Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"

 
Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"
Statement of Purpose
Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022

 “Big enough to support and small enough to care”

     Part of
                                      Photo : Herne Bay in Kent, taken
                                        by Glen aged 16 as part of his
                                              GCSE photography work.

                      Ofsted URN: 2600900 | T: 01227 479 444
Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"
Contents                                                                                                  Aims & Objectives
    Introduction
    Aims & objectives
                                              1
                                              2
                                                      Our Vision                                              Our Aims
                                                                                                              •    Provide services that improve the self-esteem,          We expect to be judged by our record of stability for
                                                                                                                   confidence, life chances, achievements and stability    children and by measurable improvements in all
    Status & constitution                     3       “To be the preferred children’s service                      of children and young people cared for by us.           outcomes for the children cared for by us, including:
    Equality & diversity                      4       provider; renowned for an optimistic                    •    Ensure foster carers and their families receive         •   Overall experiences and progress of children &
    Quality standards                         5       & pragmatic approach, where it is                            professional guidance, support and training as              young people
    Compass South East’s Team                 6       believed change is possible.”                                appropriate to help them fulfil their roles as easily
                                                                                                                                                                           •   How well children & young people are helped and
    Education: Motivate - Educate - Inspire   7                                                                    and effectively as possible.
                                                                                                                                                                               protected
    Our Improvement Plan                      8                                                               •    Support Local Authorities by designing and
                                                                                                                                                                           •   Effectiveness of our leaders and managers
    Services for Children                     9-10                                                                 providing services that meet local need and
    Management & support of carers            11-12   Introduction                                                 promote young people’s integration into their local
                                                                                                                   communities and networks.
                                                                                                                                                                           relationships with our Local Authority partners where
                                                                                                                                                                           we:
    The Panel Members                         13      Compass Fostering South East was established in
                                                                                                              Our Objectives
                                                                                                                                                                           • Provide services that improve the self-esteem,
    The Fostering Process                     14      2021. We currently have one office in Whitstable. We                                                                     confidence, life chances, achievements and stability
                                                      are seeking a location in North West Kent for another                                                                    of the young people living with our foster carers.
    The REACH Approach                        15      office premises.                                        To continue to improve life chances and outcomes             • Ensure foster carers and their families receive
    Training and Development                  16                                                              for children and young people by working within the              professional guidance, support and training as
    Complaints and Compliments                17      We currently serve the Kent and Medway areas.           expectations of their care plans. We place a particular          appropriate to help them fulfil their roles as easily
                                                                                                              emphasis on ensuring that our foster families provide            and effectively as possible.
    The Voice of our Children                 18                                                              children and young people who live with them with            • Support Local Authorities by designing and
                                                      We pride ourselves on being big enough to
    What People Say About Us                  19      support and small enough to care.                       love and stability whilst supporting their educational           providing services that meet local need and
                                                                                                              achievements and social, health and development.                 promote young people’s integration into their local
    Our Children’s Achievements               20                                                                                                                               communities and networks.
                                                                                                              1.  To support and understand children and young
                                                                                                                  people who’s early life experiences has contributed      To be judged by our record of ensuring our foster carers
                                                                                                                  to them displaying Problematic Sexual Behaviour.         provide a safe and nurturing home for children by
                                                                                                              2. To support children to safely move from residential       where we measure their achievements and the degree
    Whitstable Office                                                                                             living to a family home when appropriate.                to which they are meeting their own personal potential
    Pean Hill Park,                                                                                           3. To ensure children are living in foster homes which       Ensuring children & young people are helped and
    Pean Hill,                                                                                                    are therapeutic in approach.                             protected by effective leaders and managers.
    Whitstable,                                                                                               4. To support foster carers in caring for and nurturing
    CT5 3BJ.                                                                                                      parent/s in caring for their own child in a family
                                                                                                                  environment.
    T 01227 479 444                                                                                           5. To enable children that have disabilities to reach
                                                                                                                  their full potential.
    Ofsted URN:- 2600900                                                                                      6. To support and care for children and young people
                                                                                                                  seeking asylum.
                                                                                                              7. To support children who are overcoming Sexual
                                                                                                                  Trauma.
                                                                                                              8. To Support children who are overcoming Child
                                                                                                                  Criminal Exploitation.
                                                                                                              9. To improve educational opportunities and
                                                                                                                  achievements for children through the continued
                                                                                                                  development of our services, carer awareness and
                                                                                                                  liaison with education authorities.
                                                                                                              10. To support social workers in maintaining their
                                                                                                                  registration with Social Care England.
                                                                                                              11. To provide support and supervision to all foster
                                                                                                                  carers, through the provision of bespoke training,
                                                                                                                  recognition and rewards.
1                                                                                                             To continue to maintain and develop trusting                                                                             2
Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"
Status & Constitution                                                                                                  Equality & Diversity

    Compass Fostering is an independent fostering agency                                                                   We are totally committed to the principles of equal         •    Pregnancy and maternity
    and a private limited company registered under the                                                                     opportunity in employment and services. No individual,      •    Race and ethnicity
    Companies Act 1985.                                                                                                    employee, foster carer or child, will be disadvantaged      •    Religion and belief (or non-belief)
                                                                                                                           as a consequence of their race, gender, disability,         •    Sexual orientation
    It is part of the Compass Community, which includes                                                                    sexuality or any other reason.
    fostering services as well as residential and education.
                                                                                                                           Discriminatory behaviour of any sort will be challenged     Following ongoing global events, staff and carers within
                                                                                                                           and dealt with appropriately.                               the Compass Community came together in 2020 to
    In accordance with the Companies Acts 1985 and 1989,
    we produce a memorandum of Association and Articles                                                                    Through our inclusive approach to recruitment, we           form G.R.A.C.E, the Group and Regional Ambassadors
    of Association.                                                                                                        aim to integrate equality of opportunity into all its       Committed to Equality.
                                                                                                                           employment activities.
    Copies of these are available to the government
    commissions, which regulate independent fostering                                                                                                                                  The GRACE group represents all corners of the Compass
    agencies and children’s social care throughout the UK.                                                                 Our service provision to Local Authorities, foster carers   service and does not have a static membership. They
                                                                                                                           and looked after children and young people reflects         receive feedback from members across the different
                                                                                                                           this culture of diversity, ensuring that our services,      services on the work of the teams, honour safe space
    Children’s Commissioner for                                                                                            recruitment and general business do not discriminate        necessary and have led on our Compass Community
    England                                                                                                                on any grounds of:                                          Anti Racist Strategy.

