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foster families

Summer 2010 Issue Five

£2

WIN! Get out in the garden with gardening sets from themessiplace.com

Out of this world

My life in care

Invisible or valued?

10 year old Jessica tells the ups and downs of care

Find out how the kids of foster carers feel

The truth about child care in the developing world

“What a great read! Real-world advice, based on real-life experiences,” Jill Dyal, themessiplace.com


Welcome

foster families 2

Foster Families Order Form

Dear Reader,

Fill in the form, crossing out as appropriate, and send it along with a cheque made payable to ‘Foster Families’, to: Subscriptions, Foster Families, Flat 2, 2a Brook Street, Worcester, WR1 1JA. Name: _____________________________

This happens to be our best issue yet - we’ve got so much advice packed in, from getting kids back on track at school, to making sure your own kids don’t feel second best to your foster children, and helping children and young people deal with trauma... as well as encouraging them to eat adult food from an early age. We’ve also got previews of singles, films and books all based on fostering experiences. For those reading the online version, subscribe to the full version by filling in the form (right). I hope you enjoyed Foster Care Fortnight - if you know of anyone thinking about fostering get them to check out your advice on page 12. You’re doing a wonderful job by being a foster carer. I hope this issue continues to support you in that. Let me know how you get on - your feedback and comments are always appreciated. Happy reading,

Summer 2010

Address: ___________________________ ___________________________________ Postcode: ___________________________ Email Address: ______________________ Yearly subscription: £7 Paid by: Cheque/ Money transfer/PayPal Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk for more payment options.

Ceressa Bateman, Editor

Meet the experts... Chris Graham, cookery teacher, gives some tasty recipes and cooking ‘cheats’ for easy summer baking

Anne Davies, Jigsaw4U, talks through trauma what to look for and what to do

Mandy Watkins, interior designer, gives super advice for brightening your home with the kids’ help

Helen Mason, educational and child psychologist, shares how to best help asylum seeking and refugee children

Tim Francis, educational psychologist, advises why kids fall behind at school and how to help

Take a look at this issue’s cover stories foster families

Summer 2010 Issue Five

£2

The ups and downs of a 10 year old’s life in care. Jessica reveals all

Fun gardening sets to be won from themessiplace.com. Look out for our other fab prizes

13

How do your kids feel about fostering? Peter Unwin looks at birth children’s views

25

39

WIN! Get out in the garden with gardening sets from themessiplace.com

Out of this world

My life in care

Invisible or valued?

10 year old Jessica tells the ups and downs of care

Find out how the kids of foster carers feel

The truth about child care in the developing world

What happens when fostering’s not an option? Mick Pease looks at childcare in other countries

“What a great read! Real-world advice, based on real-life experiences,”

10

Jill Dyal, themessiplace.com

This is not the full version - to read all the articles, subscribe for just £7 per year. Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pages/Foster-Families-Magazine/144256428433

http://twitter.com/Foster_Families


Contents

Cover Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/27685844@N05/3806942322

Photos, clockwise from top left: www.flickr.com/photos/hlkljgk/1100132442, www.flickr.com/photos/adam_jones/3774397170, www.flickr.com/photos/ msk13/2207091854, www.flickr.com/photos/patrick_gallo/3123688849, www.flickr.com/photos/seeveeaar/2956787150, FosterFamilies

Summer 2010

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Contents Summer 2010

Edition 5

10

Find out what great treats we have in store for you in the Summer edition of Foster Families

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support . . . e-learning for cwdc standards supporting an asylum seeker or refugee protect your teen from online danger valuing your own children

latest . . .

second chance single, memories of care hell’s pavement - foster care film

book review ... Fiona Strachan looks at Dale’s Tale, from foster care to adoption ... 29

... 5 ... 7 ... 21 ... 25

... 6 ... 30

13

information . . . how they do it abroad, children in care

...10

advice . . . our top tips ... 15 ways to help the asylum seeker/refugee in your care ... 8 your fostering tips ... 12 where to get support with disabilities ... 18 tips to make your own kids feel valued ... 26 get your foster child back on track at school ... 28 your letters ... 38

competitions ... online training ... 5 fantastic cds ...20 personalised books ...22 win a cook book ...34 kids competition ...37 crossword quiz ...39

want to foster? readers’’ tips

... 12

personal . . . life before care? 10 year old Jessica’s story... 13 Lucy’s full house - and child with disabilities ...17 our day at the races, family fun ...19

23

education . . . a care leaver’s journey to higher education ... 23 falling behind at school? get some help! ... 27

home . . . bring the sun in... and bond with the kids ... 31

food and health . . .

say goodbye to trauma, coping with death... 32 developing a taste for adult food ... 34 the rubbing in method - cookery tips ... 35 chris’s cookery cards ... 36

35 fun stuff . . .

swap shop - trade your toys and prams ... 4 kids’ corner ... 37 crossword ... 39

This is not the full version - to read all the articles, subscribe for just £7 per year. Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk

28


Personal

foster families

Summer 2010

... subscribe now foster families Summer 2009

Thinking of subscribing to Foster Families Magazine?

Foster Families is a lifestyle magazine aimed at you. Bursting with helpful information, fun articles and carers’ stories, this magazine offers support and encouragement to foster carers. Unlike other fostering newsletters, Foster Families gives parenting advice as well as sections on the home, food, and health. Other people’s experiences of fostering let you know you’re not alone in your struggles, and will encourage you in the great job you are doing.

Understand your need to grieve

School? The do’s and don’ts of moving

Carer’s story

Moving out of home - help them prepare

Are you a foster carer?

A day to remember Our family fun in London

Saying goodbye

Discipline Work out why they play up and work with it!

