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How Do I Become a Foster Carer?

May 22nd, 2018

Once you have decided to be an asphaleia foster carer and made the call to us we will arrange to visit you. Your assessment process can take up to six months. Our supervising social worker will tell you more about the assessment process at your home visit, as it can look different for each new carer.

Don’t forget, you can contact the office at anytime on 01903 522966. 

We know there is a lot of information to consider when deciding whether you would like to become a foster carer. We want to make the process as smooth for you and your family as possible.

A home visit is an informal meeting between our supervising social worker and you in your home. They last up to one hour and are booked at a time suitable to you, whether it be during the day or in the evening. Home visits provide us with an opportunity to get to know each other better, without the formal setting of an office. We will ask you questions such as why are you interested in fostering, what age group you would prefer to foster, how do your own children feel about your fostering etc. You can also ask us any questions that you have.

It is the ideal time for us to discuss with you whether application is right for you or other steps you can take to help you consider the commitment fully. Any member of your household who will be applying to be a carer (husband, child over age of 21, other relative etc) must be present at this meeting.

Whilst it is an informal meeting, your home visit is an opportunity for us to assess you. If we do not feel you are ready to proceed with an application at this point, we will tell you following this visit.

After your home visit, if you feel you would like to apply to join our agency, you will be able to do so. We will be unable to accept your application until you have had this initial home visit.

    

Who Can Be a Foster Carer?

May 17th, 2018

The requirements for becoming a foster carer are quite simple. At asphaleia, we are looking for energetic people with a passion for children and young people, as well as an interest in learning and developing their skills, being flexible, patient and an ongoing commitment to training is essential. If you think you fit what we are looking for, you could be joining our team very soon!

To be a foster carer you must:

  • Be over 21
  • Have a spare room

You can foster if:

  • You are single
  • You work
  • You rent your home
  • You have one or more spare bedrooms
  • You are in a same-sex relationship
  • You are retired
  • You have no experience of working with children
  • You have your own family
  • You are divorced
  • You would prefer to only foster babies
  • You do not have any qualifications

Please call us on 01903 522966 to find out more about being a foster carer.

    

Foster Carers Fortnight – Who Needs Foster Care?

May 15th, 2018

There are many reasons why children come into care and need to live with foster carers. All children who need foster carers will have experienced disruption and separation from their families. The time a child may stay with a foster carer will vary from a few days to a couple of months. It could be as long as a year or even longer. At asphaleia we need carers who can care for:

Teenagers

Teenagers need carers who are able to listen to them and help them make sense of the world and their role within it. Patience and understanding are crucial qualities for foster carers of this age group as is the ability to lay down clear and fair boundaries. At asphaleia we work with many nationalities of teenagers.

Sibling groups

At asphaleia we believe that where possible siblings should be kept together. At times of separation from their parents or under a severe sense of loss siblings take comfort from the stability they get from each other. Taking more than one foster child into your home may seem daunting but you will receive all the support you need.

Parent and Baby

Becoming a parent can be an overwhelming task. Sometimes parents need that extra guidance and support to help keep their baby safe.

Special needs

Some children have special needs which can be physical, behavioural or educational. Children with special needs require specialist care and attention.

To find out more or to make an enquiry, please click here to visit our website.

Cooking in Kent with asphaleia Care

May 11th, 2018

This week in Kent Outreach sessions we have taken a culinary journey to India with a curry cooking session. The young person in the session was very surprised at how simple cooking can be as well as how tasty home cooked meals are. Especially one he made! He enthusiastically prepared, cooked and dished up his curry ready to share with his housemate who eagerly waited for a taste. Since cooking sessions began with this young person, he has been independently recreating the meals we made together during sessions and teaching his friends how to cook them. He even scored himself 7/10 for his first solo attempt at a Spaghetti Bolognaise. Perhaps we have a future chef in the making!

     

During cooking sessions each young person also learns about food storage, food hygiene and how to read simple recipes. This is invaluable knowledge when it comes to cooking and helps to increase independent living skills which is the aim of outreach support. Referrals are being taken for Outreach support, for enquiries please email referrals@asphaleia.co.uk. This service provides one to one support for young Asylum Seekers and Refugees, teaching them independent living and self care skills. The topics covered vary depending on the areas that the young person requires support with, thereby creating a package of outreach support that is tailored to meet individual targets and goals.

