A Look Back at 2019 for Lorimer Fostering
2019 was a great year all-round for the Lorimer Fostering team, our foster carers and your young people. As we welcome the new year, let’s take a look back at the highlights of the last 12 months.
10k Run to Raise Money for The Fostering Network
During Foster Care Fortnight 2019 a couple of the Lorimer team took part in the Simply Health Great Manchester 10k Run. Some of our fostered young people also took part in the run to help raise money for charity. As a whole, team Lorimer managed to raise a fantastic total of £628.75 for The Fostering Network. Team Lorimer also helped to raise awareness for the need for more foster carers throughout the country. We are super proud of them! You can read more about this event here.
Ofsted Fostering Inspection
In 2019 Lorimer Fostering were visited by Ofsted to conduct their inspection.
Ofsted judge a fostering agency under the following headings:
- Overall experiences and progress of children & young people
- How well children & young people are helped and protected
- Effectiveness of leaders and managers
We’re delighted to say that Ofsted found us to be ‘Good’ in all 3 areas mentioned above! They also provided us with a lot of really positive feedback, and I’ve shared a few snippets below:
“The agency is child-centred and is focused on supporting children and young people to achieve positive outcomes. Children and young people spoke warmly about their carers.” (comment from Ofsted).
“I love everything here. My carers have done so much for me. They have been there when I needed to talk, and they’ve helped me through some tough times.‟ (comment from young person to Ofsted).
In January 2019 the Lorimer team had their first experience of saying goodbye to a staff member. Theresa had a long and successful career with Lorimer and she will be greatly missed by her colleagues and the carers she supervised. We hope that she continues to enjoy her retirement!
Welcoming New Foster Carers
New foster carers joining our agency is always something we like to shout about. In 2019 we offered our support to another agency who were closing down, so that their foster carers were able to continue fostering and there was no disruption for the young people placed with them. This transition was met with praise from the carers that transferred over, our panel members and Ofsted!
We would like to offer our warmest welcome to all of our new carers during 2019; welcome to the Lorimer family!
A New Team Member!
We had the pleasure of welcoming a new Social Worker to our team early last year. Louise has proved to be an invaluable addition to our workforce and we couldn’t be happier to have her with us. We hope that she continues to flourish and enjoys her time working with the team at Lorimer.
Christmas Card Competition
Each year at the Lorimer Fostering office we hold a Christmas Card competition for our lovely young people to take part in. We love seeing all of the fantastic designs and hard work that goes in to creating them. Below are the two fab winners from our 2019 competition!
Christmas Trips Out
Christmas time is always fun at Lorimer and this year was no exception! For us it’s all about bringing people together with shared experiences to have a great time, have lots of laughs, meet new people & get giddy over our love of the festive season. As last years activities were such a success we were asked if they could do it all over again; the young people spoke and we listen and delivered! ChillFactore and Gullivers World was the choice and everyone had an absolute ball; the young people, the carers and the staff said it was a thoroughly enjoyable time (thankfully the weather was on our side too!).
We are already in the throws of planning our Christmas extravaganza for 2020….so watch this space!
We are always striving to make the experience of our young people with us a good and memorable one; we want to provide an inclusive environment where they feel they have a voice. To do this we have to build up safe and secure relationships with them over time.
One way we achieve this is by holding activity sessions (AKA forums but that word sounds far too formal so we choose ‘activity session’ instead!). It is a space where young people can come together and feel like they are the same as everyone else, a space where they can be heard and more importantly a space where they can let go and have fun without judgement.
One of the sessions we held was a ‘ Be a DJ for the Day’. Yes, it is pretty much what it says on the tin! The young people got to come and experience how to be a DJ with decks and microphones (yes it was very noisy!). The spin (see what I did there) being that whilst they were having fun writing lyrics for their MC session, they were actually discussing the topic Bullying; what is might feel like to be bullied, why did they think bullies did what they did, the importance of self-awareness and what it felt like to be ‘me’.
There were some amazing lyrics penned and the young people had such a fun time choosing their favourites songs to play on the decks. I think the staff needed a few headaches tablets by the end of the session though! Plans are underway for 2020’s sessions as we speak.
2019 saw all of our young people make amazing achievements, whether that be personal or academic not matter how great or small. Lorimer like to celebrate them all as to us any achievement is a big deal! There are just so many to list them all (believe me I wish I could as they are all super special) but here are just a few:
- Full marks on spelling tests
- Completing Pretty Muddy charity runs & Peel Tower Hike
- Pupil of the week at school
- 2nd & 3rd place prizes for their baking skills
- 100% attendance
- Achieving yellow belt in karate
- Outstanding GCSE results
- Fantastic end of year reports
- Completing the wellness challenge
There are just so many amazing achievements, we are so so proud of them all, well done! Keep it up in 2020!
Foster Carer Forums
Being a Foster Carer is no mean feat! The staff at Lorimer can try and make things as easy a job for them as possible but at the end of the day it isn’t us that is doing it. So, we put our carers at heart of what we do and try to ensure that they have as equal say in what happens at Lorimer as the staff do. Happy carers = happy young people & good outcomes!
To do this we hold regular forums where, similarly to the youth sessions, the foster carers are given the space to address things that are bothering them, make suggestions about new processes or things we can introduce to make it easier for them. It also allows them to meet and chat to other carers whom are good through the same things.
We do like to make things fun here at Lorimer so each forum we bring in a ‘guest speaker’ to talk about things that matter to our carers. During one session in 2019 we had Mandy in from Here and Now Training to talk about Stress Management and things we can incorporate on a daily basis to help us both identify our stress points and how best we can deal with it. Boy was this session fun!! We went from a team stress ball activity to laughing yoga to meditation; everyone left their inhibitions at the door, embraced the subject and had a go! We received some amazing feedback from this and some even asked if they could have Mandy on speed dial as she has such an infectious personality! More of the same fun to be had in 2020 I think!