STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:
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
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)
Beams works to the National Minimum Standards that
inform practice and services in the sector. Our aim is to exceed the minimum
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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:
High quality care in a family setting for children and young people
providing them with a positive, safe and nurturing experience of substitute
To minimise discontinuities in the lives of vulnerable children and young
people including the premature ending or disruption of placements.
To recruit foster carers who have the potential to develop their fostering
knowledge and skills to the highest standard.
To provide carers with a robust package of professional support which will
be 24 hour support for foster carers, children and young people.
To provide carers with the support and training necessary for their
continuing development, with the aim of empowering them to manage a wide range
of complex and challenging behaviour so that vulnerable children and young
people feel secure and develop their potential.
A workforce who are appropriately
qualified and experienced, supporting continuous professional development.
Beams Objectives in relation to foster children and
Live in a foster home, which is safe, healthy, nurturing and enabling.
Contact between each child and their families and friends will be
encouraged and supported as set out in the care plan.
Healthcare which meets his/her needs and age appropriate information to
facilitate informed participation in decision making around his/her health
That his/hers education will be supported, valued and nurtured to enable
he/she to reach their full potential educational.
That his/her views, wishes, feelings will be actively sought and
considered by all Beams fostering personal.
That he/she will be informed of their right to make a complaint and
representation on the quality of care they receive, what procedures they should
follow (i.e. how to complain leaflet) and what support (including name of
advocacy organisation) they can access to pursue their complaints or
That he/she will be cared for by foster carers who will respect and
recognise and address his/her needs in terms of beliefs, culture, religion,
language, sexuality and disabilities.
During the transitional period of leaving care she/he can expect to be
helped to develop the necessary skills, competence and knowledge necessary for
adult life through a planned 16+ intervention.
That relevant agencies and adults will work in partnership to reach
decisions and provide services geared to his/her best interests.
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:
Share attitudes that are open and flexible, rather than holding closed
Can face sadness and loss and are not embarrassed or threatened to talk
about the feelings involved.
Can put the needs of children/ young people first and do not feel
undermined by important past relationships in the child’s life
Are able to look honestly at themselves and acknowledge their strengths
Do not expect to do it isolation but are able to ask, use and welcome help
as and when needed.
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.
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
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.
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:
Respite and short term – we aim to work with a number of carers who are
prepared to provide placement on a ‘respite’ basis. This could be to support
the birth family in need of help, or to support another foster family.
Bridging placements – foster carers undertaking bridging placements will
be expected to be competent to work with children in preparation for adoption
or working towards rehabilitation with the family.
Long term placements – Those children requiring a long term foster
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
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
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
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.
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.
Beams Foster care assessing
social worker will visit applicants in their household and explain the
assessment requirements and how the assessment will be carried out. They will
gather basic information, answer any questions, and compile an initial visit
Applicants will be required to
attend training sessions arranged by Beams. The Skills to Foster Course is part
of the assessment process.
Beams Foster Care will require
signed authorisation for statutory checks which include enhanced DBS checks,
Local Authority checks, and NSPCC checks on all adult members of the household.
Medical checks from G.P’s will be
required on a BAAF Form Adult 1.
Names of three referees will be
required and the assigned Beams assessing social worker will visit at least two
of them in order to discuss, confidentially, the applicant’s suitability.
Previous partners or spouses of applicants will also be interviewed. Employment
references will be taken and if applicants have children in schools, references
will be obtained from schools. If either applicant has worked with children or
vulnerable adults in the past, references will be sought by previous employers
or registering bodies.
All applicants will be assessed
during a series of home visits and interviews. Couples applying to foster jointly
will be interviewed both together and separately. Birth children in the family
and nay other adults in the household will be interviewed separately. They will
be encouraged to compile a portfolio to address core competences which will be
seen by panel.
The BAAF Form F will be completed
for submission to the Beams Foster Care Panel which is chaired by an
independent person of excellent standing and repute.
All this done to safeguard the
welfare of the children. All documents, including DBS reference details, will
be kept by Beams Foster Care Services in each foster carer’s individual
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
All Beams foster
carers are allocated a qualified and experienced social worker, who will
perform the following main tasks:
To support the foster carer and
their family in providing a positive and safe family experience for children
and young people looked after by the Local Authority. It is acknowledged that
fostering can be stressful and it brings about changes with the foster carer’s
own family home. It is important that the fostering does not place undue
pressure on foster carers and that their won relationships do not begin to
To ensure that the statutory
requirements are met. Those requirements are designed to ensure that the care
provided in the foster home is safe and appropriate.
Arrange the annual review of the
foster carer’s approval.
To monitor the progress of child/
young person in placement.
To provide ongoing advice,
training and information on the child care matters and guidance on working with
the Local Authority, parents, and other professionals involved.
Out of hours support
Regular supervision to meet their
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.
training and development:
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.
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.
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.
Safeguarding Policy and Procedure:
All Beams staff
and carers have DBS checks completed and undertake regular safeguarding
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
Please refer to
Beams Safeguarding Policy for more information.
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.
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.
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.