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What does Every Child Matters Mean for Foster Parents?

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Foster parents play a crucial role in providing support and care for children who are unable to live with their biological parents. This guide explains the “Every Child Matters” initiative, which sets out to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children, and key take-aways for foster parents.

What is the “Every Child Matters” initiative?

The “Every Child Matters” initiative is a policy brought in by the UK Government in 2003, which aims to improve the well-being of children and young people. There are five outcomes that matter most to children. The 5 key outcomes of Every Child Matters are:

  • Make a positive contribution
  • Economic well being
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Being healthy
  • Staying safe

The “Every Child Matters” initiative was subsequently incorporated into the Child Act 2004, which established a framework for improving the welfare of children and young people in the UK.

How does this relate to our fostering outcomes?

Here at Capstone Foster Care, we consider these positive outcomes as a foundation to fostering. Families fostering children and young people will be trained in the skills that enable them to provide the type of atmosphere that helps foster children to achieve these fostering outcomes.

How are these potential outcomes achieved?

A great deal of a child’s potential outcome relies on educational achievement. Education, as well as the other components of what creates the potential for positive outcomes, depends primarily on the child’s home environment. The length of care can vary depending on the foster child’s circumstances and this can be hard for children to understand. Especially when they don’t know when they might be able to go back to their own family.

As a foster carer, it’s your job to help the child feel safe and welcome in their new home and to work with other professionals to make sure their needs are being met. In the early days of placement, it may be hard to make plans for the child’s future because there is still so much unknown about the long-term plans for the child. It’s important to take things one step at a time and focus on creating a positive and supportive environment for the child.

Optimum fostering outcomes depend on the children and young people in care having the support that they need. In order for the opportunity to develop a positive outcome, here at Capstone we provide full training and support for all types of fostering. Including the Multi-disciplinary Assessment Treatment and Therapy Service (MATTS), our training gives foster carers an extra level of support in providing therapeutic care and helps children to find the confidence to make a positive contribution, and provide tools that encourage good mental health.

To meet the ideal outcomes which are encompassed in the five outcomes mentioned above, foster parents should be able to promote healthy living through proper nutrition and exercise, good economic training such as learning how to manage money , and allow children to enjoy and achieve through being involved in social activities such as sports and music.

 These are lifestyle choices that become part of the child’s learning and living experience that will continue beyond childhood and into adulthood.

How does “Every Child Matters” affect foster families?

When a child is in foster care, it’s important for them to have a supportive, safe and loving environment where they can grow and learn. As a foster family, you can help the child make positive progress by modelling good choices and values for them. This can help them to develop healthy emotional and physical habits that create a sense of well-being. By providing opportunities for the child to learn and grow you can help them build a strong foundation for their future.

If there are birth children in the household as well, there are additional benefits in fostering for them. Being involved as part of a fostering family, provides them with an experience that teaches them empathy and compassion.

How “Every Child Matters” makes a difference after foster care

Care orders expire on the young person’s 18th birthday enabling them to leave the fostering experience. However, in May of 2014, a staying put policy was enacted. This allows children who reach the age of 18 to remain living with their foster carers.  The carers are paid less to support the children as they move forward in education or in employment.

How to get involved

If you want to learn more about the benefits of fostering with Capstone Foster Care read our helpful guide. Or, if you’d like to learn more about how to become a foster carer, find out more by requesting one of our expert guides. Alternatively, if you feel ready to become a foster carer, contact us now or give us a call on 0800 012 4004

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

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