Beams Foster Care and Family Services


                                       


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:

Vision:

The vision of Beams Foster Care and Family Services is to provide a safe secure base for children and young people in care to enable them to reach their full potential. Beams aims to provide services of the highest quality to children, young people, their families, foster carers and Local Authorities.

Introduction:

Beams Foster Care and Family Services was formed in August 2013 and Beams Foster Care began operating fully in May 2014 Its co-directors possess significant levels of experience and qualification in social work, management and fostering. 

Beams Foster Care and Family Services aims to provide high quality foster placements to children and young people locally within the East Anglia region. Beams offer services that are believed to enable stability and security for children and young people in placement.    

Beams Foster Care and Family services provides interventions, assessments and direct work to children, young people and their families to enable stability and security and where possible for them to remain in contact with their birth families or return to their family of origin.  


Beams Foster Care is fully registered with OFSTED as required under the relevant regulations. (Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011)

Beams works to the National Minimum Standards that inform practice and services in the sector. Our aim is to exceed the minimum standards.    

Mission statement:

Beams Foster Care and Family Services aims to deliver outstanding services and care to children and young people at all times through commitment, dedication and determination to enable them to have high aspirations for their futures. This is our mission that will inform our delivery and practice at all times.    

Values and Principles: 

Beams Foster Care and Family Services aims to provide a service at all times that is delivered with commitment, dedication and determination. Beams Directors and all staff will provide services that enable children, young people and their families to achieve stability and security.  

Beams will strive to provide leadership and deliver all services with professional integrity, providing a high standard of care for the children and young people placed within our foster placements. They will all be treated with respect, dignity and treated as individuals.

Beams Equality and Diversity Statement:

Beams Foster Care and Family Service are committed to openness and equality, treating all children and families with dignity and respect. No child, family, foster carer or foster family will be discriminated against because of their disability, colour, ethnic or national origins, race, gender, sexual orientation, and political or religious beliefs.


In accordance with S2 of the Fostering National Minimum Standards 2011 the fostering service values diversity and the key role this plays in the development of identity, self-esteem and resilience. Accordingly, the service routinely acts to promote the identity, self-esteem, emotional resilience and confidence of children in foster care.


All children, young people and their families who are offered services by Beams are regarded as individuals. Services and packages will be tailored with their needs in mind at all times.  


Who we are: Karen Beales: Karen is a qualified social worker with a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Diploma in Social Work. She has worked within social care for approximately 13 years. Her work has always been within Children and Families, this has included contact centre, Corporate Parenting, Emergency Duty Team (out of hours). She has extensive experience with growing up within a fostering family, child care, social work and being an adoptive parent. Working extensively in a social work career within Looked After Services and managing a Corporate Parenting Team.

Beryl Sims: Beryl is a qualified social worker with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Degree in Health and Social Care and a diploma is Social Work. She has worked in social care for approximately 35 years. Her work has always been within Children and Families social work, this has included under 5’s day care, adolescent residential care, a local authority family centre, managing an independent fostering agency, undertaking independent Social Work assessments within both public and private law and more recently working as a social worker in a Local Authority Corporate Parenting Team. Her particular interest lie in direct work with children their families and their carers.   

Aims and Objectives:

Beams seeks to recruit, train and support carers who will provide with dedication and commitment a secure and stable base for children and young people in their care. Providing stability in the lives of children and young people enables them to fulfil their potential.

Beams will work closely with Local Authorities, carers, children and young people to ensure they are all able to meet their full potential and have positive outcomes.

Beams recognises the challenges that children and young people in care can face and will aim to provide local placements and services to enable them to remain in their local area, where appropriate, attend their current school and keep in contact with their family and friends. 

Beams will deliver a service that is tailored to meet individual needs of children, young people and their families.

Beams Objectives in relation to placements:   

Beams Objectives in relation to foster children and young people:


One of the central life task for many foster children is to integrate their past with their present so that they can move into the future with a positive understanding of who they are, and why they were unable to remain within their family. For this Beams Foster Care and Family Services LTD aims to do the following:

Recruiting foster families who can:

Foster carers will be expected and supported to work positively towards a plan for rehabilitation. Life story work shall be undertaken where appropriate to support the children and young people in Beams Foster Care placements. 

Delegated Authority:

Delegated authority is the term used when the responsibility for making day to day decisions about a child has been passed to the foster carer. This can include decisions around activities, hair-cuts and overnight stays amongst other things.

Good practice around delegated authority helps young people to achieve and thrive in foster care. Beams Foster Care strives to achieve this working closely with local authority, families and foster carers to make sure delegated authority is used appropriately to enhance the child/ young person’s experiences within the home of a Beam’s Foster placement.

Services provided:

Beams works in line with all legislation and regulation, including Children Act 1989, Children Act 1994, Regulations and Guidance 2010, The Fostering Regulations 2011 and the Care Standards Act 2000.   

