One of our members of staff attended the International Women’s Day at London’s South Bank, where they held a Women of the World festival. Please find her accounts below! A very interesting and inspiring read.


Amongst many of the key speakers, there was one in particular that blew me away. Her name is Malala Yousafzai. She is best known as the 15 year old girl who was shot in the head three times by the Taliban for trying to exercise her right to school and education. The Taliban had banned girls from attending school in some parts of Pakistan. In early 2009, at the age of 11–12, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. She has since been nominated for the winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize and was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. She was also featured on Time Magazine’s front cover as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”. Malala is now 16 years of age and heavily involved in activism for rights to education and for women in particular.

It was truly inspiring to see a young girl so passionate about the importance of education for children, young people and women alike; someone willing to fight for these causes really illustrated courage. Despite disadvantaged circumstances, education is one of the most fundamental tools we can utilise to enables us to etch a better future for ourselves. I believed it to be a very empowering message for all of our Young People.

What does a foster carer actually do?

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Perhaps you are considering fostering but are not completely sure what it entails? Hopefully we can clear this up for you!

The main responsibility of a foster carer is to provide foster children with a high standard of care. The Local Authority is also responsible for this care and so foster carers must work in partnership with them.

Foster carers ensure that their foster child is healthy, for example by encouraging participation in sport and exercise, encouraging healthy eating, arranging medical appointments and talking to them about the effects of taking drugs, smoking and drinking alcohol.

Foster carers make sure that their foster child is safe from harm. This could be through supporting the child and working closely with the school if they are being bullied and by attending child protection training.
Foster carers arrange activities for their foster child to enjoy life such as going to the park, going swimming or going on holiday.

Foster carers encourage achievement in education, for example through encouraging school attendance and supporting their child with their homework.

Foster carers encourage positive development, for example by working with their foster child to increase their self-confidence and to ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities.

Foster carers prepare their foster children to live independently through, for example, advising and support around saving money and life skills.

This is not an exhaustive list of the responsibilities of a foster carer, however as you can see already the role of fostering is extremely varied and challenging – but so rewarding! Foster carers can make a huge difference to the life of a child.

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, or even thought about it and are contemplating, please do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you, and are always happy to answer questions and queries you may have. We have regular support groups for our carers too! Call us today, one call could be all that’s needed to change your life, get a rewarding career, as well as give a young person a prosperous future.

A brief article written by one of our social workers…

You could start by thinking about ‘identity’ – what does it even mean? This one word can cover so much, but essentially it is however you define yourself: male, female, black, white. It can be whether you like tea or coffee, maths or English. It is what sets you apart from some people, and groups you together with others. It is what is given to you at birth but also what you continue to develop throughout your life through the friendships you form and the experiences that mark you.

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Carers need to recognise, respect and celebrate these differences. They may also need to support them in feeling positive about themselves and being proud of their heritage.

The National Standards for Foster Care state that: ‘ … children and young people and their families are provided with foster care services which value diversity and promote equality.’

  • Each child has her or his own identity and self-esteem valued and promoted: Foster Carers and Social Workers work co-operatively to enhance the child’s confidence and feeling of self-worth.
  • Names are very important – a child’s name needs to be respected and should not be shortened / amended without permission and discussion with the Local Authority and parents.
  • There are no general rules about what your foster child calls you, and what you call them, so talk to the child about what they would like to call you. Sometimes younger children use Mummy and Daddy.
  • If Mummy and Daddy are the child’s favoured names for the Foster Carers, they should talk with the child’s Social Worker. This could be discussed at a meeting or review, as birth parents may be distressed by the child’s decision and this could affect the placement. A way round this is for Carers to add their first name to the title, e.g. Mummy Rachel and Daddy Pete, which does not then lead to confusion with the birth parents.
  • A child retains his or her own forename when fostered, but changes the surname when adopted. If a foster child says he or she wants to be known by a different surname, the Social Worker and parents must be consulted.
  • The child’s race, culture, religion and language must be respected. Discrimination should be challenged on behalf of any child. Carers need to promote children’s cultural and religious heritage and identity.
  • Beliefs – Carers may have their own strong beliefs. These should not be imposed upon a child, and issues such as church attendance / household values need to be discussed at a planning stage in any placement.

If you have any questions, or queries on fostering, or want to know more about us, fostering, or any aspect of, feel free to make an enquiry, and one of our helpful members of staff will get back to you.

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