Top 10 tips

“We were in constant contact with the police”

Photo: Mohd Nor Azmil Abdul Rahman

Expert advice on children’s behaviour and difficulties, book reviews, information about support and events, and fun ideas for the family make Foster Families different from any other magazine. Foster Families reaches the areas that are not spoken of in other magazines. It is fun, relevant and well written - a relaxing yet informative must-read for foster carers.

payable to ‘Foster Families’ to: Flat 2, 2a Brook Street, Worcester, WR1 1JB. Foster Families Magazine is £2 per copy, or just £7 for a whole year. Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk forImprint: more information.

Foster Families Order Form

Fill in the following form, crossing out as appropriate, and send it along with a cheque made payable to ‘Foster Families’, to: Subscriptions, Foster Families, Flat 2, 2a Brook Street, Worcester, WR1 1JA*. Name: ______________________________ Address: _____________________________ ____________________________________ Postcode: ___________________________ Email Address: _______________________ £7 £2

Paid by: Cheque/ Money transfer/PayPal

Readers’ say:

For just £7 per year you get all this:

Subscribe: Visit www.fosterfamilies.co.uk/subscriptions to order online or send a cheque made

Yearly subscription (yes/no): Or one issue (yes/no):

foster families 4

Foster Families Magazine Flat 2, 2a Brook Street, Worcester WR1 1JB www.fosterfamilies.co.uk

Published by: Ceressa Bateman Editor: Ceressa Bateman Editorial Tel: 01905 747924 Email: ceressa@fosterfamilies.co.uk Advertising Email: ads@ fosterfamilies.co.uk Printed by: Buxton Press Limited, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6AE 01298 21 2000

“I think Foster Families is excellent. It’s about time something as informative as this was published,” Ann, foster carer. “What a fabulous magazine - it was great to read people’s personal experiences,” Gemma, foster carer.

E: subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk T: 01905 747924 W: www.fosterfamilies.co.uk

Swap shop www.fosterfamilies.co.uk/index.php/swap-shop

Don’t pay more!

We’ve got some fantastic items for sale at www.fosterfamilies.co.uk/index.php/swap-shop. Why pay out for something brand new when there are plenty of second-hand options? If there’s anything you like, then get in touch and save some money.

Swap your items here!

Let other foster carers get some use out of those pushchairs, toys, bikes and other things you no longer use. If you’ve got any useful bits and bobs you no longer need, then you can list them on here. Simply email info@fosterfamilies. co.uk with your name, address, phone number, a description of the item, and a price.

*Payments can also be made via PayPal to subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk, or at www.fosterfamilies.co.uk. Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk for more payment options. This is not the full version - to read all the articles, subscribe for just £7 per year. Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk www.facebook.com/pages/Foster-Families-Magazine/144256428433

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Personal

Summer 2010

foster families 5

E-learning for CWDC requirements

Michael Dennis points you in the right direction

F

ostercare Training know that foster carers lack real access to useful training, innovative insights and practical advice on key areas of their job to help them develop. Social worker and director, Patricia Nettleford, told us: “Many carers are concerned that they face not being able to continue practising if they do not pass their Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) training. This is something we are taking swift innovative action to address. Training for carers is urgently needed yet good quality, engaging training has traditionally been hard to find. Timetabling has become a real headache, and what’s more, attending training sessions can be difficult and costly.” Travel, childcare and time off work are just some of the costly barriers carers face on top of managing a home.

Patricia’s partner, Michael Dennis, says: “Fostercare Training not only enables carers to demonstrate evidence of attending training, but also helps them to apply our training in their day to day lives with practical tools and tips right away.” Fostercare Training also offer custom courses, meaning that carers can get as much training as they need from the comfort of their own home. The training packages are developed using the latest technology and techniques in web-based learning. The learning experience has been created so that attending training is fun and accessible as well as being available to fit in with complex busy schedules. The team’s unique background means attendees are guaranteed to discover valuable new insights, proven tools and techniques. To find out more about upcoming courses with Fostercare Training

More about Michael please contact Patricia Nettleford Michael Dennis is founder of Fostercare on 07787 255446, World an online email us at info@ community of carers, fostercaretraining. a panel member and co.uk or visit our a former foster child. website at www.fostercaretraining.co.uk.

Win a free place on our next training workshop

WIN

What does CWDC stand for? a) Children’s Workshop Disability Council b) Children With Daisy Chains c) Children’s Workforce Development Council For your chance to win, send your answers to media@ fostercaretraining.co.uk with the subject ‘Competition entry’ along with your contact details. The first correct entry chosen at random will win. Deadline: August 10th 2010.


Latest

Summer 2010

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Give us a chance

Ian Harris hopes to raise money for children in care with the single Second Chance

S

17x8-cis

itting around the dinner table one day, Ian Harris and his friend, Dylan Charles, listened to Nikita share her memories of being in foster care. “She knew she was one of the lucky ones,” says Ian. By ‘lucky’ he means she was adopted by her longterm foster carers into a loving and supportive family. “But she still remembers what it was like to fear going home because she didn’t know what would happen to her.” 15/10/09 14:10 Page 1 About two years ago Ian had the idea of producing a song that would speak to people about fostering.

