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The Bedfordshire Foster Care Association
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Latest BFCA News & Events...

Welcome to our news page - we will endeavour to keep you posted with latest news both locally and nationally. Please feel free to send us any items you would like included. Simply email us at ask@bedsfostercarers.co.uk


BFCA Christmas Party & Disco - CANCELLED

Sadly, due to the snow and weather forecast for the day we've taken the decision to cancel tonight's Christmas Party. We will look to possibly arrange a NY get together and will donate the fresh food to a local Bedfordshire Charity "Dine With Us On The Streets" which support homeless people in our area. So sorry not to see you all before Christmas.

However, we hope you all have a great day enjoying the snow and building lots of snowmen!

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas & New Year from the BFCA


BFCA Diary Dates 2017


Rees Centre Newsletter Posted: 2015

The Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education is in the University of Oxford Department of Education. It was set up with funding from theCore Assets Group in 2012. The Centre aims to make a difference, through research and its application, to the life chances of children and young people in foster care and those who have experienced care.

Click here to view the latest Newsletter.


Report on Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England Posted: Nov 2015

The Rees Centre, University of Oxford and the University of Bristol have launched a new report outlining the findings from their joint research study into the Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

The report is available on the websites of the Rees Centre, University of Bristol School for Policy Studies and the  Nuffield Foundation. In addition, please request free hard copies from the Rees Centre by email to: rees.centre@education.ox.ac.uk

The Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England (Overview report ):
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Click here to view more


Foster care 'boosts vulnerable children's grades'

Children in foster care make better educational progress than vulnerable children who remain with troubled families, research suggests. Oxford and Bristol university researchers calculated that the difference amounted to at least six GCSE grades at 16. However, the results of students in both groups were not as good as pupils in the general population

Click here to view more


Advice & Mediation Worker for South Midlands

Covering Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton, Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Hello my name is Louise Horne and I am the Manager of the Advice and Mediation Service for the Fostering Network. As foster carers you will be aware that your local authority has a contract with us to provide an independent advice service to yourselves. Foster carers find this a really helpful service especially during difficult times such as allegations or concerns against them. Your worker Jeanette Towning has sadly moved on from the post. As the manager of the service I want to reassure you that we will be recruiting to the post as soon as possible. Until we do though you have access to another very experienced Advice and Mediation worker - Sarah Furby.

Please do not hesitate to contact her as follows:
Tel number – 01159231209, Mobile – 07918708945. Email – sarah.furby@fostering.net

She will be more than happy to help . Don’t hesitate to leave a message if she doesn’t respond straight away – she will get back to you . But… if you cannot get hold of Sarah – please e mail me: louise.horne@fostering.net. I'll let you know when we recruit to the post on a permanent basis.

Louise Horne


Join BFCA on Facebook (Closed Group) Posted: Friday, 18 April, 2014

Dear Foster Carers,

As an attempt to support all foster carers in Bedfordshire we are experimenting with developing additional ways of allowing discussions between members. We have therefore created a secure Facebook page for invited members to use. Our aim is that this will act as a forum for members of the Foster Care Association to exchange views and seek advice in a mutually supportive way. We will also use the group as well as our website to keep you updated about FCA news as well as local and national issues and activities.

The group is a closed group and therefore the only people that will be able to see what is written on the pages are invited members and any posts that you make will not be seen by any Facebook friends that you have who are not members of the group. All posts are moderated by members of the Association.

This is your invitation to become a member of the group. In order to sign you up as a member we will need you to supply us with your Facebook name and the email address associated with your Facebook account. The following paragraphs explain our ‘rules’. As always if you have any questions then please contact us. I would also like to thank Dave Thorne for the work that he has put in to create the group account.

Please send your request to join to: ask@bedsfostercarers.co.uk

“This group has been set up, and administered by, the committee of the Bedfordshire Foster Care Association for all foster carer's and their families in Bedfordshire and those carers living outside Bedford Borough or Central Bedfordshire, whilst they are caring for children placed by them. If a carer becomes deregistered they will cease to be a member of this group.

