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Providing brighter futures for children and young people in ... - TACT

Providing brighter futures for children and young people in ... - TACT

6 5. The services we

6 5. The services we provide: fostering and adoption TACT works hard to be responsive on a local level; understanding the specific needs of our looked after population, whilst, at the same time, introducing good practice from their experience nationally.” TACT local authority customer based in the West Midlands, February 2009 As the UK’s largest charity provider of fostering and adoption services, TACT has been working with local authorities for over 17 years to provide brighter futures for children and young people in care or on the edge of care. With an excellent success rate of winning local authority tenders in 2008, we have built a reputation for excellence through our partnerships with more than 70 local authorities across England, Wales and Scotland. We are also the preferred provider with 19 local authorities. TACT is dedicated to achieving best practice and to providing best customer service. Currently, three of our offices are judged ‘outstanding’ in their inspection under Ofsted and the other three were rated as ‘good’. We are very proud of this achievement. TACT is the first fostering and adoption service to achieve Customer Service Excellence in the country. We also secured the Investors in People Bronze level status in May 2009. We are dedicated to: providing value for money communicating at both operational and strategic level moving away from a traditional adversarial model of contracting managing and developing contractual relationships exchanging information, sharing risks and jointly solving problems building long term relationships based on trust and joint ownership a. Fostering Appropriate matching of child and carer is a key priority for us. Our Senior Supervising Social Workers respond promptly to any placements requests and make available any appropriate documentation necessary to assist the local authority in making an informed decision regarding a placement. We assess and support our carers carefully. Many of our foster carers have been with us for years and have experience of caring for a wide range of children such as older teenagers, children with complex or special needs, mother and their babies, siblings etc. The foster carers we work with come from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures and ethnic groups. What they have in common is a commitment to offering a high standard of care to children and young people, many of whom have had difficult past experience. Our well supported, committed and trained carers can provide: foster placements for children of all ages presenting challenging behaviours. foster placements for unaccompanied asylum seeking young people. foster placements for children with disabilities.

7 TACT - Providing brighter futures for children and young people in care “The reward for me is to see a child flourish and blossom in my care. It is a thrilling achievement, not only for me but for the child and everyone involved and to be seen to do the professional job that you were trained for. Fostering has done more for me than any nine-to-five job could have ever done.” Jenny Smith, TACT foster carer in South London range of topics from Child Development to Managing Challenging Behaviour, Disability Awareness to Valuing Diversity. After a year, carers can also study for an NVQ related to foster care). regular meetings and support groups where they have the chance to meet other foster carers and share their experiences. foster placements for siblings (at reduced rates). assessments of parent/s and child/ren in foster placements. emergency out of hours fostering placements (subject to discussions about arrangements around service). a permanency service offering long term fostering (at reduced rates), special guardianship and adoption through TACT adopters or bridging placements (see the specific section on adoption). Benefits and services we provide to our carers: To ensure our foster carers can provide the best care to the children and young people we look after, we support them with: 24 hours a day, seven days a week helpline. an allocated Senior Supervising Social Workers who provides them with guidance and assisstance. ongoing training. specific trainings as part of their career development (TACT courses cover a wide carers’ fees: we pay our carers competitive rates. Our fees are banded according to age and specialist placements are charged at an enhanced rate to reflect the complexities involved. Reductions are offered for long term and sibling groups and for block purchase agreements with individual local authorities. Additional services we provide for the children and young people in our care and foster families: An integral part of our fostering services is making the fostering experience positive for the children in care and for foster families. To help with this, we: employ a number of Children’s Resource Workers who work individually with children in placement. run training and support groups for children who are fostered and also for the birth children of foster families.

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