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Government Framework

Help Children Achieve More: our services promote every aspect of a child’s/young person’s life including education, health, sexuality and therapeutic needs.

Extracts from the Government outcomes framework:

Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency are committed to meeting the criteria within every government agenda to improve the health and well-being of children and young people.

Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency understand the importance of ensuring that each child/young person benefits from the services they provide by being proactive and innovative in meeting the government framework of Help Children Achieve More.

Stay Safe

Aims (for children and young people)

  • Safe from maltreatment, neglect and sexual exploitation
  • Safe from accidental injury or death
  • Safe from bullying and discrimination
  • Safe from crime and anti-social behaviour in and out of school
  • Have security, stability and are cared for


Positive steps which Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency take in order to ensure we are meeting the framework

Safeguarding:

Our policies are reviewed and updated regularly to ensure aby new government legalisation/changes are included. All staff, foster carers and Local Authorities have access to our policies.  

Health and Safety:

Prior to a Carer being approved the home environment is checked against a standard check list to ensure safety and health. Any non-compliance is recorded and a time is specified to allow the appropriate action to be taken when the check is repeated. Only when all areas are compliant will the carer and their home be approved, thereafter regular checks are undertaken to ensure continuing compliance.

Staff and Foster carers are trained in:

  • First Aid
  • Safeguarding and Safer caring
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Internet Safety
  • Challenging Behaviours
  • Missing from Care

Children and young people’s forum:

Encourages children to speak out. Any BGFA organised activities that children are involved in are also thoroughly Risk Assessed to ensure that effective controls are implemented. The child’s personal profile is also checked and cross referenced to the activity to ensure that they or aby aspect of the activity are not in conflict. Many of the activity risk assessments are maintained on file and made available to anyone requiring them. This ensures consistency and gives the basic information to organisers who will then undertake their own assessments as required.  

Teenage Risk:

This is one of the most challenging aspects of working with adolescents and care leavers. There is a delicate balance between enabling young people to learn from new and exciting experiences and the responsibility of those who are identified to ensure their safety and well-being. As part of our independent living skills programme, BGFA foster carers are supported by Social Work staff to manage and support this difficult issue with the use of risk assessments and practical advice.

As an agency we also ensure that the following issues are specifically addressed in carer training and supervision:

  • Issues of bullying and discrimination
  • General issues of accidental injury, particularly in the home or the road
  • Safety from crime and anti-social behaviour. Young people are encouraged to participate in BGFA and community based activities
  • The issue of sexual exploitation is specifically addressed in training


Be healthy:

Aims (for children and young people):

  • Physically healthy
  • Mentally and emotionally healthy
  • Sexually healthy
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Choose not to take illegal drugs

Support

Parents carers and families promote healthy choices

Health Records for all children

All health issues of the child are recorded and reviewed in supervision by the SSW, medical Administration Forms are completed and maintained on the child’s record.  

Health Workshop

Health workshops are arranged to provide an opportunity to discuss health matters with a medical professional.

Encouraging exercise and a healthy diet

Young people are encouraged to engage in and maintain healthy lifestyles.

First aid training for Foster Carers

Foster carers are provided with opportunities to complete first aid training and courses.

Young people are registered with primary health care professionals

Annual Health & Safety checks for foster households

  • Anti-Smoking and Anti-Drugs
  • Advice and Information
  • Positive adult role models for children
  • Young people are supported and encouraged not to take illegal drugs
  • Promotion of good personal relationships and sexual health
  • Issues of sexual health are addressed


Life Story Work

This can contribute to a young person’s emotional health and well-being by helping the young person to reflect on and understand their past, present and to plan for their future. This is an ongoing life process which can provide young people with a more balanced view of their past, it can reduce feelings of self-blame/guilt and can contribute towards a more positive sense of identity and self-esteem.

Life Story Work Co-ordinator:

BGFA employ the services of a life story co-ordinator whose role it is to ensure the development and delivery of Life Story Work services including understanding of the memory box, and training for carers and staff.


Enjoy and Achieve

Aims (for children and young people)

  • Ready for school
  • Attend and enjoy school
  • Achieve stretching national educational standards at school
  • Achiever personal and social development and enjoy recreation
  • Achiever stretching national educational standards at secondary school


Support

Parents, carers and families support learning.

Positive steps which Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency take in order to ensure we are meeting the framework