“I wanted to raise awareness that we need more foster carers for these kids.” He wanted someone who had been in care to sing it, and to sing about how they felt when they were in care. “My wife and I received an invite to our friends’ wedding anniversary, and Nikita, their adopted daughter, sang a song for them. I asked her right away if she would sing our song, and she was over the moon.” Ian and Dylan then set about writing the music and lyrics while Nikita told them about the feelings and dreams she had as a girl in care. The emotive ballad tells of her fear and rejection, and her longing to be loved. It goes on to tell of the joy she felt when she was later adopted into a family. “Nikita was the perfect choice to sing the record. She’s been through it, she means what she’s singing.” Currently a club singer, Nikita is delighted to be able to encourage

children who are in care. She hopes to inspire them to achieve great things when they see how far she has come since being in their shoes. “The one thing that Nikita wanted in life was to have a home where she felt safe and loved,” says Ian. “She still struggles with her identity now, which is why she’s the ideal role-model for kids going through the care system.” Ian aims to support national fostering bodies with the single’s proceeds, but most importantly share them with children in care. “Some kids don’t have treats,” he says, shaking his head. “I’d like to be able to provide them with some way of making their dream come true, whether it be a special trip or a musical instrument for example.” He hopes to get local businesses involved in his vision too. Second Chance is out now! It’s available for £2.99 from http://secondchance.uk.com.

www. c i s -a ss e s s m e n t . c o. uk We provide carers and managers with easy to Easy to use assessments use assessments to evidence their knowledge to evidence knowledge for against Skills for Care Standards the CWDC Standards:

Common Induction Standards CWDC Induction Standards

Managers' Induction Foster Care and Short Break Standards Standards

LDQ Induction Standards Safeguarding Children

Knowledge Sets:

Supporting and enabling: Safeguarding Adults

Evidence portfolios Dementia

Supervision Medication

Personal Development Plans Infection Control

ForFor a free evaluation, or more information contact: a free evaluation, or more information contact:

tel: 0845 873 0373 tel: 0845 873 0373

email: info@cis-assessment.co.uk email: support@cis-assessment.co.uk


Information

Summer 2010

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Fostering: not an option in some countries Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/julio_/6280469

Mick Pease takes a look at the care system in developing countries

H

ave you ever thought how foster care might be perceived in developing or emerging countries? Or, if fostering as practiced in the UK could even work there? This is what I thought until learning that over many decades some of the poorer countries had a rich heritage in looking after relative children, in some cases even non-relative children.

Having worked as a Local Authority social worker with Leeds City Council since 1986 my wife and I decided to live and work voluntarily in Brazil for 12 months with a children’s project. Working there I couldn’t help but be struck by the number of young children being absorbed into residential homes for a whole range of reasons, usually poverty, abuse and abandonment. Most were not orphans - they had

“Children at risk belong in families”

family members somewhere. I suddenly realised that what we often take for granted in the UK in trying to place children into foster families was not even an option in Brazil or indeed most other developing nations. In 2002 after much research and self-examination I started my charity Substitute Families for Abandoned Children (SFAC). Our focus is to get important information, experience and knowledge out to child care organisations who want to learn about foster care.

This is not the full version - to read all the articles, subscribe for just £7 per year. Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk www.facebook.com/pages/Foster-Families-Magazine/144256428433

http://twitter.com/Foster_Families


Information

foster families 8

Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/ adam_jones/3774397170

Initially I thought it would just be Brazil but it has now developed with us working in Africa, South & Central Asia, Europe and Central America. We mainly work with local Non Government Organisations (NGO’s), often faith based as they tend to be the pioneers of new concepts. Just like in the UK some years ago when National Children’s Homes (NCH), Church of England Society, Barnardo’s, Catholic Welfare and others helped shape the development of UK child care services. My belief is that wherever possible children at risk belong in families. My passion is to help in countries where they have the greatest problems yet the fewest resources. In many countries children are faced with the grimmest of situations – poverty, abuse, internal conflict, disasters, trafficking, AIDS and so on. Surely those children also deserve the right to family life if at all possible. SFAC provides practical, on-site social work training and consultancy to local child care organisations at minimal cost. We help workers understand foster care – what it is; its benefits and challenges, viewing it as a viable alternative to traditional forms of residential care. We also promote the need to actively work at rehabilitating children back into families and communities where appropriate. It is estimated that globally there are over 8,000,000 children living in some form of residential care – many called orphanages. Over 90% of these children are not orphans; they have relatives somewhere who might, with some assistance, be able to care for that child. When this is not possible foster care can be an answer for some children. Recently we trained Compassion International representatives from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana and Burkina Faso. Various aspects of foster care were discussed with Compassion now placing foster care as part of their global strategy.

Summer 2010

We know that foster care in itself isn’t the complete answer to the needs of orphaned and abandoned children; neither does it work for all children. For some, however, it can provide an opportunity to grow up in a safe and caring family where they are seen as an individual rather than just a name. A good foster family can bring much healing to traumatised children as well as being a model for them to learn how to become parents themselves when they become adults. The cries of babies in a third-world orphanage Over the years that I’ve travelled in different developing countries I have seen many children living away from their mothers and fathers for a variety of reasons and most placed into institutional care. I visited an orphanage last year where I saw babies in cots side by side with few staff members to meet their needs. Due to there being many babies and not enough staff, the infants were taken out of their cots one by one for a few minutes when time allowed. This could be for feeding, changing or play. They were soon returned to the cot because other children’s needs

“8 million children in residential care”

required dealing with. As I passed through the baby room I saw a very young and fragile baby crying. The crying quickly increased in volume and intensity – clearly the baby needed attention. As no one responded I considered lifting the child myself, but being a stranger and a passing visitor I had no idea of the routine and how my action would be perceived by orphanage managers. I remember thinking, ‘Will someone please listen to this child’s heart felt cries’. Still no one responded, the staff members on duty seemed too busy attending to other things. The child’s cries were ringing in my ears as I left that room – how I wished the baby could be with a foster family to nurture and respond to their every need. Thankfully, when I later returned the baby was in the arms of a staff member and the cries had ceased. But I knew this would only be a brief respite in many a long day for distressed orphaned and abandoned babies. Orphanage staff often don’t have the time to attend to children’s needs as there are so many other things to do. That’s why young children are best placed in foster families where someone is close at hand to cuddle and comfort them when needed rather than them having to fight for the little bit of positive attention that is available.