    Children’s Commissioner for England
                                                                  Ofsted                                                   •   Age
                                                                  Ofsted                                                   •   Disability
    Sanctuary Buildings
                                                                  Piccadilly Gate                                          •   Gender
    20 Great Smith Street
                                                                  Store Street                                             •   Gender reassignment
    London
                                                                  Manchester                                               •   Marriage or civil partnership
    SW1P 3BT
    T: 020 7783 8330                                              M1 2WD
    info.request@childrenscommissioner.gsi.gov.uk
    www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk
                                                                  T: 0300 123 1231
                                                                  enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk
                                                                                                                           Promoting Inclusion
                                                                  www.gov.uk/government/
    Requirements
                                                                                                                           Compass Fostering strives to foster a culture of fairness, openness, integrity, accountability and expects the same
                                                                  organisations/ofsted
                                                                                                                           of those providing services for the agency, or on behalf of the agency. Our key values and principles are set down
                                                                                                                           to ensure that:
    Our statement of purpose has been developed to meet
    the requirements of the following legislation:
                                                                                                                           •   All employment and service delivery policies and practices reflect a positive value for
    •   Care Standards Act 2000                                                                                                human difference and diversity.
    •   Fostering Services Regulations 2011; Care Planning,
        Case Review and Fostering Services Regulations
                                                                  Our Commitment to                                        •   All staff and foster carers are aware of and understand the agency’s
        2013.                                                     Our Partners                                                 commitment to equality of opportunity and their responsibilities in relation
                                                                                                                               to this.
    •   The Children & Young Persons Act 2008
    •   The Children Act 1989                                     Compass Fostering strives to continue to be              •   Our people have the knowledge, skills and abilities to provide high
    •   The Children Act 2004                                     recognised and respected by all of our partners              quality services within a clear framework of anti- discriminatory
    •   Delegated Authority for Foster Carers (Guidance 2011)     - local authorities (LAs), carers, staff, children and       practice.
    •   Protecting Children supporting Foster Carers –
                                                                  Ofsted for the high standard of our work, the            •   Our services are responsive, accessible, sensitive and
        dealing with allegations against foster carers Protocol
                                                                  professional expertise of all of our team, including         appropriate to those who need and may benefit from them.
        (Guidance, 2011)
    •   Statutory Guidance Fostering Services April 2019          staff and carers, our partnership approach and
                                                                  aspirations for the children we care for. We             Foster carer training, both pre- and post- approval encourages a
    A copy of the document will be made available to any          subscribe to principles of social enterprise and         commitment to respecting an individual’s ethnic, religious, cultural
    persons involved with or working for the purposes of          undertake to develop a sustainable company and           and linguistic background of children and young people who are
    the fostering service, including Ofsted, or any looked        extend fostering in terms of skills and innovation.      looked after through our agency.
    after child or parent of any such child. Our Statement        We offer good rewards and development
    of Purpose will be kept under review and where                opportunities for carers and staff who have              Foster carers are provided with the necessary information, support
    appropriate, updated, at least annually.                      responsibility for their own practice.                   and training to enable them to provide the best possible care and to
                                                                                                                           promote the heritage of a fostered child or young person.
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Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"
Quality Standards                                                                                                         Compass South East’s Team
    •   To comply fully with all relevant childcare legislation,   •   To ensure that foster carers have the opportunity                                        Chief Executive Officer

        fostering regulations and minimum standards for                for continuous development, in line with the DfE
        England.                                                       Training, Support and Development Standards.
                                                                       Foster carer’s skills and knowledge are reviewed at
    •   To ensure that children and young people are living
                                                                       least annually.                                            Director of Operations                                 Group Head of               Group Head of Foster
        with families that are able to meet their religious                                                                                                                           Customer Engagement             Carer Recruitment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Therapeutic Head

