult from Child Action is appointed via the Police Station, who then provide the YOS with details of any call outs.

Child Action is available  24hrs per day (only when carer is unable to attend, e.g. because carer is victim of offence)

Placement support

Fostering equipment

A range of equipment can be provided by the Family Placement team, please discuss with your SSW.

Fostering short breaks

There are some foster carers approved as Short Break Carers who can provide short breaks for children placed with foster carers. Short break care may be for a one off emergency need for example if a foster carer has been taken into hospital and the child in their care needs an alternative placement. Or it can be regular short breaks where a child stays with a short break carer on a regular basis. Contact your SSW for details.

Fostering allowances

All foster carers are paid a weekly Fostering Allowance.

Travel and childcare costs

The service provides some financial support - you should discuss with your SSW for further details.

Complaints and allegations

If complaints or allegations are made against foster carers Fostertalk provides the carer with support. This can be direct support, counselling or legal advice.

You can contact Fostertalk on 0844 800 3880 or email them at enquiries@fostertalk.org.

Social worker / personal advisor

Each child in care has an allocated social worker who will support the child in their foster placement. You will need to stay in regular contact with the child’s social worker and keep them updated. The social worker can provide a range of support and advice. Children aged 16 or over who have been in care for 13 weeks will be allocated a Personal Advisor from the Permanence and Transitions Team.

Assisting young people to prepare for adulthood

Preparing children for adulthood is an ongoing process starting at an early age. Foster carers will be teaching children skills as they develop that will equip them with skills for adult life.

Materials to support foster carers are available: The Skills for Life Programme and the Independent Living Skills Workbook.

Please discuss with your SSW or child’s social worker.

Children’s Rights Service - supporting young people to voice their views

Young people, carers or social workers can access this service which will support young people to share their views. The service also organises a Children in Care Council which meets once a month.

Contact details

Mark Bailey
Advocacy and Engagement Officer 
mark.bailey@trafford.gov.uk

Useful links / documents