Beams foster care placements are able to provide a wide range of options including:

All children and young people placed within a Beams foster placement shall receive Life Journey work to enable them to understand their story and life journey. This work will be provided in line with the Child’s/ young person’s Care Plan at a stage that is agreed with the Local Authority.  

Beams will ensure that contact arrangements are maintained, facilitated and supported in line with the child/ young person’s care plan and at the request of the Local Authority Social Worker. The contact where appropriate shall be supported by the foster carer, if this is not appropriate Beams Child and Family Practitioners shall provide the support and supervision for contact, providing the Local Authority with a summary of the contact.

Beams seek to assist young people with their independence skills and will work closely along-side the Local Authorities to develop and improve the skills needs as identified within their Pathway Plan.     

Beams Family Services offers a wide range of interventions, assessment and direct work with children, young people and their families. It is likely that the child may receive services from both elements of Beams providing security and continuity of delivery.  

Recruitment and approval/ appointment process for Foster carers:

It is important that those involved in providing vulnerable children/ young people with foster placements are properly assessed and supported. Therefore the following will be included in the process for approving carers using the BAAF Form F.

Support for carers:

Foster carers spend a good deal of their time either alone with the foster child or with their own family and the foster child. It is therefore vitally important that the carers are provided with a wide range of support to assist in the caring process. Foster Carers must be valued by all staff with whom they come into contact with.

All Beams foster carers are allocated a qualified and experienced social worker, who will perform the following main tasks:

Foster carer’s support group:

Beams has provision for foster carer’s support group on a bi-monthly basis, which will be facilitated by a qualified and experienced social worker. These support groups are designed to offer carers an opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other. These support groups provide excellent opportunities for offering and gaining peer support, friendship, empathy and mutual recognition. The support group will also provide valuable help in the development of the agency’s policies and quality of services.  

Foster carers training and development:  

Beams are committed to providing quality training and support that is accessible and relevant to all our foster carers. Training at Beams Foster Care Services, is viewed as an important element of the agency’s support to foster carers in order to achieve better outcomes for children placed in its care.

Beams training and development programme looks at the issues around separation and loss, identity crisis, attachment difficulties and abuse in the main, which can impact as much on carers as on the children that they care for. It also explores the impact of living 24 hours a day with children so traumatised by their experiences that carer’s won lives can be at risk of being overwhelmed by their foster child’s pain.

Transferring to Beams Foster Care:

All foster carers have every right to foster through the agency of their choice and Beams therefore welcomes enquiries from experienced foster carers. The Fostering Services Regulations (2011) state foster carers can only be approved by one agency at a time. In order to facilitate this, a protocol for the transfer of carers between agencies has been agreed between Fostering Network, the Joint Forum of Independent Providers and the Association of Directors of Social Services.

Beams supports and fully subscribes to the Fostering Network Transfer Protocol (2014).The Transfer Protocol is designed to guarantee that each child either remains unaffected or will receive greater benefit when a carer chooses to transfer to a different agency. A protocol meeting is held to ensure that transfers between agencies are carried out in a way that will not impact on the child in placement. Any children in placement will therefore transfer with you to your new approving agency where it is in their best interest.

Beams will also ensure that in your work as a carer you will receive at least the same levels of support, both professionally and financially, to enable you to provide high quality care to the children in placement with you. Please refer to the full fostering network transfer protocol for more information.

Beams Safeguarding Policy and Procedure:

All Beams staff and carers have DBS checks completed and undertake regular safeguarding training.

Beams recognise the safeguarding of children to be a key priority. Children shall be provided with Beams Children’s Guide to Foster Care and know who they can contact and how should they have any worries or concerns. This enables children in Beams foster placement to have a voice, all representatives made by the children and young people shall be listened to.  

All Beams carers shall have and follow a safe caring policy and health and safety policy. These shall be reviewed at every new placement made.

Beams staff and carers have a duty to secure the safety and welfare of all children and young people. Should a member of staff/ carer have any concerns about a child/ young person’s safety or well-being their concerns will be discussed with a manager in the first instance and safeguarding procedures will be followed.  The Local Authority shall be informed immediately when there is a concern for a child’s/ young person’s welfare or safety with measures being put into place to safeguard immediately if needed.    

Please refer to Beams Safeguarding Policy for more information.

Quality Assurance:

Beams aims to provide services at all times that are of a high quality and standard. All work will be QA by the Directors Karen Beales and Beryl Sims. One of Beams Directors will be dedicated to service improvement who will oversee the effective implementations of all policies and procedures.   

Complaints Procedure:

Beams recommends that any complaint that is made by a foster carer is first raised with their supervising social worker, if this is not resolved then a meeting can arranged between the carer, supervising social worker and manager to discuss the issues/ concerns. If this still leaves it unresolved then the carer can put the complaint in writing to be fully investigated.

Beams recommends that complaints made by children/ young people, parents or local authority social workers are dealt with in a direct manner to seek resolution. Should resolution not be possible then the complaint should be made in writing for investigation. Acknowledgement shall be made within 7 days with a full response within 28 days. Please refer to Beams Complaints Policy for more information.