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Support Team Update

BFCA are always busy doing something on behalf of the carers but the Support Team in particular have seen a rise in their support calls lately and this shows the trust that you have in us to offer you a genuine, practical and confidential support service.

The team have successfully been dealing with issues from assisting with sign posting through to carers receiving serious allegations. We have worked tirelessly alongside carers to secure positive outcomes and discussed with the department a better way of working in partnership.

Thankfully there are very few placement vacancies at the moment which signifies that you too are very busy. We will continue to monitor this and offer assistance if for whatever reason you are having difficulties or just need some practical advice.

Unlike other organisations we are BCT foster carers who have first hand experience and so you can rest assured that we are fully aware of the issues no matter how minor. We will continue to keep abreast of the possible changes that may come in with the Trust and will always be pursuing what is right and fair for all.

Please remember that we can offer to come and see you in the comfort of your own home or if you prefer, meet with you at a place of your choosing. Our on call rota means that the support service is available 24/7 (0121 515 2749) and our new email address support@bfca.org.uk means you can message us at your convenience. You don’t have to leave a long explanation you can simply request that one of us contacts you back.

We would like to wish one of our team members, Lisa McGovern good luck in her new job and thank her for all of her hard work supporting many carers during her time with the team.

We will be looking out for her replacement so if you wish to express an interest in filling the vacancy please do so to the email address above with a little bit about you and any relevant experience that you may have. We would love to hear from you.

Merry Christmas & all the best wishes for 2018 from the Support Team x

Maria Bramwell

Sarak Kumar

Jo Smith (co-ordinator)

Support Staff

Joanne Smith

My name is Joanne Smith I am 49 years old with 2 birth children and one Foster Child. I am mixed heritage and was adopted into a white family as a baby. My family fostered and as a result of that I have many Brothers and Sisters.

I have been a short term carer and am now a long term carer. I have fostered for nearly 14 years and I have not looked back since starting.

I enjoy ballroom, Latin and Salsa dancing. I also event organise and attend a lot of music concerts/gigs when I can find the time.

I have worked since I left school in people focussed jobs and I hope to bring my knowledge, understanding and proactive approach to my role as a BFCA Support Worker.

Sarah Kumar

My name is Sarah Kumar I have been a foster carer since 1999.

For the first 11 years I was a short term carer.

Now I am on the Emergency Duty Team.

I have a husband, 2 birth children, one adopted daughter and one long term foster daughter, soon to be with us under a SGO.

Maria Bramwell

I have fostered for 14 years; my experience includes long-term and respite. I have three children 2 birth children and one Child in Care CIC . I am self-employed, this gives me the opportunity to play an active role in caring for my Child in Care CIC . I have worked as an educator in the private sector and adult education for over 15 years. I have gained essential skills during this time working strategically at local and national levels. I am passionate about working with children and young people. I have in my role as an educator seen and experienced many dimensions to their minds and behaviour. I have acquired a good level of knowledge and understanding of the theories and concepts in the process of being educated. The reward I believe is being a part of the process that gives me the opportunities to advocate, teach, nurture and help shape the lives of young people. I am a trustee of a charitable trust based in Birmingham. I attended the Fostering Changes course on behalf of Birmingham Local Authority and delivered the training as part of a team to Foster Carers. The programme designed by psychotherapists at Kings College London introduced a therapeutic concept of managing children and their behaviour. I have been an active member of the BFCA support team since April 2012, I used the service several times myself before joining and I always found the team very helpful. As part of the support team I now see how important the service offered is to Foster Carers at a time of crisis or when they just need encouragement or a listening ear.

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