“Good foster families bring healing”

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Information

Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/tormods/3841034148

Placed in an orphanage for a ‘better’ education A visit to Central Asia introduced me to a child who had been placed in an orphanage there, although it could have been one of many countries in the world. His family’s poverty caused them to place this young boy in an orphanage. They believed he would receive a better standard of education and food there than at home. He’s raised among many other children in his own group in a cold Soviet-style large concrete institution. Rules are strict and apply to hundreds of children. The staff are poorly paid and lacking in motivation. The children are woken early for breakfast and showered in cold water – the heating system is broken down and they can’t afford to have it repaired. Seated in a Dickensianstyle dormitory they eat a simple breakfast before going into their group for school, interspersed with some outside activity at play time. Lunch comes and goes. Afternoon sleep is emphasised for the smaller

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children – implemented, not chosen according to need. Hundreds of children gather together for tea, no choices or preferences – but an attitude of ‘be grateful for what you have’. There is little evidence of these children understanding their cultural family lifestyle where families often sit outside in their communities until after dark with children playing with their friends. Orphanage children are rounded up after early evening and, because of staff shortages, are quickly put to bed with little individual warmth and attention given. Yes, they have some level of education and some nutrition but they are starved of their individuality and sense of

foster families 9

freedom amidst a caring family. What hope do these children have of understanding how families are supposed to function? Wouldn’t a suitable foster family provide a much better example to orphaned and abandoned child? Mick Pease, Director & Head of Training at SFAC, aims to place children in foster families rather than orphanages. Find out more at www.sfac.org.uk

Want to foster?

If you’re thinking of fostering, read what other carers say about making the decision:

1 3 5

Make sure all your family are up for it - your own kids need to be able to share you and your time. Some kids don’t want to be with you and will make life hard. - Faye Downes Go for it, it’s the most enjoyable, rewarding job ever! Go to an informal meeting and speak to other carers if you can. - Jane Bannister-Fella

Ask every question you can think of before accepting a placement. Even if it’s a silly question. Matching is vital for both you and the young person if the placement is to work. - Emma Campbell

0 acre grounds surrounding ash). This is not the full version - to read all the articles, subscribe

for just £7 per year. Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk

space, with views across

Summer 2010

2

In every child you may have at least one thing you’ve done that will be rewarding. - Claire Eljadi Richards

4

Be aware that you cannot change the world and that fostering takes over your life! It’s absolutely rewarding though... - Jackie Reid

What’s your top fostering tip? Email it to haveyoursay@fosterfamilies.co.uk, or post your advice to: Foster Families, Flat 2, 2a Brook Street, Worcester, WR1 1JB, and it could go in our Autumn 2010 issue.


Summer 2010

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Get that heart racing

A day at the races: Clare Dineen tells about her family’s favourite day out watching the car races at Silverstone

J

ames* moved in with me, my 2009 season we went to a few of the son Alix*, five, and my daughter race circuits to watch Graham race Elizabeth*, three, just over a his Global GT1 race car and James year ago. He was eight then and thrived on the excitement. It was an totally lost. interest that originated from his time James had previously been raised by living with his Dad, messing about his father and we with radio controlled “He’s really pleased cars and motor bikes. had to work on our relationship to have someone who And he is really as I was a female that he has shares the interest” pleased single carer at the someone who shares time. the interest even now. A couple of weeks later, once he’d At one race, Easter Sunday 2009, settled in, I introduced James to my we ate our packed lunch in what long term partner Graham, who is a turned out to be Jenson Button’s racing driver and runs his own team. pit garage at Silverstone, while the Graham races with the British Racing racers zoomed up and down just and Sports Car Club (BRSCC). He also won the 2008 British Championship in his class. Of course this hobby entails endless hours tinkering about with engines and bits of metal in cold draughty garages that I have absolutely no interest in... but which both Graham and James love. Through the This is not the full version - to read all the articles, subscribe for just £7 per year. Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk

the other side of the garage doors. Later in the day we ate Easter eggs in the grandstand while watching the racing. You would think this an exhausting day out, three children in the stands of various race circuits, but actually, once they all have their ear defenders on and can’t hear me anyway, they get engrossed in the racing and I get to put my feet up with a ridiculously expensive cardboard cup of tea! It’s looking like a busy season this year, so there will be plenty of opportunity for James, Alix, now six, and Elizabeth, now four, to travel Elizabeth eating Easter eggs in the grandstand


Personal

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See our web site for our range and details of how to order.

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Paul Tisdale, Manager of Exeter City, supports Simply Fostering. Simply Fostering is the UK's leading independent, 'not for profit' foster carer information and recruitment website. We provide up to 100 foster carer enquiries to both local authority and private fostering agencies on a weekly basis, supporting the national shortfall of 8500 foster carers nationwide. If you are a prospective or experienced foster carer please let us help you make the right choice of fostering agency first time! For more information, visit www.simplyfostering.co.uk

about a bit and share happy, healthy outdoor fun together. Silverstone have even built a fun fair for Formula One this season so they are really excited about visiting that track. James is going to be 10 soon and he is off Karting for the day, so we will see how good he is at driving the Karts as well as helping to maintain the race cars. Now Graham is doing his training to be a foster carer too so we can progress our relationship and he can then take James off with the rest of the team to races and events... so I can stay home and watch it on the telly instead! Tell us about your fun day out with the family at haveyoursay@fosterfamilies.co.uk.

CD Giveaway!

Photo: Silverstone

Now kids can have a go in the driver’s seat, at Silverstone’s funfair

COMPETITI

ON

We’ve teamed with Mediak to give two lucky winners the chance to win a personalised CD. These fantastic music and story CDs feature your foster child’s name, making for an exciting and self-esteem building listen. From birthday songs to nursery ryhmes and sports CDs, children will love hearing their name included in the tracks. Visit www. kidsmusiccds.co.uk to choose the CD you’d like, then email your choice to competitions@ fosterfamilies.co.uk with the subject line ‘Mediak’ along with your name, address and child’s name. Or post the information to Foster Families Competitions, Flat 2, 2a Brook Street, Worcester, WR1 1JB to enter. Competition closing date is August 10th 2010. The first entry drawn will win the prize.

