We are going to use this page to keep our foster carers who are not on social media up to date with news from Bradford Fostering.
If you are worried about any aspect of fostering, please contact your SSW directly or if you cannot get hold of them, call Fostering Duty on 01274 434475 during Monday to Friday office hours or EDT out of office hours on 01274 431010.
Other helplines include:
The Fostering Network's Members' Hotline 020 7401 9582 from 10 am - 3 pm, Monday to Friday.
The member helpline does get very busy and so if you call during opening hours it is likely you will hear their voicemail message – it just means they are on a call. Always leave your name and telephone number (clearly and slowly) and they will aim to return your call within three working days if the message is left over the weekend.
The Fostering Network's Stress support service - UK
Members of The Fostering Network can access a completely confidential stress support service on 01384 885734. *Please ask to be put through to the stress helpline
Summary of messages from Bradford Fostering
19.03.2020 Message from Irfan Alam (Deputy Director Children's Social Care) about Family Time
Family time is important to our children and families; where possible we should continue in our commitment to support families to spend time with each other. When this is not possible, alternative means such as video calling through WhatsApp or telephone calls should be used to allow children and families to maintain links. When arrangements need to change, it is important that we provide a clear explanation to children and families so that they can understand why things have to change.
You should liaise with your children's social workers for a discussion about how to support family time if you are in self-isolation or anyone in the family is ill.
We will be posting some advice about installing and using WhatsApp soon.
19.03.2020 Message from Linzi Nicholson, Bradford Fostering Service Manager
Just wanted to check in and acknowledge how frustrating/confusing/scary things must feel right now. These are unprecedented times and plans/advice are having to be devised day by day in line with daily changes in Government guidance.
The Government announced yesterday that children 'with a social worker' will still be able to able to attend school after Friday's closure. This does include our children.
The decision as to whether you choose to send the children in your care to school or not is yours, there is no right or wrong choice and we will support your decision. The structure of the school day can be vital to placement stability in some cases and can be the cause of instability in others. All I ask is that you let your SSW know what your decision is.
Helen has posted the current guidance re: family time arrangements. The bottom line is we don't want you to do anything that you feel compromises your safety and wellbeing or that of those in your household. We do need to be mindful that our children are likely to be worried about their families and vice versa so we need to think outside of the box,in conjunction with the children's social worker, to maintain communication with birth families where appropriate.
We have today taken the decision that routine visits will not be completed face to face, for your safety and the safety of staff. This doesn't mean that we aren't here to support, we are at the end of the phone to be a sounding board or even just to listen. I would welcome any suggestions of support people feel would be beneficial that isn't already in place.
I will end this message by saying a huge thank you to you all for the amazing jobs you are all doing in even more difficult circumstances than usual. This will pass but in the meantime lets keep talking, sharing our ideas/worries/successes and holding each other up as I have already seen happen so often during my short time at Bradford so far.
18.03.2020 Guide to using WhatsApp
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with more than 1.5 billion people in more than 180 countries using it to send and receive text, photos, videos and documents, as well as make voice and video calls through an internet or Wi-Fi connection. The free app offers end-to-end encryption, which means that messages can only be read by the sender and the recipient in one-to-one chats, or all members if it’s a group chat.
Below are links to guides, but I'd like you to be aware of these potential hazards:
YouTube WhatsApp tutorial LINK IS HERE
Guide on how to use WhatsApp LINK IS HERE
Step by step guide to using WhatsApp LINK IS HERE