The group is set as a 'Secret' group which prevents non members from seeing who is in the group and any of the posts or comments. Members can invite others but they can only be approved for membership by an admin.
To protect all group members all posts and comments will be moderated by the group admins.

We intend to post information about events, support groups, training and meetings together with relevant news and would encourage members to use it as a forum to seek advice.We welcome posts and comments from members but any that include criticism of individuals, abuse or anything that the admins feel is not suitable for the group will not be posted. Please be patient when you post as admins are not available 24/7.

Copying anything on the group page is strictly prohibited!”

Bedfordshire Foster Care Association Chairman
Bedfordshire Foster Care Association Chairman


Petition for Pension for Foster Carers  

Foster carers are often too busy looking after the most vulnerable to be aware of just how vulnerable they are themselves becoming. In the fast moving, policy changing society we now live in, now more than ever, it is important to protect ourselves against poverty when we retire. 

After all the years service that foster carers may give it is my belief that they should retire comfortably and not be relying on minimum state pensions.  It is also my belief that providing access to the contributory pension scheme may encourage foster carers to carry on doing this worthwhile career instead of having to leave to ensure they have a reasonable pension.  Some fostering service providers prefer foster carers not to work outside of the home which impacts upon their pensions.  

Foster carers live and work in a twilight Zone, self employed but not really self employed. It is within this zone that they are at risk. They have no protection of employment conditions, no sick leave, no holiday entitlement. The only protection we receive (gratefully I might add) is the minimum standards for allowances. 

Please support this petition, we must support those who serve others.  

SIGN THE PETITION HERE


Derek and Hazel Phillips, of Flitwick, Awarded MBEs!  

A COUPLE who fostered nearly 40 kids are to be awarded MBEs.

Derek and Hazel Phillips, of Flitwick, will be given the accolades as part of the New Year's honours which were announced on Monday. The pair have been fostering since 1988 and also have six children of their own.

Derek, 69, said: "We had no idea we had been nominated. You are looking at the letter and you think it’s a joke or a scam because it wasn’t fancy, but it seemed to be genuine.”

Hazel, 67, added: “It’s bizarre, I feel I’m in shock. To me you don’t stop and think about what you are doing you get on with the task. “You just care for children and do your best for them and point them in the right direction.”

After passing an assessment the couple were fostering four children under four-years-old within a few weeks but later moved into caring for teenagers. Hazel said: “You have some great laughs with the teenagers.

“You have to give a teenager a chance and there are some good kids out there that just need the edge to turn themselves around.”

She added: “We have made amazing friends including social workers and we are all in it together and all support each other and every day brings different challenges. “I think most foster carers lives are chaos but we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s been our life and it still is our life and fostering makes such a big difference.”

And on looking forward to receiving the honour at Buckingham Palace Hazel, who now does respite care and mentors other fosterers, said: “I’ll ask the queen if she’s got any room for some kids.”

Written by RUPERT MARQUAND; Courtesy of Beds on Sunday



BFCA

BFCA Social Events 2017

13 April Easter Egg Hunt 11am
6 August Family Picnic 10.30-3.30pm
21-23 Aug Wickstead & BBQ All Day
29 Oct Halloween Party 5-7pm
10 Dec Christmas Party Cancelled


CiCC & Kids Who Share Events 2017

TBC LINK Vice Versa  
TBC Youth Cabinet  
TBC Beds CiCC  


School Term Dates

2016-2017 Academic Calendar BFCA


BFCA

Important - We need your Support & Feedback! BFCA
BFCA
Without the support of a small group of foster carers in Bedfordshire the Association cannot support you properly.  Working directly, with two Local Authorities is likely to increase some of the work that we do to support our carer members. In some cases that you may not be aware of is that we have either been under represented or not represented at all, at some of the important, but ‘behind the scenes’ meetings including Central Bedfordshire’s Corporate Parenting Panel. The committee is concerned that without more members we will not be able to cover everything that we want to do and also that the views of what is only a handful of Bedfordshire foster carers will not be representative of everyone who carers for Bedfordshire children.

With this in mind we are seeking volunteers to become involved in some of the work that we do. Our volunteers do not need to become involved in everything, but anything that you can do would be much appreciated. Please contact us for more information.

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