This is not the full version - to read all the articles, subscribe for just £7 per year. Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk www.facebook.com/pages/Foster-Families-Magazine/144256428433

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Support

Summer 2010

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Chatroulette keep predators at bay

Sharon Woolley advises how to keep your charges safe from the dangers of chatroulette, the latest online teen addiction Sharon Woolley,

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Marketing Director lthough fostering is an ‘meet’ the random strangers. as well as all at SpectorSoft incredibly rewarding As a foster carer, imagine your activity in MySpace Corporation experience, it is also a charge sitting in the perceived safety and Facebook, or challenging role that requires skills of his/her bedroom while an infinite other sites such as and dedication to meet the varied number of strangers are lined up in Chatroulette. It can be set to restrict and complex needs of looked-after the hall to go into the room and meet a child from accessing any websites children. with your foster child face-to-face. and block online chat with specific In order to provide That’s Chatroulette in a individuals. “It’s a predator’s a safe, secure and nutshell! It also records webcam activity paradise” stable environment Peer pressure can so that parents can actually see for children and young adults unable make teens talk and do things with who their child was looking at and to live with their birth families, strangers that they normally would chatting with online. foster carers need to be vigilant in not do when they are alone. A step-by-step recording of screen educating themselves on Internet Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and snapshots can be viewed in a dangers that face their charges each Fox News contributor, says: “It’s a ‘forward and rewind’ sequence, much day. predator’s paradise. This is one of like a surveillance video of their Our children live in an age where the worst faces of the Internet I’ve desktop activity. Find out more at the internet is all that they’ve ever seen.” www.spectorsoft.com. known, with access to graphic SpectorSoft President, C. Douglas An ounce of prevention is worth images and content through web and Fowler, agrees: a pound of cure when it comes to social networking sites. “Foster parents are keeping your foster “Fast-growing children safe. Make According to a recent Home Office right to be concerned report on the Sexualisation of about their children sure you have the tools teenage fad” Young People, 99 percent of eight being exposed to in place to ensure the to 17-year-olds have access to the graphic activity and content online.” online safety, security and stability internet and 60 percent of 12 to “As a pioneer in this industry, we feel they need to thrive and blossom. 15-year-olds say that they mostly it is our responsibility to immediately SpectorSoft provides award-winning use it without parental supervision. inform parents as we discover new PC and Internet monitoring software The same study also found that 49 websites and technology that can put used by more than 500,000 parents percent of children aged eight to 17 any child in harm’s way.” worldwide to crack down on Internet have an online profile on sites such Spector Pro 2010 from SpectorSoft abuse. The company offers a free as Bebo, MySpace and Facebook. monitors and records everything a Internet Lingo Guide for parents Now children are discovering child does on their PC and on the confused by the cryptic acronyms 1/19/10 2:50:13 PM Chatroulette. Internet, SpectorProIsWatching_FosterFamilies_Quarter.pdf including chat discussions, children use in chat messages and Chatroulette allows anyone with a keystrokes typed, websites visited, online at www.freelingoguide.com. webcam to randomly connect with a complete stranger and engage in anonymous exchanges, many times of a sexual nature, via video and a 42 year old man posing For more information online chat. as a 15 year old girl online. It’s the fast-growing fad among about Spector Pro or teenagers - a quick and easy way to to place an order: communicate online with people from “Susan” and your 13 year all over the world and has over one Visit us online: old just made plans to million visitors per day. It has been spectorsoft.co.uk meet at the park. described as a potential tailor-made Call us toll-free: portal for perverts and paedophiles. 0800 032 3901 It works literally like roulette. Users log-on, press a big button labelled ‘Next’ and it then randomly connects them to any one of a number of people across the world currently Protect your child with Spector Pro, the best selling software for monitoring and logged on. recording every detail of their PC and Internet activity. The gimmick is the fact that all of the Spector Pro records everything they do on the computer – their chats, instant users have webcams - so they can messages, emails, the web sites they visit… and much more. Plus, with Spector

Meet Susan...

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Pro’s advanced screen snapshots feature, you not only see what they do, you see the exact order in which they do it, step by step. © Copyright 2010 SpectorSoft Corporation. All rights reserved. PC Magazine Editors’ Choice Award Logo is a trademark of Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc. Used under license.

Spector Pro


Competition

WIN www.aber.ac.uk/wpsi

Gweithio Gyda Myfyrwyr sy’n Gadael Gofal -Ein hymroddiad ni i’ch dyfodol chi

Er mwyn cael cymorth a chyngor cyn i chi gyrraedd (mewn Dyddiau Agored, dyddiau ymweld, etc.), drwy’r broses ymgeisio, ac wrth i chi gyrraedd, astudio, ac ymlaen i’ch graddio, cysylltwch â DEBRA CROFT yn y Ganolfan Ehangu Cyfranogiad E-bost: dec@aber.ac.uk Ffôn: 01970 622681, neu Tecst: 07968 77 55 23

workinG with students froM Care - our commitmEnt to your futurE

For help and advice before arrival (at Open Days, visiting days, etc.), through the application process, arrival, progression, and on to graduation, contact DEBRA CROFT in the Centre for Widening Participation E-mail: dec@aber.ac.uk Tel: 01970 622681, or Txt: 07968 77 55 23

Summer 2010

foster families 13

Win a love2read personalised book!

