Education and support

 

Young people will do better if they do well in education and feel well in themselves.

We will support you, and them, to have a good education, develop a network of friends and get help when it’s needed most.

 

We will help you get the support you need from the education system. If needed we will speak on your and the children’s behalf. We will provide some extra help to children if they need a bit more support on a particular topic or area.

Pauline oversees our school Education service. Pauline used to be the Headteacher of a Special Educational Needs School and is a Psychotherapist. She used to be what’s called a ‘virtual head’. Part of that job involved making sure children in care in a Teesside Town were properly educated.

We will help young people think with you about the next steps after school and link them in with partners that can support them into further education or work.

 

Young people grow through having fun with mates and doing new, exciting or interesting things. We’ll talk to the young people who are fostered with us and help them organize activities over the summer holidays that they’d really enjoy. We’ll do the same at Christmas.

Young people in foster care can get a lot out of meeting other young people in foster care, but many need and want relationships with young people who aren’t. We’ll support you to work out what young people can get involved in local to you. Because we are local, and have relationships with lots of Charities, we have a good understanding of what’s available to get involved with.

Changing Futures North East, our parent Charity, has a befriending and mentoring service for looked after children called ‘Independent Visitors’. An Independent Visitor is a volunteer. They build a relationship with the young person, do fun things together once or twice a month, and are a stable presence in their life for at least a year (usually two or more… some have stayed in contact years after the young person leaves care). Fostered young people usually have a legal right to an Independent Visitor, if it’s in their best interests to have one. We will ask young people if they’d like one, and if their Social Worker agrees the Charity will try to match them with one.

 

We’ll help you and the young people fostered with you think about leaving care. We’ll run activities to help them live by themselves. We have our own fully equipped youth room and kitchen on site that’s great for independent living courses!

Changing Futures North East, our parent Charity, is part of a partnership that renovates houses to a high standard and rents rooms in them to young people who leave care. They’re supported by a full time worker. The Charity is involved in other housing related schemes to try and give young people who leave care high quality supported housing. We will try to link in to these places for those young people that need and want that sort of support.

Birth children don't leave home and never talk to their parents - why should fostered children? Lots of foster parents keep in contact with the young people they fostered long term, but we think Changing Futures Fostering itself has a commitment to them that lasts a lifetime. We are developing a service that will keep in touch with them and create mentoring opportunities for them, and link them into support when they need it. We will strike a balance between giving appropriate necessary support and not smothering young adults and stopping them move into independence.

Being fostered through Changing Futures Fostering means being part of our family for as long as we exist.