        and cultural needs.                                        •   To ensure foster carer’s homes are safe and
                                                                       welcoming for children, and have been Risk             Assistant Director of Fostering
    •   To ensure that children are always safeguarded                                                                                                                                                                                            Therapeutic Manager
                                                                       Assessed to meet Health and Safety requirements,
        and protected, issues around child protection
                                                                       ensuring that the whole family is safe.                 Registered Manager (HoF)                               Regional Family Finding              Panel &
        will be dealt with immediately, in line with locally
                                                                                                                                                                                            Manager                  Assessment Manager              1x Therapeutic
        agreed procedures.                                         •   An individual risk assessment for children as well                                                                                                                             Coordinator
                                                                       as a Safer Caring Plan is in place to ensure that
    •   To ensure that all children’s individual potential with
                                                                       children and families are living together safely.        1 x Operations Manager
        in education is reached. School attendance and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 x Compliance and
        academic achievement will be promoted for all              •   To ensure foster carers understand children’s                                                                                                Support Service Manager
        children and young people, in line with Department             individual needs and are working within the child’s      2 x Advanced Practitioner
        for Education and skills guidance.                             care plan and ‘Placement Agreement’.                                                                                 2 x South East Family      2 x Compliance and
                                                                                                                                                                                          Finding Team Members      Support Service Coordinator
    •   To ensure reflective and child focussed records on         •   To ensure that where possible foster carers will                  6 x SSW
        children’s progress are provided by Foster Carers.             promote relationships between children and their
                                                                       birth families and make plans for them to see each
    •   To ensure that children live and thrive in a                                                                                   Foster Carers
                                                                       other where appropriate and in line with the child’s
        therapeutic environment where corporal
                                                                       ‘care plan’.
        punishment is NOT used in any circumstances and
        where guidance will be provided with training and          •   To ensure that foster carers continue to receive                                                                                    Looked after children 1st April 2021
        support on behavioural strategies.                             support and supervision, from supervising social
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Compass Fostering South East: 86
                                                                       workers including unannounced visits, regular
    •   To ensure that everybody including staff and carers
                                                                       telephone contact, and an on-call service.
        maintain the principles of confidentiality.                                                                                                                                                                Foster Carers 1st April 2021
    •   Assessments will be completed by qualified and
                                                                   •   To ensure that foster carers have support,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Compass Fostering South East: 78
                                                                       supervision and guidance during emergencies.
        experienced staff with active participation by
        potential new foster carers.                               •   A 24-hour telephone support, and visit (where                                                                                                         Staff 1st April 2021
    •   To ensure that as part of their assessment all
                                                                       deemed necessary) will be provided to foster carers                                                                                      Compass Fostering South East: 17
                                                                       by an experienced, qualified social worker.
        potential new foster carers receive training and
        support known as Skills to Foster training.

                                                                                                                              Quality Staffing
                                                                                                                              All Compass South East staff and carers hold a range of appropriately recognised qualifications dependent
                                                                                                                              on their specific role or field of expertise such as MBA, DiPsw, NVQ 4/5 in Management, Diploma/Certificate in
                                                                                                                              Management, NVQ in Administration and all social work staff are registered with Social Care England.
                                                                                                                              The service employs a variety of individuals who have a wealth of social work, management, teaching,
                                                                                                                              administration and technical experience to ensure the needs of the agency is exceeded at all levels. We also have
                                                                                                                              a Therapeutic Practitioner who supports our South East foster carers.
                                                                                                                              All staff receive regular support, supervision and training where pre-employment checks are undertaken and
                                                                                                                              reference checks are followed up with a telephone call.
                                                                                                                              Enhanced DBS Checks are undertaken and renewed yearly as part of annual update service, ensuring that children
                                                                                                                              are kept safe.
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Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"
Education                                      “Motivate - Educate - Inspire”                                             Our Improvement Plan
    Compass Fostering South East have a dedicated Education Department who ensure that children access their right
                                                                                                                              Our Five Key Priorities
    to an education that meets their individual needs and potential. We recognise that children who are in care are

                                                                                                                                                   Quality of Practice
    often disadvantaged in their education attainment.

    Carers and their supervising social workers build up close working relationships with their local schools to ensure                            •   Shared and embedded social work practice model - REACH
    that children who live with our carers receive the support needed to meet their own potential.                                                 •   Improved response to risk management using via individual risk assessments
                                                                                                                                                   •   Embed QA process through all aspects of the Agency
    Our Lead Teacher and our Post-16 Education Co-ordinator provide advice, training and consultancy to fostering and
    residential teams as well as carers on:
    •    Support for young people in school
    •    Guidance on Personal Education Plans, annual reviews and strategy meetings for children                                                   Capability of our Workforce
    •    Termly collection of Attendance and Achievement information for those of school age.                                                      •   Competency and skills review
    •    Reward vouchers for young people achieving 100% term time attendance                                                                      •   Recruitment and retention of Operations Manager & Supervising Social
                                                                                                                                                       Workers (SSWs)
    •    Congratulations letters and postcards for education achievement                                                                           •   Delivery of Core Training to all SSW’s
    •    LA liaison regarding all educational needs including admittance in to schools                                                             •   Management training and development

    •    Training for carers which enhances knowledge on education rights and
         responsibilities
    •    Additional support for children not in school known as Experiential
         Education support
                                                                                                                                                   Effective Leadership and Management
                                                                                                                                                   •   Reflective practice and the ability to offer professional challenge
    •    Educational Ambassador will support their foster carers peers and                                                                         •   Review of regional boundaries in respect of the geographic spread
         their children in achieving against their for PEPs                                                                                        •   Resources committed to support improvement
    •    Advice and guidance for young people aged 16 plus for
         transition into college/university/Apprenticeships.

                                                                                                                                                   QA and Performance Management
    Regional attendance April 2020 to March 2021:
        National      National      Compass    Compass      Compass
        Average       Average         SE           SE           SE
                                                                                                                                                   •   Updated learning audit tool and consistencies of approach
                        CLA        Summer 20   Autumn 20    Spring 21
                                                                                                                                                   •   Clear link between audit activity, learning and development and practice
         95.0%         94.5%         100.00%       89.0%     100.00%                                                                                   outcomes of the agency
    (Figures based on Foster Track data)                                                                                                           •   Performance reporting which supports practice improvements

    Percentage of Children Classified as Persistent Absentee
    (Attendance >90.0%):
        National Average          Compass SE
                                National Average
                                                       Compass SE
                                                        Autumn
                                                                                                                                                   Carer, Staff, CYP and LA Engagement
                                      CLA                 20                                                                                       •   Carers development group to focus on the implemented changes
             13.4%                     12.5%               4.0%                                                                                    •   Improved engagement with children and young people
    (Figures based on Foster Track data)                                                                                                           •   Reflective practice development sessions for all staff to influence practice
                                                                                                                                                       delivery
    Important to note the impact of COVID19 restrictions and school
    closures on attendance and absence percentages for the

                                                                                                                              How will we measure impact?
    year 2020-2021.