Foster Families are pleased to offer five lucky winners the opportunity to create their own personalised love2read book in our fabulous competition. If you’re looking for a great way to use some of those precious digital photos stored on your computer, help is at hand. These personalised photographic reading books make a great memento of time spent with a foster family for the child to treasure forever. As one foster carer put it: “An easy way of making a book full of memories for my foster child when he left me - he loved it!” Simply upload 10 suitable photos of the child into a virtual book at www.love2read.co.uk and add some text. No software is needed, the website is easy to use and you can even save your book as you go along if you need to come back to it later. Titles include: I see..., I like..., My holiday..., All about me.... To enter the competition simply answer this question: How many photographs must you upload to create a love2read book? Email your answer to competitions@ fosterfamilies.co.uk, with the subject line ‘love2read’ along with your name and address. Competiton deadline is August 10th 2010. The first five correct entries drawn will win. For further information visit www.love2read.co.uk.

Support for care leavers at Winchester

Benefits include: • • • •

King Alfred Scholarship, worth £2,050 Special help and support with housing arrangements Designated Welfare Adviser Strong partnerships with local authorities TTE M I D

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Leanne Hart: “The University of Winchester has been very supportive. If it wasn’t for the staff at the University – I would never have had the confidence to apply. The level of support received is fantastic and it’s given me confidence to know that I have such an excellent support network behind me.”

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Finndd ou ore: mor outt m Fi Terri Sandison T: 01962 827225 E: Terri.Sandison@winchester.ac.uk www.winchester.ac.uk

This is not the full version - to read all the articles, subscribe for just £7 per year. Email subscriptions@fosterfamilies.co.uk


Home

Summer 2010

foster families 14

Bring the sun inside Mandy Watkins gives her top tips on sprucing up your home for the summer

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ummer is hopefully on its way, meaning it’s time to brighten up our homes and add some sunshine. The school holidays can seem long when you have to entertain the children, but usually you can find something for them to do around the house that’s fun and suitable for all ages. Take a look at these ideas: Cut it out It’s always a good idea to cut out ideas you see in magazines. Keep them in a scrap book so you can go back and look at the different styles that have caught your eye. This gives you some kind of direction as well as giving you a better understanding of your interior likes and dislikes. Kids love a challenge so give them some home magazines to pick out their favourite looks too. Asking to look through their clippings for inspiration will give younger children a wonderful feeling of importance. Keep it fresh You can easily bring a touch of freshness to every room in preparation for sunnier days. White bed linen instantly brightens a room and how about adding a zesty throw to place at the end of your bed to add some colour?

you can always change the look of the room inexpensively by chopping and changing throws and cushions. Cushions can be left to the children to decide. It’s nice to mix and match and you can pick them up quite cheaply these days, so let them explore their design skills! You can even make the room look more ‘kiddy’ for birthday parties or when they have friends over by swapping your sophisticated throws for their Dora the Explorer ones. Getting the kids involved Decorating is a great time to bond with your foster child. There is so much to think about and do, creating comfortable opportunities for the child to talk about their tastes and preferences without feeling threatened or even that they’re really opening up. Encourage them to talk about their preferred colour - it’s not too personal, and a great place to start. If you can’t decide between two colours ask the children to vote. Valuing their opinion in something as simple as this really boosts their confidence and will help them feel involved. Alfresco Summer is also a time where we can hopefully dine alfresco. Look out for

some colourful bits and pieces to give the garden a fresh look. Plastic plates and luscious lanterns will help brighten up your outside dinners. Pot plant painting Another great way of getting the kids involved is to let them make things for the garden. You could buy plain pot plants and let the children paint them whichever way they choose. Tea lights Another great idea is to get an empty jam jar and tie some garden wire round the neck and across the top (to make a handle). Place some citronella tea lights in them to make lovely lanterns. You could even buy glass paints and have a rainbow of lights at your table. Little Gardener Children love to play outside, so encourage them to take an interest in the garden by giving them a patch to be responsible for. From herbs to potatoes they will love to see their own plants developing. If you are introducing some new plants try and choose some wildlife-friendly ones to encourage butterflies and bees into your garden. Give the children jars and nets to explore the wildlife in their garden - they’ll love studying them.

Have a focus If you are thinking about decorating a whole room from scratch start off by picking a focal point. This could be a feature wall in your favourite colour or a vase that you’ve picked up. Once you have this starting point think about adding to your look by choosing complementary soft furnishings. Buying furniture? Keep it plain If you’re thinking of buying a big piece of furniture, such as a sofa, take time to think about the longevity of the piece. My advice would be to go for a plain practical colour. That way By Mandy Watkins, Interior Designer Find Mandy at: www.mandywatkinsinteriors.co.uk


Food and Health

Summer 2010

foster families 15

Goodbye trauma Anne Davies shares how you can support the traumatised or bereaved youngster in your care

We all need support

Whatever has been experienced, whether abuse, bereavement or witnessing domestic abuse for example, it all results in loss. This may include: • separation from, or break in contact with, parents, siblings and extended family • separation from friends • loss of home and neighbourhood • loss of school or sports teams etc • loss of previous fostering or other placements • loss of childhood and innocence

Impact on children and young people

Children and young people who have experienced trauma say that they feel alone and different, and that the pain

and grief continue for years not just weeks or months. If the separation from a parent is permanent they will be missed at birthdays, religious celebrations, anniversaries and at all life milestones. Children and young people interviewed by Jigsaw4u described how their experiences of trauma affected them on a day-to-day basis. Headaches, aches and pains and difficulties sleeping were the most common physical reactions. Less common symptoms included memory loss, back pain, eating problems and itchy skins. Invariably, these young people also experienced psychological pain about their past and day-to-day life. Young people told interviewers that they often can’t help but think constantly of the past and their family. At school or college, learning is more difficult as children and young people cannot concentrate on the ‘here and now’. The start and end of the day were mentioned as particularly difficult times, when most of the young people are alone with their thoughts.

