We are proud of our 5-star rating.
See some of them below.
'Our initial contact was when I was Head of Children’s Services in Surrey and you were both a very able foster carer to some very challenging young people and also Chair of the Surrey Foster Carer’s Association. In this role you were able to give our foster carers a voice that enabled both senior managers and County Councillors to have a far better understanding of the demands placed on you all and hence we improved your terms and conditions and hence the retention rate. You also organised some superb conferences building support networks and improving the skills of Foster Carers.
This level of understanding and problem resolution that you acquired lead you naturally into the long term role of advocate for carers subject to an allegation of inappropriate behaviour by a fostered child. I was very pleased to act as both a mentor and sounding board for your work and the successful resolution you achieved in so many cases was much admired both by professionals and foster carers. Again the retention rates you achieved demonstrated the value of both your investigatory and mediation skills.
Finally after I became the Director of the newly set up Department of Social Services in Southampton you carried out a superb piece of work in resolving the somewhat unhappy relationship between foster carers and the social workers. The outcome was a far more constructive relationship and far better support from the department for this invaluable service.'
Dr John Beer OBE, Former Director of Social Services, Southampton City Council
‘Suddenly I found myself in a whirlwind of confusion, uncertain of which way to turn. Everyone else involved too, we were just reacting to crisis, it was getting us nowhere, Being the one person who really understood the child and the big picture relating to what was actually going on, yet no one took much notice of that let only listened to me. I became more and more frustrated. It was such a relief to talk to Debra at Fostering Support Matters, she helped me raise my voice so it was heard, she confirmed my reasoning and empowered me to take control of a situation which was fast getting out of hand. She gave me the confidence to push for the outcome which was in the best interests of the child, which was thankfully, achieved in the end. Thank you Debra for your very professional yet understanding support.'
Belinda: Isle of Wight
'I would just like to say thank you so much for being there for me at what was an awful time. The overall support of knowing that I was not on my own against the department was a huge relief. I honestly can't think of any improvements as I thought the support was superb.'
'Through our complaint, Fostering Support Matters made us feel secure – ultimately professional. They treated us like human beings. We would recommend Fostering Support Matters in a heartbeat. We would not have continued fostering without their support. Thank you'
Caroline and Martin: Hampshire
'We were supported every inch of the way by a very professional and sympathetic adviser who kept us fully informed throughout the whole process. From my experience I would wholeheartedly recommend the service that you provide to foster carers. I would think that many carers would just resign if they had to go through an investigation such as ours without the sympathetic support which you provided so well.'
'Ann, we would like to thank you for your advice and support during our allegation process with Kirklees. Your knowledge of the relevant National Minimum Standards in particular was very useful and highlights the serious shortcomings in the way our Local Authority conducted their processes. We intend to put together a document for any other foster carers in a similar position.'
Graham and Linda; Kirklees
'Earlier this year my partner and I received an allegation. This was completely unseen and I don’t think we could have done much to guard against it. Being a member of Fostering Support Matters I contacted Debra for help. I am glad we are members as we received emotional support and expert advice. If you’ve not been through an allegation, it’s a tough, stressful and testing time. With help, we managed to provide our own Panel report to get our views across and were unanimously voted to be able to continue fostering.
I was advised many years ago to subscribe at ‘skills to foster’ and I’m pleased I did. Allegations are fairly common and it saddens me to think of how many good carers have fallen by the way-side due to what are completely unfounded accusations.'
Mike and Fran; Plymouth