Jim & Jeanette’s Fostering Journey

29 August, 2019 Fostering Case Study

”Fostering changed our lives for the better!” Jim, 57,  and Jeanette Dowling, 54, from Bolton, have always wanted children of their own. Foster caring gave them so much more than what they expected; it changed their lives forever. Having always loved children, Jim and Jeanette finally decided to take the leap after suggestions from Jeanette’s […]

Celebrating LGBTQ+ Fostering at Brighton Pride

23 August, 2019 LGBT Fostering

Earlier this month, we were honoured to have a stand at Brighton Pride, where our Southern Counties staff and foster carers came together to encourage others within the LGBTQ+ community to consider fostering. There are thousands of children who need a stable, loving home and we believe that a person’s sexuality is irrelevant. We have […]

Alan & Annemarie’s Fostering Journey

16 August, 2019

“Fostering has given us a new purpose.” Alan, 67, and Annemarie Murphy, 54, decided to embark on a journey into fostering after having been surrounded by children their whole lives. Alan and Annemarie became part-time parents of their two grandchildren, 4 years and 6 months old at the time, after losing their only son. They […]

Orange Grove North West Rated as Ofsted Outstanding!

25 June, 2019 Orange Grove North West Ofsted Outstanding

Our North West office are celebrating after receiving a second consecutive Outstanding Ofsted report since 2015. The office is responsible for respite, emergency and long and short-term fostering placements for 43 children, in and around Warrington, St Helens, Liverpool, Manchester, Stockport and the surrounding areas . The agency was praised by inspectors for having “high […]

Does Fostering Affect Your Benefits?

24 June, 2019 Does fostering affect your benefits

This article is part of our Foster Carer Finance Guide, which aims to provide foster carers with a better understanding of all things Tax, National Insurance and their Benefit Entitlements. We’ve previously discussed foster carer tax and self-assessments and national insurance for foster carers and now we hope to shed some light on what benefits foster […]

National Insurance for Foster Carers

National Insurance for Foster Carers

This article aims to help you gain a better understanding of national insurance for foster carers. Do foster carers pay National Insurance? Whether you have to pay National Insurance will depend completely on your personal situation. If your taxable income is less than your Qualifying Care Relief amount, then your profits are deemed as NULL […]

Foster Carer Tax and Self-Assessment

Foster Carer Tax and Self Assessment

Tax, National Insurance and benefit entitlements may seem like a total minefield for many foster carers. We’ve put together a series of articles to help you gain a better understanding of the tax, NI and benefits world, so you can focus your energy on the children in your care. This is the first article in […]

Natalie’s Fostering Journey

17 May, 2019

“I knew that I had the time and energy to help young people on the right path in life” Nat’s passion for helping young people became a reality when she studied at university to become a teacher. Starting out in a mainstream school before quickly moving to a special needs school, Nat worked with many […]

Dyllan’s Fostering Journey as a Birth Child

7 May, 2019

“It’s just like having an older brother” A birth child of Orange Grove foster carers, has shared his experience of living with a foster child. Dyllan, who is 9-years-old and the birth child of Fiona and Johnathon is constantly asked what it’s like to be living with a fostered child in his own home “Is […]

Teresa’s Fostering Journey

3 May, 2019

“When a child allows you to hold their hand or give you a hug – you can’t beat it” Teresa shares how her challenging teenage years has helped her to relate to the children she’s cared for. “I knew what I was like as a teenager and how challenging those years were, so I felt […]

Fiona & Jon’s Fostering Journey

5 April, 2019

“Fostering has had a positive impact on our family life” Fiona and her husband Jonathon share how they’ve been able to give children they’ve cared for, a better start in life. Five years ago, Fiona was working as a prison officer, while Jonathon worked in Police custody in the intelligence department. On a daily occurrence, […]

How to Prepare for Your First Foster Child

28 March, 2019 How to prepare for your first foster child

This is the first post in our Handy Guide to a Successful First Placement, sharing great advice from our experienced foster carers to help you prepare for your first foster child coming to live with you.  You’ve been approved at panel and receive that all-important call to let you know that we’ve received a referral […]

What To Do the First Day with a Foster Child

First Day with a Foster Child

This is the second post in our Handy Guide to a Successful First Placement, sharing great advice from our experienced foster carers about important things to do on the first day with a foster child to help them feel settled. The day you’ve been waiting for is finally here; you’re about to have your first […]

How to Support Your Own Children When Fostering

How To Support Birth Children When Fostering

This is the third post in our Handy Guide to a Successful First Placement, sharing great advice from our experienced foster carers on how to support your own children when fostering. It’s no secret that becoming a foster carer changes your family dynamic in some form, particularly with your own children. One day they have […]

Southern Counties Rated Ofsted Outstanding

27 March, 2019 OG Southern Counties Ofsted Outstanding Teams

We’re proud to announce that our Southern Counties team have been rated as ‘Outstanding’ following an official inspection from Ofsted, the independent watchdog. The Southern Counties team provide fostering services in and around Kent, West Sussex, East Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, and is responsible for respite, emergency and long and short-term fostering placements for over […]

How to Get Your Child to Wear a Helmet

22 March, 2019

Going for a bike ride has many benefits – it’s a lot of fun, great exercise and helps to build strong bonds in foster families. But like most sports, accidents can happen and we know how challenging it can be to get a child to wear a helmet. So, we thought we’d put together some […]

“I have everything I need with Jackie” – A Foster Child’s Story

4 March, 2019 Foster Child Story

Olivia* was just 10 years old when she came to live with her foster parent, Jackie. Today, five years on from being taken into care, Olivia reflects on her emotional journey of fear, anger, love and now happiness, living with her foster carer Jackie. Jackie has provided Olivia with a sense of belonging and given […]

Spot the Signs of Self-Harm in Children & Teenagers

1 March, 2019

Self Injury Awareness Day (also known as Self Harm Awareness Day) is a global campaign where people choose to be more open about their own self-harm and awareness organisations make special efforts to raise awareness about self-harm and self-injury. For Self Harm Awareness Day, we share some advice to support families who may be worried […]

5 Tips to Keep Children Safe Online

5 February, 2019 Keeping Children Safe Online

Today is Safer Internet Day, a globally recognised day that promotes the safety and wellbeing of children online. The internet is a great thing, providing children with opportunities to learn, play and connect with others. However, it does not come without its risks. In fact, more and more, we hear about the emotional and safeguarding […]

Children’s Book Guide | National Storytelling Week 2019

29 January, 2019 National Storytelling Week 2019

We’re celebrating National Storytelling Week by encouraging the children in our care to pick up a book and get reading. To help them find a book they love, we asked our foster and birth children to tell us about their all-time favourite books and used these recommendations to create our Children’s Book Guide. Gallagher Girls […]