What our social workers say Click to get info
Heather Flinders, Divisional Director for Children and Families, talking about working as a social worker at Waltham Forest Council.
May 2017 blog
As we celebrate Foster Care Fortnight my thoughts are split between reflecting on the difference good foster care makes to children’s lives, and how hard it is to recruit and retain foster carers. It is something I can really say that strikes a chord with me. As a manager who is responsible for fostering services I am always looking for the silver bullet, the golden thread, the magic that will persuade people to think about becoming a foster carer. Is it about better marketing, better communications, finding the magic words that will convey both the importance and the attraction that will connect with the public and catch their attention? Or is it making sure that they will be well paid and supported? Or all of those things?
As a foster carer myself, I know that it can be massively rewarding but equally tiring and frustrating. You can feel elated or defeated, sometimes within the space of a single day.
Then I realise that there is no magic. There are just relationships. The relationships that I have with children we care for are the difference. When we are able to make a positive relationship with a child, it allows them to trust us. When they trust us we are able to influence and guide them. In turn that may relax feeling safer and engage in their education, other relationships and begin a virtuous spiral. If not days can be long and hard. We rely on our relationships with other professionals, our social workers, other foster carers, teachers, doctors. If those relationships are good, we work together well. If not…
It is why we are developing the Mockingbird Family Model in Waltham Forest. To ensure that our foster carers are better supported through improved relationships.
So this year I am supporting the Fostering Network campaign – Fostering Transforms Lives. But I am also focusing on the knowledge that #relationshipsmakingthedifference is what we all need to remember.
Assistant Director for Corporate Parenting Service
What we can offer you Click to get info
In return for your hard work, we’ll give you the time and active support you need to make a difference.
- £2,000-£3,000 recruitment and retention bonus for key front line positions
- Ongoing professional development
- Assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) for newly qualified social workers to provide extra support during their first year of employment
- Generous staff benefits