Help and Advice for Young People in Foster Care
Below you will find useful information for you, if you are a young person in care. You will also find out who is responsible for what, and how different people help you in which way. At the bottom of the page, there are contact details for Welcome Foster Care as well as the Service Manager.
What is Welcome Foster Care?
Welcome Foster Care (WFC) is a fostering agency. We put young people, who need care, in touch with foster carers who would like to look after them.
We spend a lot of time with every foster carer that works with us. We check and make sure that they’re the right type of person to be a foster carer. We work to very high standards set by the government.
We make sure they want to care for young people and that they’ve got the space in their home for somewhere for you to sleep. We also stay in touch with them to make sure that if they ever need help or support, we’re there for them.
We want you to have somewhere to live where you feel safe and have the support to be the best person you can be.
Foster carers come from a range of religions, and can be from all kinds of cultures. Remember, we’ll always try to make sure that your needs and wishes are carefully matched with foster carers.
We work hard to make sure you go to a school where you can learn and your health is looked after. We can get extra help from people if you need counselling, or support with a certain skill or activity.
If you want to know more about what we do, you can ask your foster carer, talk to the support worker for you and your foster family or call us on 020 3397 3332
Why do people go into foster care?
There are lots of reasons why young people are fostered. This can be when:
- A parent is ill and it’s not possible to be looked after at home
- People who either live in your house, or who visit you home, may have harmed you
- Your relationship with a parent is just not working out
Whatever the reason, social workers in your area have agreed it’s better for you not to live at home for now. They will try to see if there is any family or friends that you can stay with. If not, they’ll agree that the best place for you to be is in foster care.
Welcome Foster Care will be asked if we have foster carers who can take care of you.
During this time your social worker will be working very hard to try and sort out the problems at home. This might need lots of meetings with other people, for example your teachers as well as members of your family – but you’ll always be asked about what you think and feel too.
When can I see my family?
Your social worker will help you keep in touch with your family.
If there are people you’d like to visit, like grandparents or friends, please tell your foster carer or social worker. Meeting your family might be upsetting, and how you feel about it is important. You, your social worker and foster family will chat about this together, and if it’s best for you to see your family, they’ll help organise it.
What will my foster carer do?
Your foster carer will look after you while you’re away from your family. They’ll do things like take you to school, make sure that you’re healthy and support any hobbies you might have.
Most of the time, your foster family will be chosen because they’re from the same culture, or religion as your own family. This is so that you feel comfortable when you’re living with them
We expect all our foster carers to support you by:
- Taking good care of you and making you feel safe
- Listen and care for you
- Take you to the doctor, dentist or any other person you need
- Make sure you get your pocket money and some new clothes
- Make sure you do the things you enjoy like swimming, cycling or football
What will my social worker do?
Your social worker will organise your care by writing a ‘care plan’. When they’re writing this plan, they’ll talk to you, your carer and usually your family. Your social worker will also make sure you’re okay in your placement and your experience of being in care is a good one.
When you first go into care your social worker will fill out some forms about you and your carer. These forms will be about your health, your school and look at how often you will see family and friends.
Your social worker will:
- Visit you when you’re in care at least once every six weeks
- Make sure a child care review takes place
- Talk to you about your hobbies, what you like and the things that you’re good at
- Talk to you if you are unhappy about anything
- Make sure you have everything you need
- Talk to you alone about where you’re living, how you’re feeling and how you’re getting on at school
How often can I see my family?
Who you see, and how often you see them, depends on what’s best for you.
There are lots of things that your social worker will have to think about at the child care review before deciding this. But you’ll be asked your opinion and it matters what you think and feel.
If you feel worried about seeing anyone in your family alone, your social worker or another adult can be with you when you meet.
If you’d like to know more about Foster Care, call 020 3397 3332
When can I go home?
It’s hard to say when you can go back home, because it depends on the reason why it’s better for you to be in foster care in the first place.
Some young people go back to their families after a short time in foster care, but for others they will never live with their families like they did before. This doesn’t mean that they won’t see their family, it just means that it’s better for them to be looked after by their foster carer instead.
Your social worker will make sure that whatever decision is made about where you stay, you can have your say. The decision is made during a ‘child care review’. Sometimes this is a hard decision to make, and sometimes it’s made by a Judge.
Remember you can always ask your social worker about this, and they’ll make sure you know what’s going on.
How can I tell WFC if I am not happy?
Here are the different ways you can let us know that you’re not happy about your foster carer or foster family or if there is something that you would like to change about your placement.
- Speak to your social worker
- Speak to our Children’s Champion
You can call him on 020 3397 3332 or email him on: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Speak to our Service Manager.
You can call him on 020 3397 3332 or email him on: email@example.com
- Write to us at:
Welcome Foster Care
Unit 3, Office Village
4 Romford Road
Who can I contact if I am not happy?
If you’re not happy, please contact, our Service Manager for Welcome Foster Care. He’ll do his best to help you.
You can call your Service Manager on 020 3397 3332 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I don’t like my foster family?
This can be a very difficult and confusing time. You might find that you don’t not like your foster family because they do things differently from your family, or because you miss your family.
You’ll probably come to like your foster family as you get to know them better.
If you’re finding it hard to get on with your foster family, talk to them and tell them how you feel. See if you can agree on some changes that will make life better.
You should always talk to your social worker about your feelings as they’ll be able to help you and your foster carer talk through any problems. You can also talk to an independent advocate – this is someone who does not work for the local authority. The organisations below can help you find an independent advocate.
What if I don’t like how my foster family treats me?
Your foster family is chosen very carefully and they’re given training on how to look after you. However, if you’re really unhappy about where you’re living or anything else, speak to your social worker.
You may be feeling lots of different emotions about leaving your family and moving to a new home. You might have even had to change schools and trying to make new friends.
If talking to your social worker doesn’t help and you’re still unhappy they can help you make a complaint. Making a complaint is very serious so it’s really important you’ve tried your best to work things out with your foster carer and your social worker first.
If this is not helpful you can ask to speak to your social worker’s boss or the Children’s Rights Service at your local authority. If your social worker makes a complaint for you but you think it was not taken seriously enough, you can make a complaint yourself by writing to Ofsted, which is the organisation that checks the work that fostering agencies do.
Please see below for contact details for Ofsted and other child care services.
Piccadilly Gate, Store Street
Manchester, M1 2WD
Tel: 0300 123 1231
|Childline Helpline: 0800 1111
(calls are free)
|Coram Children’s Legal CentreTel: 01206 714 650
Email (General Enquiries): email@example.com
|Coram VoiceTel: 0808 800 5792
(calls are free)
Email (General Enquiries): firstname.lastname@example.org