                                                                                                                              • What Children and Carers Say             • Quality and Audit Review
                            EDUCATION                                                                                         • Performance Indicators                   • What Staff and LAs Say
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Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"
Services for Children
    Compass Fostering South East provides a wide range of family homes for all children aged 0-18 years who cannot
    currently live with their birth families, either temporarily or permanently. We work in partnership with our fostering families
                                                                                                                                      Supervision of Children Living with Foster Carers
    to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to provide homes for children from a wide range of backgrounds and              •   Supervising social workers have regular contact with the foster home to ensure children are being cared for and kept
    experiences. Our foster carers also continue to develop their skills to enable them to support children with more specific            safe.
    additional needs.                                                                                                                 •   Our carers have access to specialist advice and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
                                                                                                                                      •   Every 8 weeks supervising social workers will visit children who are in our care.
    Compass South East foster             Some children will require care                  Foster carers can receive specialist
    carers will provide:                  specific to their needs, including:              training to support the following needs:
    •   Short-term                        •   Children seeking asylum                      •   Parent and Child                       Health
    •   Respite                           •   Moving children from                         •   Child Sexual Exploitation
    •   Emergency                             Residential to Fostering                     •   Problematic Sexual Behaviour           •   Our foster carers will have regard for the health of the children living with them and promote the development of a
    •   Permanent                             Families (Step-down)                         •   Overcoming Sexual Trauma                   healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise.
    •   Long-term                         •   Children that have disabilities              •   Child Criminal Exploitation            •   Foster carers will maintain child centred records for each child that includes a section for the collection of detailed health
    •   Sibling Groups                                                                                                                    information. Medication, appointments and health checks are recorded on electronic daily logs - Allowing health issues
                                                                                                                                          to be tracked.

    Family Finding - Ensuring Children Live With Families Safely
                                                                                                                                      •   100% of children living with foster carers should be registered with a GP and dentist.
                                                                                                                                      •   A personal health passport is given to each child when they move in with their foster carers will be monitored regularly.
    All children and young people are individuals and have individual and specific needs. Compass Fostering takes
    particular care to match children with appropriate foster families in order to meet their needs and ensure stability.
    Compass Fostering South East carers are approved, supervised and supported to ensure they have the transferable skills            Support Network
    and experience in order to meet the needs of children who come into their care. We have a dedicated Family Finding                Foster carer’s support networks are key to providing consistency and support to children. All carers are encouraged to
    Team who respond to requests from LAs for families for their children. The team work closely with supervising social              identify a member of their family or close friends who are suitable to provide care to children and young people in their
    workers, foster carers and local authorities, to ensure that children’s needs are met and they can live safely with their         absence. This person will usually be a member of the carer’s extended family who may already have a relationship with the
    foster carers.                                                                                                                    young person. Where this is not possible we will link them with a specific carer for respite period.

    Supporting Outcomes for Children                                                                                                  Support Children to Maintain Relationships With Family
    •   Our dedicated Carer Support Ambassadors provide targeted additional peer support to their foster carer colleagues,
                                                                                                                                      Foster carers are supported in facilitating meetings between the child in our care and their parents, brothers/sisters and
        ensuring that children experience positive outcomes and stability by avoiding disruption in their lives.
                                                                                                                                      extended family members in accordance with their care plan. Foster carers, can on occasion, be asked to supervise
    •   Activity days for the fostering families are planned by local groups and by Compass.
                                                                                                                                      meetings between children and their families.
    •   A range of social events and local support groups are organised for all fostering families, celebrating all children and
        young people’s achievements in a fun, activity-based way.
    •   Achievements are recognised and acknowledged with a letter or postcard by the supervising social workers.
                                                                                                                                      Transporting Children
                                                                                                                                      •   Day to day transport requirements within the local area are the responsibility of the carer, this includes transport to the
                                                                                                                                          child’s local school.
    Specialist Advice for Foster Carers                                                                                               •   We try to provide transport for other situations if the carer is unable to do so, e.g.... contact away from the foster home or
                                                                                                                                          attendance at a non-local catchment school, for which a charge will be made.
    •   Attachment workers work directly with foster carers to provide one to one support to foster carers where appropriate
        to help them understand and make sense of childrens needs.
    •   We work closely with a team of Consultant Clinical Child Psychologists to provide support and assistance to our foster
        carers and staff to help them provide therapeutic responses to meet the individual needs of children.
                                                                                                                                      When Children Leave Foster Care
    •   Direct contact with the foster child is by prior agreement with the child’s social worker where community based               Planning for young people’s independence will take place as part of ‘looked after’ review and care planning process. Our
        psychologists can work alongside our staff and foster carers to provide therapeutic intervention for children.                carers and staff are fully involved throughout this transition period including ‘Staying Put’ arrangements.
    •   Compass Fostering South East will work with children and their foster families to ensure behaviour can be supported
        safely and that physical intervention is always a last resort.
    •   Fostertalk membership and FISS Support for allegations.

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Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"
Management & Support of Carers

