Upcoming live webinars delivered by Kate Cairns

Adoption Mid & West Wales have been working with Kate Cairns Associates to develop a new programme of webinars in response to Covid-19. The live webinars will delivered by Kate Cairns, who is an author, speaker and trainer with an international reputation for her work around attachment, trauma and resilience, particularly in relation to vulnerable children and young people. She has been a social worker for forty years, and a trainer for twenty years.

Webinar Course 1: ‘Covid-19, Toxic Stress and Community Resilience: Maintaining compassionate reason during social adversity’.

Date: Wednesday 24th June 2020
Time: 1.30 – 3.00pm
Where: Zoom online

Description: Toxic levels of stress can change the way we think, feel and behave until we have recovered from the Trauma. This can happen to anyone, and at times of significant social adversity such as pandemic or climate change it will happen to many. This webinar, delivered by Kate Cairns, and the e-learning which accompanies it, enables participants to reflect on the implications of trauma-informed practice under such conditions. Trauma-informed practice has increasingly been recognised as important as our understanding of the current research evidence grows. And at a time when the whole population is living with issues of toxic stress and severe anxiety trauma-informed practice becomes essential for everyone.

Webinar Course 2: ‘Community Resilience and Secondary Trauma’.

Date: Wednesday 8th July 2020
Time: 1.30 – 3.00pm
Where: Zoom online

Description: Trauma is catching! Anyone who works with traumatised people may find at some point that they are affected by secondary trauma, developing similar signs and indicators of trauma to the people they are with. Secondary trauma is particularly likely in situations where the whole population is facing major stress. This course enables learners to understand key issues about the impact of secondary trauma on individuals, organisations and support networks, and then identify and develop skills in recognition, prevention and management of those effects.

If you are interested in attending any of the webinars please register by clicking on the link below.

Cookery session in Y Sied

Foster cookery session in Y SiedThe Sons and Daughters of foster carers group met after school on Friday 15th November for a cookery session in Y Sied, Nantgaredig.

The children enjoyed making pizzas and cupcakes and spent time socialising with other children whose parents foster for the local authority. The sons and daughters group meet regularly throughout the year to discuss topics relevant to their role as children of foster carers.

The purpose of the sons and daughters of foster carers group is to show the children that they are valued for the role they play in their families who foster.

Steam Rally Event 2019

Carmarthenshire Fostering Recruitment Team were at the Steam Rally Event 2019 at Pembrey Country Park on Saturday September 28th and Sunday 29th September. Lots of you called at our stand to have an informal chat with our staff and to meet our mascot Cal the bear. We enjoyed seeing you there.

Information Evening

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Carmarthenshire County Council Fostering Service regularly hold open evenings at Crosshands Club, 41 Llandeilo Road, Crosshands SA14 6RD. (Ample parking space). These evening are an opportunity to come along and have an informal chat with staff and foster carers over a cup of tea.

We are a friendly and enthusiastic bunch who love talking about our jobs and are passionate about making a difference to children’s lives, bring your family with you so that everyone can hear first-hand what it’s like to foster for Carmarthenshire. There is no obligation and no ‘hard sell’, just a chance to find out more and start to think whether fostering is right for you and your family.

Our next evening will be: Wednesday 20th November 2019 between 6 and 8pm.

Why we chose to foster for Carmarthenshire’s Fostering Service

Carmarthenshire Fostering Service is recruiting foster carers for our children and we need the right kind of people who would embrace a child into their home. You would be surprised how many people feel that they haven’t got the skills necessary to become a foster carer, however if you have the right values and want to make a difference to a vulnerable child’s future, we would love to hear from you. You will be looked after from the first phone call that you make to our Team and will be fully supported through the application process if you choose to foster with our local fostering service based in the heart of our County.

We need long term foster carers, short term foster carers, respite foster carers and parent and baby foster carers……….basically if you feel that you would like to give a local child the chance to have a safe and secure future we would love for you to contact us.

Jackie and Marc, just two of our outstanding foster carers have shared their feelings about their own fostering journey since becoming approved foster carers for Carmarthenshire County Council in early 2018. Jackie and Marc chose to foster for Carmarthenshire following a lot of research into becoming foster carers and many phone calls and meetings. They wanted to foster a local child with a local fostering service to enable them to receive the right kind of support and friendly 24 hour service from a dedicated team of experienced, highly professional and skilled social workers. We are so grateful they chose to foster for us. We are lucky to have them.

In fact we are so grateful to all our foster carers for choosing to foster with us, but we are also passionate about the fact that every child who is looked after in Carmarthenshire has local support from a Corporate Service and this enables us to coordinate the right sort of bespoke care for every foster carer and child from one central base.

Our children need to have a local team around them and this is what happens within Carmarthenshire’s Children Service.

Jackie and Marc recognised the importance of being matched carefully with a child from Carmarthenshire who already had a strong professional support network around him. This enabled them to have confidence that Carmarthenshire’s fostering service had the right ethos and approach to enable them to provide care for our most vulnerable children. It also ensured that they had someone from a local team, whether it be the fostering service, someone from our specialist education service, the child’s social worker or one of our specialist therapeutic social workers on hand and only a short distance away if they needed support there and then.