Promoting children’s education in and out of school

  • Parents Evenings – All Foster carers attend parent evenings and discuss the child’s educational progress with their teachers
  • PEP meetings – Foster carers are supported by their SSW to attend all PEP meetings and follow up on any actions identified
  • Ad Astra – Providing additional educational support as required
  • Educational records – Carers maintain an educational record which records the child’s progress, attendance and achievements, these are reviewed regularly
  • School reports – School reports are maintained on the child’s record and any actions are followed
  • Celebrating end of year individual child achievements – All children enter art competitions plus other fun activities each year and the winning entrances are incorporated into an annual calendar
  • BGFA Memory Box/Book – Carers/staff and young people are encouraged to contribute to a memory book for each child as a way of providing qualitative and positive anecdotal information which can enable a young person to have a more positive sense of themselves, as well as an understanding of what people have thought about them.
  • The memory book provides a record of the placement together with the carers/staff thoughts and feelings about the child and wishes for their future. By having information about their past and help in understanding this, young people can be assisted in their personal and social development, and ability to enjoy life.
  • Community Activities - Our children and young people are encouraged to participate fully in BGFA and community based activities
  • Prep for 11+ and GCSE Exams – By working in partnership with Ad Astra, our children and young people will be given opportunities to attend planned preparation courses to help them prepare for relevant tests and examinations. This will entail sitting mock tests and exams by specialist teaching staff during the first term for 11+ and the second term for GCSE’s.
  • After School Photography Club - This is an opportunity for BGFA and Long Close School to participate in a photography club, which will help children explore their identity as individuals and young artists.
  • Talent Club -  This will be an opportunity for young people to develop confidence, self-assertiveness and be able to demonstrate their inner abilities and build on any hidden talents/ natural gifts which they may have.
  • Out of School Support - We are committed to ensuring that all children placed with us will attend appropriate schooling but also acknowledge that in some cases immediate access to mainstream or special educational provision is not available. To assist in such circumstances Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency has in place, through their links with Life Long Learning Centre who work in partnerships with local colleges, nationally accredited educational resources and replicated school environments which offer continued support and encouragement. This ensures active support for children who are most vulnerable and assisting them to reach their full potential without hindrance.


Extracts from the Government outcomes framework:

Enjoy Economic Wellbeing

Aims (for children and young people)

  • Engage in further education, employment or training on leaving school
  • Ready for employment
  • Live in decent homes and sustainable communities
  • Access to transport and material goods
  • Live in households free from low income


Support

Parents, cares and families are supported to be economically active

Positive steps which Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency take in order to ensure we are meeting the framework

Life Story Work

By assisting young people in their emotional and social development through the provision of Life Story Work services they are likely to be more equipped for managing their adult lives in terms of employment and housing. Also to develop the social and practical skills they need to be ready for employment and further education.

Learn to Work

We work in partnership with the ‘Learn to Work’ team, who support and assist our children

Life Long Learning Centre

Through this, we are able to access support and guidance for young people who would like to continue further education, including places on ESOL, life skill and life in UK programmes (for santuory seeking young people).

Independent Living Skills:

Our bespoke programme is designed to help young people develop skills that support successful transition into the adult world. Modules include: Housing, Budgeting, Health and Hygiene and Sexual Health.

Promoting education, employment and training

Employment skills:

  • Where appropriate, young people will be encouraged to attend University Summer Schools
  • All care leavers have a national insurance number
  • All enterprising talents will be recognised and encouraged with support to pursue entrepreneurism skills


Extracts from the Government outcomes framework:

Make a Positive Contribution:

Aims (for children and young people)

  • Engage in decision making and support the community and environment
  • Engage in law-abiding and positive behaviour in and out of school
  • Develop positive relationships and choose not to bully or discriminate
  • Develop self-confidence and successfully deal with significant life changes and challenges
  • Develop enterprising behaviour


Support

Parents, carers and families promote positive behaviour

Positive steps which Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency take in order to ensure we are meeting the framework

Local and National consultation forums for children and young people

To promote inclusion and social awareness and responsibilities. Children will be given the opportunity to take part in Local and National government consultation Forums.

Involvement in own care planning and foster carer reviews

Children will be encouraged to understand and be involved in all decisions made about them

Children’s Forums

Children will be able to give views/opinions and take part in BGFA decision making process, for example when recruiting staff, making changes/improvements to services.

Gain AQA certificates

Modules achieved from the Independent Living Skills Programme will be accumulated and transferred over onto the AQA Award Statement. The AQA Unit Award Scheme is fully approved by QCA as a scheme for recording achievements which recognises the achievements of students of all abilities in non-qualification contexts.

Guidance on developing enterprising skills

Opportunities will be given to young people through the Learn to Work programme to visit and explore local businesses, giving them an insight into entrepreneurial skills  

NCS Programme (National Citizenship Programme):

All 15-17 year olds are invited to take part in the NCS programme. NCS helps to build skills for work and life, taking on new challenges ad meeting new friends. The programme involves a short time away from home, trying new things as well as taking part in a team project in a local community. Its aims are to bring together young people from all different backgrounds for a common purpose. Offering new experiences, it gives them a chance to take part in new challenges, learn new skills and meet new people. This helps discover their own talents and realise their own potential whilst having fun.

Life Story Work

This can help young people to make a sense of their past, gain a balanced understanding of their past, present and plan for a healthy and stable future. Undertaking Life Story Work can assist the young person in accepting the past and thus in successfully dealing with significant life changes, such as living away from their birth family. Learning how to deal with life events can be a transferable skill which young people can use to deal with present and future changes and challenges.

Memory Box / Working together to achieve our goals:

Through the use of Memory Box, photographs and Memory Book young people and carers are encouraged to record significant information as well as to preserve and keep a record of achievements and reflect on their development. This can enable a child to develop self-confidence and positive relationships with their carers/staff/peers.

Some services are repeated on outcomes deliberately to emphasise how these will impact the development of the children in context to their safety.

MESSAGE TO YOUNG PEOPLE: If you have any ideas you would like to share or you are interested in any other activities we may be able to arrange this for you – please call us on 01753 86 86 86