     Supervisory Visits                                             Publications                                                  Children’s Council                                            Insurance Cover
     Regular supervision and support meetings take place            We now have a range of publications covering all of           To ensure children’s voices are heard, children are           Insurance is provided in the event of allegations. We also
     between our social worker and foster carers. These             the services we provide, including information about          given the opportunity to participate in the Children’s        provide independent support during investigations into
     meetings provide an opportunity to discuss the needs           our specialist services, our holistic approaches and          Council. This provides the opportunity for children to        serious allegations, as required.
     of the children and ensure that the foster carers are          the process of becoming a foster carer. We publish a          discuss and comment on their experiences and areas
     able to progress the child’s care plan. Any concerns or        quarterly newsletter to celebrate staff, foster carer’s and   of development for Compass.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Carer Ambassadors
     challenges are identified with support plans identified        children’s achievements.
     as required.                                                                                                                 We are committed to involving foster carer’s birth
                                                                    Foster carers receive support from a wider range              children within the service as they are an essential          Compass offers the opportunity for carers to develop their
     Another primary focus during supervision is to develop         of professionals including their peers in the capacity        element to securing a positive family experience for          own skills, experience and knowledge as well as offering
     the skills of the foster carers and identify training needs.   of a Carer Support Ambassadors, Lead Teacher for              children in care. Social workers ensure they meet with        the opportunity to provide support to carer colleagues
                                                                    Education matters and Therapeutic Practitioners, all of       birth children on a regular basis and social activities       and direct work with children and young people. We refer
     Foster Carer Review
                                                                    which is overseen by an experienced management                and events are arranged throughout the year.                  to these people as carer ambassadors.
                                                                    team.
     All foster carers have a minimum of an annual review
     which is an opportunity to appraise the last year of their     All foster carers are registered with Foster Talk who         Respite                                                       We achieve this by the use of peer to peer support known
                                                                                                                                                                                                as:
     foster care and set new goals and action for the year          provide support to foster carer households. This              Should children or carers need to take a break we are         • Carer Support Ambassadors
     ahead. Training needs are assessed and identified.             includes quality specialist advice and information plus       supportive of this child focussed practice but require that   • Carer Recruitment Ambassadors
     Feedback from our foster carers on the training courses        legal expenses insurance whilst rewarding foster carers       any respite is taken in line with the child’s care plan and   • Carer Education Ambassadors
     we provide is consistently positive.                           by giving them access to a large range of discounts.          with the local authorities agreement.                         • Carer Language Ambassadors
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Experiential Educators
                                                                                                                                  Support Groups
     We have a well-established learning culture. If any            Independent support is offered if carers face
     concerns do arise about a foster carer’s commitment            safeguarding concerns or if children make allegations                                                                       Carers can chose to take up these roles and are paid an
     to on-going development this is addressed with them.           against them.                                                                                                               additional hourly rate for the work undertaken.
     Where necessary this can include reviewing their                                                                             We hold support group meetings four times a month
     registration at the fostering panel.                           Unannounced Visits                                            at present virtually, in addition to a Saturday morning
                                                                                                                                                                                                Support for Foster Carers’
                                                                                                                                  for those working or who struggle to get to a meeting
     Record Keeping                                                                                                                                                                             Own Children
                                                                    All of our foster carers receive a minimum of one             during working hours in the week. These are often
                                                                    unannounced visit to their home within each year to           themed, however, sometimes will be led by the foster
     Foster carers maintain an individual daily log on              meet the requirements of national standards and               carers participants and what comes up for them on the         We are committed to birth children’s involvement within
     the children they look after which is maintained on            regulations, with our best practice intention to undertake    day. We are hoping to have support groups return to           the service as they are an essential element to securing a
     Compass’ bespoke database called FosterTrack,                  two unannounced visits within a year to ensure that           face to face from September 2021.                             positive family experience for children in care.
     allowing data to be recorded, monitored and shared             children are safe and are being well cared for.
     in a secure format. Maintaining records is an essential                                                                      We have regular children events, in the May half term         Social workers ensure they meet with birth children
     part of our foster carer’s role and accurate factual           Emergency Support                                             2021, we held a virtual – Great Team Compass Bake-            on a regular basis and social activities and events are
                                                                                                                                                                                                arranged throughout the year.
     recordings help monitor the child’s progress. These                                                                          Off. We have other activities and events throughout the
     recordings are shared with the local authority.                Foster carers have access to advice and support from          year for children and families. We are looking forward
                                                                    one of our social workers 24 hours a day 7 days a             to being able to do these in person when it is safe to do
     Policies and Procedures
                                                                    week. The on-call service is also supported by a duty         so.
                                                                    manager.
     We have developed a comprehensive foster carer
     manual that every approved foster carer has access to          Foster Carer Forums                                           Payment
     to assist them in their role as a foster carer.                                                                              We pay a generous fostering allowance directly into the
                                                                    Carer consultation groups are held throughout the year,       foster carer’s account by BACS transfer. All foster carers
     The manual contains information on fostering law,              with Regional Foster Carer Forums chaired by the Head         are self-employed and as such should pay their own
     complaints procedures, access to records, child                of Fostering for local regions. These meetings support        tax and National Insurance.
     protection, support, health issues, health and safety          the Group wide Carer Forum chaired by the Director of
     matters, education information, managing behaviour             Operations and attended by the Chief Executive Officer,
     and various other subjects relevant to caring for children     senior managers, and foster carer representatives from
     in care. This manual is reviewed regularly and updates         each geographical region within the organisation. This
                                                                    meeting provides an opportunity to discuss practice,
     are issued as required to foster carers and staff.
                                                                    policies and organisational developments.
11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           12
Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"
The Panel Team                                                                                                          The Fostering Process

     Applications to become a foster carer are welcomed regardless of gender, marital status, sexuality, race, disability,
     religion, culture or employment status.                                                                                 1. Initial Enquiry                                           References from all previous employment involving
                                                                                                                                                                                          children and vulnerable adults
                                                                                                                             Once a prospective foster carer has enquired, the Carer
     Anyone over the age of 21 years may apply to become a foster carer. There is no upper age limit for fostering,          Recruitment Team will contact the applicant to discuss       •   Personal references from at least three people who
     although all applicants must be active and healthy in order to care for a child in their home.                          their suitability and desire to foster.                          will also be visited by a social worker
                                                                                                                                                                                          •   Overseas checks where appropriate
     It is a minimum requirement that a foster carer has a spare bedroom room available for fostering. The time scale
     from assessment to approval is approximately 4 to 6 months. Any applicant who has been convicted of an offence
                                                                                                                             2. Home Visit                                                •   A Health and Safety inspection will also be carried
                                                                                                                                                                                              out by the agency’s staff
     against a child or any serious offence against an adult will be excluded.                                               If appropriate a home visit will be arranged. The visit is   •   Ex-partners and children of an appropriate age
                                                                                                                             called an initial visit and will be a two way discussion         from previous relationships will be interviewed
                                                                                                                             between the dedicated social worker and the applicant.