Keeping children within their communities is so important and enables them to feel safe and connected to their roots. This is vital for their future wellbeing and it’s very rare for a child to need to be placed far away from their community. Jackie and Marc fully recognise that supporting a child to enable him to remain in his own school and access local services and clubs has had a huge impact on how successfully they have managed their first year with us. They are one of our outstanding foster carers who are doing an extraordinary service, but would just say that they are ‘caring for a child as one of their own’. To them it’s not extraordinary, however we see the bigger picture and ensuring stability for all our most vulnerable children is our goal.

Carmarthenshire’s Fostering Service has had a 100% record of satisfaction from our foster carers during their first year of looking after our vulnerable children and this is something that we are very proud of.

We value our foster carers like Jackie and Marc and we completely understand that becoming a foster carer is just the start of a journey that will hopefully last for many years.

Jackie and Marc foster carersJackie and Marc

‘My husband and I have two grown up children together we are both teachers and facilitators in personal development we are both passionate about helping others to reach their potential.

We decided to look into becoming foster carers initially offering respite care, we looked at a variety of agencies offering training and support.

When we contacted Carmarthenshire County Council fostering Network, we felt instantly at ease with the friendly yet professional approach from the team.

At each stage of the training process we were given relevant information and tailored support. We felt that the Fostering Team and the inclusive and diverse approach they offered fitted with our own values and met our needs giving us the tools to enable us to grow into our roles as full time professional therapeutic foster parents.

Our thoughts of being respite carers changed through the training process and we were introduced to a wonderful young boy who after several visits came to live with us full time and has fitted in to our family life perfectly.

We were carefully matched with our first placement and the process was robustly managed by the fostering team to facilitate a smooth (as possible) transition for all involved.

Fast-forward a year and returning to panel has given us time to reflect on our journey. Becoming foster parents has had its challenging moments and without a doubt it has also enabled us to grow as a family, our new family has taught us a lot about ourselves as individuals and has made our family stronger as a whole.

We feel valued as part of the fostering team, and privileged to be able to offer a safe and secure home making a positive contribution to the wellbeing of children within our community.

We are glad that we chose Carmarthenshire Fostering Service, having looked at several other agencies beforehand.’

Foster Care Fortnight 2019: 13th to 26th May

#changeafutureIt’s an annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives. To launch the start of Fostering Fortnight the Foster Mid and West Wales team were at Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo from 11-3pm on Saturday 11th May. #changeafuture

Remember that you can meet some of our fostering team at the HWB’s in Carmarthenshire during fostering fortnight, between 9am and 1pm. The HWB in Ammanford is at 41 Quay Street, Llanelli HWB is at 36 Stepney Street and Carmarthen HWB is located in the council offices in Spillman Street. Cal the fostering bear has also been putting in an appearance so come down and have an informal chat with our team members, we are looking forward to seeing you

Fostering Fortnight TimetablePDF icon

The Foster Mid and West Wales team were at Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo from 11-3pm on Saturday 11th May

Sibling Foster Care

pebbles on beach showing siblings

Carmarthenshire’s Fostering Service needs to recruit foster carers who can provide a safe and loving home to siblings. The bond between brothers and sisters is so special and that’s why we try our best to make sure that they grow up together.

We rely on our amazing foster carers such as Anita and Phil who have embraced caring for siblings and would like to share their story.

Continue reading “Sibling Foster Care”

Scarlets Event

Once again we were invited to be Community Partners at Parc Y Scarlets for their game against Edinburgh on 6th April 2019. This is the 3rd time we have been involved at Parc Y Scarlets and the staff, foster carers and children love the event.

Prior to the match we had a stand in the Barn and children enjoyed decorating wooden door plaques and fridge magnets on our craft stall organised by our wonderful foster carer mentors Debbie and John Sears. Staff also helped children make badges.

Thank you to carers Ed and Clare who loaned us a giant connect four game and jenga which the children loved.

Cochyn paid us a special visit and seemed to get on well with Cal the fostering bear.

Carers and children were provided with tickets to the game which they thoroughly enjoyed, (although not the result!)

Five Hospitality tickets were donated by Thomas Cook, we drew names from a hat and one lucky family were treated to a meal in the Scott Quinnell Lounge.

We all had a great day out and look forward to doing it all again next season. Thank you Scarlets!

Do you know where this is?

Fostering mural at Parc y ScarletsHave you ever been under the west stand in Parc Y Scarlets? It’s worth a look. Carmarthenshire Fostering Service have developed a good relationship with the Scarlets as part of their Community initiative Scheme. Children helped to paint the mural under the stand. We hold regular recruitment events at Parc Y Scarlets.
Join us in the barn in the next recruitment event in April 2019 when the mighty Scarlets take on Edinburgh on the weekend of the 5th April. The exact date will be confirmed as soon as the fixture is confirmed.