Anne is Chief Executive of Jigsaw4u, a childcentered charity supporting children and young people through loss and trauma whilst also empowering them to have a voice in decision-making about their own lives. www.jigsaw4u.org.uk

be there for them. As the beginning and the end of the day are when they are most pre-occupied with thoughts, we need routines that include some quiet time to talk with or listen to them. The reactions to trauma and loss can lead to many other different behavioural responses so it is helpful to ensure that we never assume what would help but instead get into the habit of asking what the young person thinks would help. The following practical tools may help you to develop a plan with them: • doing a body map so that children or young people can draw, using different colours, to describe where they are feeling anger, sadness, guilt, happiness, worry... • using the body map you can develop appropriate responses e.g. if anger is felt in the hands then hitting a mattress or cushion

Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/hlkljgk/1100132442

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hen I was asked recently how to support children and young people in foster care through traumas such as abuse and bereavement I thought, ‘Wow, that’s an immense question!’. But the answer is so simple, yet hard to achieve – to be there, to listen, to explain and to do this time after time, when it is convenient for us and when it’s not. The experiences and memories that children and young people have may be very distressing for them to talk about as well as for foster carers to hear.

“It’s difficult to concentrate on the ‘here and now’”

How can you help?

The most important response expressed by children and young people is that someone will listen and

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www.facebook.com/pages/Foster-Families-Magazine/144256428433

http://twitter.com/Foster_Families


Welcome

will help, but if the anger is in the feet then kicking a ball or cushion will be more appropriate.

Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/chirag/2504941256

Coping with anger

Anger is ok - it is a normal response to the experiences of trauma. It becomes a problem when it harms people or things. Here are some ways to release anger: • an all-encompassing method to let go of stress and anger, that works for the whole family, is the tantrum – everyone lying on the floor and kicking their feet, thumping their fists on the floor and screaming. • The coconut smash is the standing version where you pick up an imaginary coconut and smash it on the floor whilst stamping your feet and screaming. It sounds a little crazy but it works! • Another technique for anger is dedicating a wall – preferably outside - where pictures depicting what makes us angry

can be stuck on. Play dough or clay can be thrown at the picture until it falls off the wall – screaming at the same time helps!

Coping with memories

foster families 16

grief continues for years not just months. Specific dates, such as that of the death, the funeral, birthdays, Mothers Day/Fathers Day should be added to a diary so that they can be remembered each year. It’s then helpful to agree on some way of marking the event and coping with it e.g. lighting a candle, visiting the grave, making a card for their memory box and giving them time to talk about their memories.

“Grief continues for years, not just for months”

Be ready for emotion but also for lack of emotion – children and young people can often respond by ‘puddling’, dipping in and out of intense emotion and then continuing with everyday life as though nothing has happened. The puddles may occur at anticipated times – at the beginning or the ends of the day, or on anniversaries for example, but can also occur with flashbacks triggered by smell, music, or bullying anything that opens up the memories of trauma and loss. It is useful to develop a plan with the child or young person’s school to cope with these moments. The plan might consist of taking time out or having someone to talk with, for example. The other thing to remember is that

“Never assume what would help instead, ask”

Summer 2010

Abuse

For children who have been abused it’s helpful to know the places where the abuse happened and the context. Some of this will be known by the social worker. For example, if the child or young person was sexually abused at night in their bedroom, then bedtime can be frightening for them. You can focus on trying to make them feel safer at night. Some ways to do this are by having a night light, asking if the child feels safer with the door left open or closed, or having an alarm to use if they feel scared.


Food and Health

Summer 2010

foster families 17

Develop a taste for food A

s parents we want to give our children the best start in life, and obviously food plays a big part in this. It is essential that babies and children have a good, balanced diet and that the food we give them is packed with the proteins, vitamins and minerals they need for healthy growth and mental development. What babies and children eat from early on will set the pattern for their future eating habits. Introducing them to a wide range of flavours, colours and textures now will make them less likely to become fussy eaters later on. So whatever age they are when they come to live with you, it’s the right age to try out some new things. They won’t always like some of the flavours that you first give them, but like everything its trial and error. The secret is: when you introduce a new food that the baby or young

child doesn’t like, leave it for a while then re-introduce it after a couple of weeks. Keep persevering - some health visitors say you can try a food up to ten times before safely saying that they genuinely don’t like it. Remember their young taste buds are changing and developing all the time. I also think as adults we pass down some of our own likes and dislikes.

Nursery age

I am convinced that getting children involved in preparing and cooking food as early as possible will get them interested in food, and give them a little knowledge to, hopefully, want to learn more. Simple things like helping prepare vegetables and getting foster children to help you lay the table for tea will make them feel they have contributed. This in turn will make them want to sit around the table.

I also work with young families, cooking things they normally like to eat at home and showing them how to make a healthier version themselves. We have made some lovely burgers (pork and apple being a favourite), meatball soup, fresh fruit kebabs, oven baked potatoes, vegetable wedges and simple stews. All these can be done on a budget. Take one step at a time, giving them confidence to try new flavours. You will be amazed!

“A range of flavours now; less likely to be fussy later”

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I work with the early years foundation stage in a nursery in Bath with children aged two to four years. One week we had a story about some mackerel, so I brought in a lovely fresh mackerel for them to see and touch. They were all fascinated, watching me clean and gut it. We went on to cook the mackerel and most of them tried it and really enjoyed it. At that age they are more willing to try new things.

“Their young taste buds are developing all the time”

Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/s-t-r-a-n-g-e/3558813980

^ Sian Blunos, author of Cooking for Coco, encourages youngsters to eat adult foods from an early age

Young people

Win a signed copy of Cooking for Coco

^ Try some of Sian’s delicious recipes for yourself, and see how much the children in your family love the different flavours. The book is available to buy for £9.99, and one lucky reader will win a free, signed copy.

To enter the competition, all you need to do is answer this simple question: Who wrote Cooking for Coco? Send your answer to competitions@fosterfamilies.co.uk or post it to: Competitions, Foster Families, Flat 2, 2a Brook Street, Worcester, WR1 1JB. The first correct entry chosen at random will win. Deadline: August 10th 2010.