     Our South East Panel Team                                                                                               3. Assessment                                                4. Panel
                                                                                                                             A number of applicants describe how they have been           Once the assessment is completed the applicants will
     The Compass South East panel has been carefully                                                                         “ruled out” or “rejected” by other agencies or local         have the opportunity to read and discuss possible
                                                                                                Panel
     considered to include people from a wide variety of                                        Chair                        authority due to their personal circumstances or the         amendments to the report. This report will then
     backgrounds, all with important and valid input to                                                                      make-up of their family environment. They were positive      be presented to the fostering panel. Prospective
     make. Our Panel Chair has an extensive background                                                                       that Compass were more accepting and flexible in their       foster carers and the social worker completing the
     in education, one of our vice chairs is an approved                                                                     approach; understanding the potential of unique family       assessment must be in attendance at the fostering
     foster carer, and the other comes with a background in                                                                                                                               panel.
                                                                                                                             environments which are positive rather than negative
     education and foster carer training.                                        Vice                         Vice                                                                        The fostering panel is made up of a variety of
                                                                                                                             for fostering.
                                                                                 Chair                        Chair                                                                       professionals and independent members, who have
                                                                                                                             If appropriate, we will assign a qualified social worker     the appropriate qualifications and experience to serve
     The team is made up of a further 12 panel members,                                                                      to undertake a comprehensive assessment with the
     their backgrounds are diverse, with some members                                                                                                                                     as panel members.
                                                                                                                             prospective foster carer and their family. They will
     having duel backgrounds. Backgrounds of panel                                                                           produce a report which we refer to as an Assessment.
     members include police, care leavers, social workers,                                                                   This covers:                                                 5. Approval
     health professionals, education and foster carers.                                  12 x Panel Members
                                                                                                                             •   Individual profiles of applicants                        The panel members make recommendations re
                                                                                                                             •   Relationships and partnerships                           approval, with the final decision being made by the
                                                                                                                             •   Applicants’ support network                              Agency Decision Maker (ADM).
                                                                                                                             •   Children in the household
                                                                                                                             •   Other adult members of the household                     Upon approval as a foster carer we will advise you
                                                                                                                             •   Description of family life                               in writing and allocate a supervising social worker to
                                                                                                                             •   Valuing diversity                                        support the foster you in your in their fostering task.
                                                                                                                             •   Parenting capacity                                       Compass will advise local authorities of the approved
                                                                                                                             The social worker will visit the home a minimum of           foster carer’s availability.
                                                                                   Applicants at Skills to Foster
                                                                                                                             eight visits to spend time working with the applicants on
                                                                                   unanimously agreed the swift,
                                                                                                                             their assessment. The assessment is a joint project and      During the assessment, our staff will also carry out a
                                                                                   friendly and professional approach        will require full participation from applicants and their
                                                                                   they received from a member of the                                                                     variety of statutory checks (Stage 1) which are completed
                                                                                                                             family.                                                      concurrently with your home visits (Stage 2).
                                                                                   Recruitment Team is a major factor
                                                                                                                             As part of the assessment process, potential carers will     •   Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
                                                                                   in their decision making, once they
                                                                                                                             be required to attend a training course called Skills to         check
                                                                                   had made an initial enquiry. Some
                                                                                                                             Foster.
                                                                                   made comparisons to other agencies                                                                     •   Local Authority checks
                                                                                   and local authorities where response                                                                   •   Current or previous fostering organisation reference
                                                                                   and contact was poor, unfriendly and                                                                   •   School/health visitor reference (on own child, if
                                                                                   lengthy.                                                                                                   appropriate)
                                                                                                                                                                                          •   Medical reports
                                                                                                                                                                                          •   Current employment reference

13                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    14
Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"
REACH                                                                                                                  Training & Development
       REACH is the ethos of Compass Fostering. The REACH approach works to                                                   We are committed to maintaining and developing the            Training is provided to:
       build resilience, provide stability and ensures a child-centred approach to                                            highest standards for all our services and our training       • Improve knowledge, develop and refine skills
       every each child and young person that we care for.                                                                    and development programmes are central to this. All           • Establish an explicit, positive framework of values,
                                                                                                                              carers and staff have a Personal Development Plan,                which promotes equality and opportunity.

       Resilience:
                                                                                                                              reviewed annually.                                            • Encourage foster carers to reflect and look at
                                                                                                                                                                                                the effects of discrimination in all parts of the
                                                                                                                              We encourage all carers to take responsibility for their          community, recognising that they care for children
                                                                                                                              learning and developmental activity. This is achieved by:         in the context of the wider society, and that for many
                                             Stickability - carers capacity to care and nurture a child even when they
                                                                                                                              • An individual personal development plan                         children discrimination is a fact of everyday life.
       are hostile and rejecting.                                                                                             • An annual training programme                                • Ensure that all foster carers are competent and

       Education:
                                                                                                                              • Regular support and supervision visits with their               confident in safe caring and in protecting children
                                                                                                                                  supervising social worker                                     from harm.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Encourage foster carers to take responsibility for
                                                                                                                              Compass Fostering underpins practice within a                     their own professional development through the
                                          The process of changing the mind and behaviour of the child begins in the
                                                                                                                              positive psychology approach, called “REACH”. This is a           creation of individual training profiles.
       mind of the care giver. Carers to reflect and understand their own drives / expectations and behaviours and
                                                                                                                              conceptual framework based on resilience, attachment
       understand their parenting styles and how this impacts on children.                                                    and aspects of social pedagogy which supports our                “The experience of working with and supporting

