From foster carers and social work teams to children in care and children who foster, we shine a light on the incredible work our fostering community do everyday to make each other feel welcome and supported in Bradford.
We highlight some of the incredible groups, schemes and organisations our foster carers are part of to bring together expertise, advice and friendship from people with similar life experiences.
Here are some of the wonderful community experiences and support you can enjoy when you become a foster carer with Bradford Fostering.
Regular peer support groups
Our community of foster carers meet regularly at our support groups, including a group exclusively for new carers to develop as foster carers and make new friends in the fostering community who are at the same point on their fostering journeys.
LBGT+ foster carers also receive membership to New Family Social, who offer a dedicated space for members of the LGBT+ fostering and adoption community to meet, build friendships and provide peer support and professional development.
“I regularly join coffee mornings and chat to other carers, both about difficulties we face with behaviour and also activities to do with the children. The foster carer community is happy to assist each other.” - Linda, foster carer
Alongside our support groups, new fostering families will also be matched with an experienced carer, who will become their ‘buddy’ and offer additional support. Our current carers find the buddy scheme to be a great way for our new carers to meet people with similar life experiences, especially at a time when carers may be making a big life change.
"Foster carers are a great support to one another. It’s good to do everything you can to get to meet other carers and learn from them" - Wendy and Michael, foster carers
The Mockingbird hub
The Mockingbird family model links fostering families together to form an extended family-like group. Alongside providing stability and peer support for foster carers and children in care, Mockingbird also helps foster carers and children in care form new friendships, providing a familiar and friendly space for sleepovers, days out and tea times.
“Fostering can be a bit lonely sometimes, you are different to the other parents at the school gates, because your child or young person has a social worker and you are parenting someone else’s child, so being part of an extended group of families in a Mockingbird constellation is so supportive - Steven, foster carer
“I have seen first-hand how the Mockingbird model supports fostering families; prevents placements from breaking down; see foster carers grow their skills and confidence through the peer support from fellow carers and, most importantly, seen how children in foster families really come into their own and grow in confidence through shared experiences with children who have experienced similar lives to their own” - Deborah, foster carer
Bradford Independent Foster Carers’ Association (BIFCA)
From coffee mornings to days out and peer support to additional training and development opportunities, the Bradford Independent Foster Carers’ Association (BIFCA) offer a huge amount of support to all our carers in the Bradford district.
Our foster carers regularly come together to offer each other support and advice to one another in our Bradford Fostering community.
“Like any community, you have to dip your toes in to get support or meet people. I have been proactive in joining things and supporting others” - Jane, foster carer
Children who foster group
Becoming a foster carer is a huge decision which involves the whole family. We call the children of foster carers ‘children who foster’, who do an incredible job helping children in our community feel safe and welcome.
So children who foster can meet other young people with a similar life experience, we offer specific training and support groups to share advice and make new friends within our wider fostering community. Read more stories from children who foster in the Bradford district here.
What is Foster Care Fortnight?
Foster Care Fortnight is an awareness raising campaign run by The Fostering Network, a fostering charity who work with organisations and families to improve the lives of children in care.
The theme for Foster Care Fortnight 2022 is fostering communities, highlighting the incredible work our foster carers, their families and social work teams do everyday to make each other and children in care feel supported and part of a wide community who make a difference everyday.