Meet Our Young Ambassadors

April 23rd, 2018

This year we launched our Young Ambassador scheme offering young people the chance to develop their skills, gain confidence and have their voice heard within asphaleia. We were inundated with applications and appointed Young Ambassadors in Worthing and Uxbridge.

Meet Rysia  

Rysia was excited to be offered this position.  Rysia showed amazing determination and self motivation during her interview. So far in her role as Young Ambassador, Rysia has been getting involved in meeting new learners and helping them with transition to class. In the next few months Rysia will be getting more involved in social media.

Meet Lauren

Lauren was appointed this month. She is very keen to show people round in the Uxbridge Open Day on the 19th April and wants to help with fundraising for the Kabor project in Sierra Leone. Lauren hopes that by being in the role of Young Ambassador her confidence will improve even more and she will get to interact with more professionals.

We wish our Ambassadors the best of luck in their new roles and look forward to updating you on what they get up to!

Big Spring Clean in asphaleia Care

April 16th, 2018

Spring is finally on its way and outreach workers in our care venture at asphaleia have been supporting our young people in semi-independent accommodation with a big spring clean!!

The young people have been putting on their rubber gloves, turning the music up, and actively scrubbing baths, hoovering, dusting, deep cleaning kitchen areas and de-cluttering their personal space.

The care team at asphaleia has also had their dusters out actively doing, showing and teaching the young people how to clean and why it is important to live in a clean house.

Here are some of the reasons why we think it important to teach our young people the skill of cleaning and also some interesting facts:

  • Cleaning is an important life skill for when the young people move onto independence and rent their own properties.
  • It is good exercise and good for your heart (did you know 30 minutes of hoovering can help you burn around 119 calories and makes a big dent in your daily step count of 10,000 steps).
  • Cleaning can boost your mental health.
  • It prevents allergies and can even boost your immune system.
  • Scientific evidence has shown cleaning and de-cluttering your surroundings regularly can be an outlet for energy and negative emotions.
  • Have you ever heard of clean house- clean mind or tidy house-tidy mind? Evidence has shown that removing dirt from our environment provides you with a more comfortable atmosphere so you naturally feel happier and relaxed.

So get your comfy clothing on, rubber gloves, turn the music up and get motivated to join us in the big spring clean!!

      

  

asphaleia Supports CSE Awareness Day 2018

April 3rd, 2018

For the last week we have been raising awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in connection to the National CSE Awareness Day on Sunday 18th March. asphaleia very much support this campaign as we currently run three projects aimed at children, young people and parents/carers affected by CSE.

SAFE West London: Started in 2013 and currently has funding until 2019. The aim of this project is to reduce the risk of trafficking and exploitation of children and young people aged 13-19 in Hillingdon. The project is aimed to work alongside schools, colleges, children services, local authorities and all other professional organisations to provide a service helping vulnerable young people build on their self-confidence and skills, strengthening ‘safer’ social networks and accessing education or employment opportunities.

To make a referral to this project please contact 01895 272478.

SAFE West Sussex: This project started in 2016 and is being funded to deliver for five years. Its aim is to reduce the number of children and young people aged 10-24 who are victims of CSE or at risk of becoming victims of CSE. It will address the local need to ensure children and young people who are at risk of/are victims of CSE feel safe through specialist interventions, as well as building awareness and raising the profile of healthy relationships for children in year six primary school classes. One of the key outcomes of the project is that children and young people understand what a healthy relationship looks like, what CSE is, and how they are vulnerable to becoming a victim.

Part of Safe WS is working alongside the parents of children who have been identified as being at risk of CSE. We support parents in a variety of different ways including telephone communication, 1-1 meetings and the sharing of new and interesting resources. We see parents as another professional – they know so much about their children and spend so much time with them, we value their input and their opinions.

To make a referral to this project please contact 01903 823546.

SAFE Kent: Started in 2017 and is being funded to deliver for three years. Its aim is to support UASC through specialist interventions and will address the local need to ensure UASC’s are supported to tackle any gaps in understanding around citizenship, respect for women, acceptable behaviour and attitudes. One of the key outcomes of the project is that UASC have a good understanding of healthy relationships and report an improvement in understanding of how to live appropriately in the UK thus reducing risk of committing crime/anti-social behaviours in the future.