                Acceptance:
                                                                                                                              practice, enabling children to gain a sense of security          potential Compass foster carers over the past
                                                                                                                              and improve their emotional well-being. All training for         three years through the Skills to Foster course
                                                                                                                              all staff and foster carers has the REACH ethos as its
                                                                                                                                                                                               has continued to be most enjoyable and positive
                                                          To accept a child as they are. The aim is to build self             foundation.
                                                                                                                                                                                               experience for me.”
                esteem and provide creative opportunities for children and young people to ‘accept’ and like
               themselves even when under stress.
                                                                                                                              Core Training Programme

                                        Child Centered:
                                                                                                                              There is no limit to the training that foster carers can
                                                                                                                              attend, however the minimum expectation of training
                                                                                           To recognise and empathise         attendance within one calendar year is:
                                        with the child /young person’s feelings and for the adult to reflect, manage          All foster carers - (if a couple then both) to commit to
                                        and respond to the child / young person’s feelings and behaviours.                    a minimum of 16 hours of training per calendar year.
                                                                                                                              This can include a number of options including in-
                                                                                                                              house, online, external, local authority training, relevant

                                                               Holistic:
                                                                                                                              reading materials/research, useful and appropriate
                                                                                                                              documentaries etc. Each face to face course and each
                                                                                                                              online course equates to 4 hours of learning with the
                                                                                          Provide the child with a sense      exception of First Aid which is a 6 hour course.
                                                               of belonging to the carers family, to their own birth family
                                                               and wider social and community network. Support                Newly approved carers (if a couple then both) to attend
                                                                                                                              as a minimum, the following during their first year:
                                                               individual child / young person to accept who they are
                                                               and manage their complex relationships.
                                                                                                                              • Induction - Roles and Responsibilities of Fostering
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Advanced & Specialist
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Training
                                                                                                                              • Induction - Safeguarding
                                                                                                                              • Induction - Supporting Children & Young People in
                                                                                                                                  Education
                                                                                                                                                                                                 We also offer specialist courses, for example:
                                                                                                                              • Paediatric First Aid training within one year of
                                                                                                                                                                                                 • PSB (Problematic Sexual Behaviour)
                                                                                                                                  approval (if a valid certificate not already held).
                                                                                                                                                                                                 • Caring for UASC
                                                                                                                                  Certificates must then be renewed every 3 years
                                                                                                                                                                                                 • Parent & Child
                                                                                                                                                                                                 • Therapeutic Fostering
                                                                                                                              They must also complete the Training Support and
     “The experience of working with and supporting potential Compass foster carers over the past three years                                                                                    • Mental Health & Risk Management (staff)
                                                                                                                              Development Standards (TSDS) workbook within one
     through the Skills to Foster course has continued to be most enjoyable and positive experience for me. The quality                                                                          • Level 5 Safeguarding (staff)
                                                                                                                              year of approval.
     and consistency of the recruitment and assessment process is evident in the quality of applicants I have the                                                                                • Radicalisation
     pleasure to meet during the course.”                                                                                                                                                        • CSE
15                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       16
Statement of Purpose Compass Fostering South East 2021-2022 - "Big enough to support and small enough to care"
Complaints and Compliments                                                                                            The Voice of our Children

     Complaints                                                                                                            All feedback is important, but none more so than that of the children we care for. We conducted a ‘Have Your Say’
                                                                                                                           feedback questionnaire in January 2020, and here are a few highlights.
     Compass takes any dissatisfaction in our service very seriously and will learn from them so that we may continually
     improve the services we offer. We have a comprehensive complaints procedure, recorded in our Foster Carer             ‘I am happy and very very lucky to live with them and I love them very much also’
     Handbook, which places an emphasis on resolving complaints at a local level and at an early stage. Complaints
     that cannot be resolved this way will be dealt with by a senior manager independent to the region, who will           ‘You have a better life in care’
     conduct a full investigation. Complainants can also go directly to Ofsted at any time.
                                                                                                                           ‘I live a happy life and I don’t want anything to change’
     Complaints forms are available digitally and can be accessed at any time.
                                                                                                                           ‘I have a home and all of my food that I have every day’

                                                                                                                           ‘I am proud of my lovely foster family because my foster parents are really lovely and kind to me’
                                                                      Compliments
     Our Complaints Process                                           All compliments and commendations are
                                                                                                                           ‘It’s nice to have a family’

                                                                      recorded, with special awards being made in          ‘My foster carer has been the person who has guided me through everything and made me the person I am
                                                                                                                           today’
     Stage 1 - Local Informal                                         exceptional circumstances.
                                                                      Here is a selection of comments made about our
     Resolution                                                       staff and the services we offer:                                    ‘We get to have fun days, I get clean beds and nice food, I feed protected and safe’
     Complaints will generally be raised and resolved                                                                                            ‘My life has dramatically improved since being in foster care’
                                                                      “I am really happy with Compass
     directly between the parties concerned with
                                                                      they are very supportive and
     managers being kept informed.                                                                                                                    ‘I live a happy life and I don’t want anything to change’
                                                                      caring. My SSW is excellent
                                                                      and a credit to Compass,
                                                                      she amongst others is one                                                           ‘I wouldn’t change anything because in this beautiful house you don’t change
     Stage 2                                                          reason I wouldn’t leave the                                                           anything’
     The agency maintains separate processes                          agency.”
     for the purposes of complaints, allegations,
     commendations and suggestions. This information                  “I have found the                                                                           Compass South East In Numbers
     and processes are monitored and reviewed on a                    support from Compass
     regular basis by each registered service and the                 Fostering very good. To

                                                                                                                                                                  23.9%
     senior management team.                                          be able to call someone
                                                                      any time of day is very
     Suggestions                                                      important to me.”                                                                           of the children in Compass
                                                                      - Compass Foster Carers                                                                     South East are aged 0-10
     We welcome suggestions about our services and                                                                                                                years old, and 76% are 11+.
     how we might improve them. All suggestions will