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http://twitter.com/Foster_Families


Kids Corner

sed Books

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Make your foster family giggle with a Saronti personalised book

In Saronti’s funny, rhyming, personalised stories, the character faces are made up from photos of your foster family members and the text features their names too. Now you can win ‘The (familyname) Seaside Outing’ and make it your favourite picture book. You’ll laugh together at the funny character roles in the story.

Win The (familyname) Seaside Outing

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Competitio

For your chance Com petit to win, work ion 1 out which numbers are missing from the Number Corner (right) and email your answer to competitions@fosterfamilies.co.uk with the subject line ‘Saronti’. Or send your answer to Foster Families Competitions, Flat 2, 2a Brook Street, Worcester, WR1 1JB. You may want to ask an adult to help you. Competition closes August 10th 2010. The first correct entry drawn will win.

Win The (familyname) Football Cup Final

To enter, visit www.saronti.com to find the answer to this question: Which TV programme did Saronti books feature on? Email your answer to competitions@ fosterfamilies.co.uk with the subject line ‘Football’. Or send your answer to Foster Families Competitions, Flat 2, 2a Brook Street, Worcester, WR1 1JB. You may want to ask an adult to help you. Deadline: August 10th 2010. The first correct entry drawn will win.

Competition Winners

Congratulations to: Julie Pothecary who won the Pontin’s family holiday, Wendy Whitbourn who won the personalised book by Saronti. The Mediak CDs go to Sue Hill. Rose Gianotti and Wendy Whitbourn won the £50 CEWE photobooks, Amanda Harrington-Vail won the KidsMusicShop DVDs, and Jessica Faulkner won the Storybookstars personalised book. Well done to all our winners. Check out our competitions in this issue on pages 5, 20, 22, 34, 37 and 39.

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foster families 18

Number Corner The numbers in the box below go up in 6’s from 15 to 87. Can you work out which numbers are missing?

21 45

63

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33

69 75 57 27

15

Colouring Corner See how neatly you can colour in the picture of the seaside (below)


Contents

Summer 2010

foster families 19

Foster Families have Win teamed up with

www.themessiplace.com to offer you the chance to win messi products.

There are two individual packs up for grabs: a messi boys garden pack and messi girls garden pack (as shown in the photos). Each pack includes an apron, pvc sheet, garden kneeler, tin bucket, watering can, garden tools and some seeds to plant and grow. For your chance to win, use the questions, right, to fill out the crossword. The coloured squares are an anagram of a word linked to the prize. Once you’ve worked that out, email your answer to competitions@fosterfamilies. co.uk with the subject line ‘Messi’, or post it to: Competitions, Flat 2, 2a Brook Street, Worcester, WR1 1JB. Don’t forget to include your name and address. The first correct entry drawn will win the prize. Competition closing date is August 10th 2010.

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Across

1. Awkward or trying child (9) 6. Et __ - and the rest (2) 8. Story-teller (8) 9. Old __ Paso - Mexican food brand (2) 12. Müller _____ - dairy product (5) 15. Fictional boxer (5) 16. Marble ___ - famous UK landmark (4) 18. Pub game (8) 19. __ World - electrical store (2) 21. Wine (3, 3) 22. Arsenal football player, first name (3)

elcome to themessiplace.com - the place to visit for messy kids! Here at themessiplace.com we offer a unique range of products that your children will love. Why? Because kids like to have fun and adore getting messy! We also know parents don’t like cleaning up the mess afterwards so take a look at www.themessiplace.com and make your life easier! themessiplace.com contains an innovative and exciting new brand of vibrant, refreshing kids products which will assist children to learn through play and experience while keeping the mess to a minimum. The messi range is aimed at providing children with garments and equipment needed for those messy times - having fun in the kitchen or garden, or producing wonderful artworks. The bright range of high quality products includes pencil cases, aprons and garden kneelers, allowing children to take their first tentative steps towards learning new skills by

Down

1. Cartoon hero ______ mouse (6) 2. ____ Town - online networking game (4) 3. Persia (4) 4. Dreaming of a perfect world (6) 5. School employee, inits (2) 7. Popular covering for a sofa (7) 10. Hurt _____ 2009 film (6) 11. ______ Boy, Avril Lavigne hit (6) 13. Understands/reaches (6) 14. __ Recruitment - employment agency, inits (2) 17. Ran away (4) 20. Often seen before ‘.uk’ (2)

copying how the adults do it. All this is bang on trend, with family values top of the agenda, and staying at home instead of going out. The colour options available will appeal to both boys and girls. All messi products are made in England with environmentally-friendly and recycled materials. For more information email enquiries@themessiplace.com or call 01922 742557. Visit www.themessiplace.com.


Summer School for Looked After Children & Young Care Leavers

5th – 7th July 2010

Get a taste of Uni life

Aimhigher, working with Catch22 and Medway Multi Integrated Looked After Care Leavers Team (MILAC), is holding a taster event specifically for looked after children and young care leavers. During the three-day taster event you will get to experience a little bit of university life - spending time at workshops, taking part in debates, developing personal skills, meeting new friends and graduating. Some of the subjects to be covered include: Health & Social Care, Creative Arts, DNA, Psychology, Sports Science and Business. Each day will begin at 10.00am & finish at 4.00pm. We can provide help with transport to and from the event and accommodation if required Lunch & refreshments will be provided. Even if you are not thinking about going to university, still come along and have fun!

For more details & to book

ForFor more more details details & to & book to your place, contact:: book your place, contact: your place, contact: Leanne Lowrie

t: 0208 331 8586 Leanne Lowrie L.Lowrie@greenwich.ac.uk t: 0208 331 8586

L.Lowrie@greenwich.ac.uk


Summer 2010 Sample