Last year SAFE Kent supported over 64 UASC via the ‘Safe and Sound’ workshops based at a hub in Kent. As a result of these interventions, all 64 young men are now at a reduced risk of exploitation and have an improved understanding of how to keep themselves and others safe in the community. So far this year, young people attending our programme of workshops reported that they found it useful learning about ‘Healthy Relationships’ in particular, a follow up session focusing on ‘Signs and Indicators’ of all types of exploitation (including CSE) will be held in the coming weeks.

To make a referral please contact 01622 690857.

Visit To The Council Offices with Kent Outreach

April 3rd, 2018

This week in Kent Outreach sessions we have paid a visit to the local council offices to follow up on a housing benefit claim. This trip allowed the young person to build on many independent living skills. For instance, before the trip we practiced using an internet search to find the location of the offices. We then practiced what we would need to say to the receptionist and the key information we would need to present.

Once in the offices we were required to first use the touch screen machine to collect a ticket. Once our ticket number had been called we were required to state the reason for our visit and to give personal details such as name and date of birth. The young person was able to do this independently after our practice. We were then required to see a housing officer to present the evidence required for the housing benefit application. With support, the young person was able to independently give the correct information, which was the final step in the application process.

This session was valuable to the young person. Not only did it build on practical skills such as using maps, arriving for appointments and presenting key information, but it also increased their confidence. Following this session the young person stated they felt they had a better knowledge of the process and could manage this process independently in future.

Referrals are being taken for Outreach support. For enquiries please email referrals@asphaleia.co.uk. This service provides one-to-one support for young Asylum Seekers and Refugees looked after by Kent County Council, teaching them independent living and self-care skills. The topics covered vary depending on the areas that the young person requires support with, thereby creating a package of outreach support that is tailored to meet individual targets and goals.

Meet the New Members of the asphaleia Care Team

March 22nd, 2018

During the past few months the asphaleia care service has continued to grow. We have introduced new accommodation services in Sussex and opened new properties, which is very exciting! We are working with more young people from all different backgrounds and are offering them different levels of support including semi-independent and now also 24-hour staffed accommodation.

The focus of our work is to prepare them for their next step in life, which might be semi-independence or even moving onto full independence. During their time with us we want the young people to feel welcome and safe in their homes. We teach them skills to manage the home, how to live with others and how to access support services (to name a few).

With a growing service we also have a growing team of staff working with the young people in our properties.

We have welcomed four new Outreach Workers to the team since the end of last year and they are:

Cosmin Badea – 

Layla Kelly – 

 

Nichola Collins – 

 

Edon Gibbens – 

Each of them bring a range of knowledge and experience to their roles and they are all enjoying working with the young people and getting to know them.

If you would like to make a referral to our service please contact us on 01903 522966 or referrals@asphaleia.co.uk

Care Key work sessions with some Young People

March 15th, 2018

Today care staff completed an interactive key work session in the local area. All the young people remained enthusiastic and said they preferred completing key work out doors. We started with a visit to Starbucks where the young people were set the following tasks:

  1. To access free sexual health support- it was closed but they used their phones to locate the local find it out centre. They felt shy to access but said they felt happy to return now they know where it is.
  2. To purchase a stamp- two of the young people knew where the local post office was so the young person who didn’t was set the task to locate it on his phone and navigate the way there. He completed this successfully. In the post office they decided to collect driving license registration forms, staff will support completing this.
  3. To find a bank and make enquiries about opening a bank account- they chose Barclays Bank. Two young met with staff and made an appointment and they were given information about what documents they needed to provide. The 3rd young person received support to upload the app for his account to his phone and use it. All three were pleased with this result.
  4. We walked past the library and the young people decided they would like to get a library card. Young person A asked what he needed to register and staff said he needed evidence of address. Staff will return and complete this with the young people next week.
  5. We saw a notice for free IT support and computer use, which they pay to use. We set the young people a challenge to find the best place to buy toothpaste. We started in Superdrug but the young people decided it was overpriced. They all said the best place to buy a good priced toothpaste was in Savers. We completed key work on the types of toothpaste and what to use if they experience sensitive teeth.
  6. We set the young people the task of locating the local Food Bank. All three insisted that they wouldn’t have a need for this but key work was completed on how anyone could need this support at some time in their lives.

We then took the young people around the local museum, they said the highlight of this trip was the good lighting for selfies! All three young people gave today’s session 100% and conveniently it involved a lot of exercise. The following feedback was received on today’s session:

Young person a: 10/10

Young person b: 10/10

Young person c: 10/10