                                                                                                                                                                  38%
     be considered and responded to.                                                                                                                                                                              Breakdown of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   CYP ages in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    South East
                                                                                                                                                                  Of the children and
     Number of complaints                                                                                                                                         young people with us,
                                                                                                                                                                  38% have been with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • 0-5 years
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   • 6-10 years
     01/04/21 - 22/06/21                                                                                                                                          their foster family up to 1                      • 11-15 years
                                                                                                                                                                  year.                                                • 16+
     0 complaints received in total

                                                                                                                                                                  62%
                                                                                                                                                                  Of our children have been
                                                                                                                                                                  with their foster family from
                                                                                                                                                                  1 to 18 years.
17                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             18
What People Say About Us

     “
      “
             LA SOCIAL WORKER
                                     “
     Our holistic child-focused approach along with the wide range of support in place for our carers means that we
     have a strong reputation with foster carers and Local Authorities. We are always looking for feedback on our
     services, both positive and constructive, as this helps us constantly improve outcomes for our children.

     Below is a snapshot of the feedback we have received about our South East region.

             I would like to say that I have found working with
             you truly refreshing and the partnership working
             with yourself has been exemplary. You have
             kept me updated and answered any questions
             promptly. I feel that we have worked as a team
             to keep these young people together… I hope to
             work with you again in the future and thank you
             for all your hard work.

             Our relationship with the company
             has improved this year, new
             management are resolving issues
             and at last we have a SSW who has
             been very supportive, providing
             assistance and information around
             our transition to staying put.
             FOSTER CARER
                                                              “
                                                                   “       Heather is exceptional at her job, and
                                                                           supports us in any way she can, we feel
                                                                           incredibly lucky to have her in our corner,
                                                                           especially when it comes to chasing
                                                                           the children’s social worker, and the
                                                                           complexities with contact, and other areas
                                                                           of concern we have experienced, she is a
                                                                           brilliant advocate.
                                                                           FOSTER CARER

                                                                     Deborah has not been with Compass for
                                                                     long, but I have already experienced a
                                                                     dramatic difference in the support that I
                                                                     receive. Deborah has made great strides in
                                                                     restoring my faith with regards Compass as
                                                                     an agency. I know that if I have a problem
                                                                     I can call and she will help me in whatever
                                                                     way that she can and I feel that I now have
                                                                     the support that is needed when dealing
                                                                     with school and outside agencies.
                                                                                                                         Our Children’s Achievements

                                                                                                                         Sometimes it can be easy to overlook the little achievements, but for us and the young people in our care these are
                                                                                                                         life changing accomplishments. Each challenge children face should be recognised and we are incredibly proud of
                                                                                                                         every one of our young people and how they have progressed.

                                                                                                                         We record our children’s achievements on Fostertrack, which is a fantastic way to look back and review the progress
                                                                                                                         they make. Here are just a few from our South East region.

                                                                                                                                    ND received a letter of
                                                                                                                                 congratulation from school
                                                                                                                                  for being within the top 10
                                                                                                                                 students in his year group,
                                                                                                                                    who received the most
                                                                                                                                positive points from teachers
                                                                                                                                     in the previous week.
                                                                                                                                                                              S had very positive
                                                                                                                                                                        feedback from her teachers
                                                                                                                                                                          at parents evening, other
                                                                                                                                                                         than a few areas that she
                                                                                                                                                                         will get some support with,
                                                                                                                                                                           she is on track with her
                                                                                                                                                                           GCSE's and has proved
                                                                                                                                                                          to be working well in all

                                                                                                                                                             Fantastic achievement,
                                                                                                                                                              displaying diligence,
                                                                                                                                                               determination and
                                                                                                                                                             commitment, learning
                                                                                                                                                                                   subjects.

                                                                                                                                                              to ride his bike, from
                                                                                                                                                                     scratch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        H is completing GCSE
                                                                                                                                                                                                     assessments throughout
                                                                                                                                                                                                   this month and is engaging
                                                                                                                                                                                                    in lessons and after school
                                                                                                                                                                                                  tuition to support his learning.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  H develops his independence
                                                                                                                                                                                                  through household tasks and
                                                                                                                                                                                                    socialising with friends, he
                                                                                                                                                                                                       returns home on time.

      “
                                                                                                                                     EK is now tidying his room
                                                                     FOSTER CARER                                                   without being asked which                            AN has returned to school
              I have been working at Compass for less                                                                                                                                    and has been doing well
                                                                                                                                    is very good. EK also asked
              than a year and in that time, I have really                                                                                                                                she has proud points and
                                                                                                                                      how to use the washing
              enjoyed being part of an amazing team.                                                                                                                                     completed PE lessons. AN
                                                                                                                                     machine so I showed him
              The Management Team are encouraging,                                                                                                                                       has never completed a PE
                                                                                                                                      and he loaded it himself.
              supportive, protective and encourage our

                                                                  “
                                                                                                                                       He also volunteered to                          lesson in the whole time she
              creativity as staff. The management team                                                                                                                                        has been there.
                                                                                                                                     hang out the clothers and
              are consistently focused on ensuring the                   It has been a fantastic experience to be                    collected them when they
              staff are supported and developed so that                  involved in (Staff Interviews) which has                          had dried later.
              we can work with our carers and children                   also helped me to revisit some skills from
              to achieve the best outcomes for everyone!                 my past life! I am sure Regina will be a
              SUPERVISING SOCIAL WORKER                                  great asset. I have already seen first hand
                                                                         how she is beginning to build a good
                                                                         support network using skills from within
                                                                         our Compass community.
                                                                         FOSTER CARER

19                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             20
Compass Fostering South East

Whitstable Office
Pean Hill Park,
Pean Hill,
Whitstable,
CT5 3BJ.

T 01227 479 444

                               Visit compassfostering.com
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