Fostering the Orange Grove way…
The foundations that we build in childhood through our families, our schools and our communities are fundamental to our happiness throughout life. If these foundations are not laid, it affects our ability to form friendships, cope with adversity and achieve success in school, work and community life.
With the help and commitment of our foster carers, we strive to provide these essential foundations for life to over 400 vulnerable children and young people. Together, we open up opportunities for them now and in the future, to learn and to achieve, improving their chances for educational attainment, stability, happiness and health.
What’s different about Orange Grove?
Having a clear support system for our carers, their families and the young people in care is key. As well as visits from your local supervising social worker, at least once a month, you’ll also receive visits and calls from Family Support Workers. We’ve also developed independent, 24/7 help lines for carers, and children, meaning you have access to the support you need, when you need it.
If there are any problems at school, we offer individual support from educational advisors, too, and we have links to a number of independent psychologists who can be called on by carers and children alike. In short, our foster families receive support from all sides.
We take the learning and development of our foster carers very seriously. As well as delivering the induction training you need as a new foster carer, we’ll also support you through core training modules in the first 18 months after you are approved as a foster carer.
In addition to this, those that wish to can go on to undertake specialist courses to develop the skills needed to take care of children with specific issues from autism to foetal alcohol syndrome.
All our training is practical, accessible and down to earth. It does not involve any formal academic study or written exams. From individual e-learning through to interactive workshops, we make it really easy for you to gain all of the knowledge and information you need to be a successful foster carer.
Although fostering is a vocation, not a job, we believe in offering our carers the competitive payments that their skills and commitment deserve. We pay our carers a professional fee as well as an allowance for the care of the fostered child or young person. We also offer help with some of the treats and extras that will make children and young people feel at home. We include allowances for birthdays, festivals and holidays in our payments, and try to ensure young people and carers can attend a range of regional activities each year (these include visits to the beach, to pantomimes and theme parks). In addition to this enhanced support, we also pay for carers to become members of the Fostering Network once they are approved.
Orange Grove has a presence across much of England, allowing us to offer the resources of a larger agency, along with the local knowledge of a smaller one. It’s our local offices that make decisions about matching, training and support. But as a national agency, we can also offer access to a wide multi-disciplined support group, from educational advisors to psychologists. For local authorities, it also means that we’re able to achieve economies of scale, without compromising on quality of care.
We have excellent relationships with the local authorities we work with. Because of the high standards we achieve with our children, we also have a good success rate when it comes to tendering to work with new authorities. This means we’ll always be in a good place to offer our foster carers placements, as and when they want them.