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Interview with our Outcomes Monitoring & Training Officer

We thought we’d do a series of interviews with foster parents and staff, to find out more about what they do and what motivates them to do it. We're starting off with Janice Nunn, our Outcomes Monitoring and Training Officer. Janice has worked for Xcel for 13 years and is the first person to officially work for both Xcel 2000 and Diverse Care in our collaboration “The Hazel Project”.

What does your job involve?
I work closely with our Foster Families, Fostering Supervisors and with Managers Emma Hopkins and Kay Constant. My job involves monitoring and tracking childrens journeys to identify the bespoke training needed for each of our foster families, to enable them to best care for the children who they support. I monitor our statutory training for our foster families - that's training that our foster parents are legally required to do and keep up to date with. We have a three year training programme which I put together and maintain. I also source training for our foster children to complete through The Big Initiative, a social enterprise scheme who create training specifically for young people. Part of my role includes assisting in monitoring safeguarding events and producing data required by Local Authorities and OFSTED. I love the ethos of our organisations and working with such a great team!

How did you get to become an Outcomes Monitoring and Training Officer?
After leaving school, I worked in residential settings with adults with learning disabilities and then worked in mental health and with people with acquired brain injuries. When I joined Xcel 2000, I initially worked in the Children Services and Placements Team. From this work, I saw that we could do things even better and created the role 'Monitoring and Outcomes Officer'. This gives the organisation a safety net within safeguarding and a better understanding of our young people's journeys with Xcel which promotes better outcomes for them. I was more recently asked to coordinate foster parent training and took the lead in this across both Xcel 2000 and Diverse Care (The Hazel Project).

What is the best and worst thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is helping our fostering families to be knowledgeable and skilled in their roles. I love being able to follow our young people's journeys and ultimately, that training enables our young people to have better outcomes for their futures. The worst thing is probably the amount of admin involved - but i’m sure that everyone would say this!

What do you love outside of work?
My son! Im am very lucky to have such an amazing, funny, caring and respectful little boy. He is always thinking of others and does everything with a smile on his face. I love to be surrounded by people that I love and who love me - my family and friends and making memories together. My Dad really inspires me - I'm very lucky to have such an amazing role model! He has taught me to always remain grounded and remember my roots. I also have a passion for exercise and have been known to hit the dance floor!

Tell us about a foster family who have amazed you.
There are so many! But one in particular springs to mind, a family who are caring for a boy who has really excelled in the time he has been with his foster family. I remember picking him up, in the middle of the night from his previous home 6 years ago. He has a high level of needs and whilst he still has some outbursts, overall he manages these really well. He now engages with activities and his independence is growing every day. He has come so far, he is now able to 'go out the front and play on his bike' and even go round to his friends house! He really makes me proud of the young lad he is becoming and he seems to be maturing every day. He has had huge mountains to climb but he always does this with his huge smile! Much of this is due to his Foster Family, from the moment he joined them, his Foster Mum has supported him and met his needs at every step. She has been tested in every possible way over the last 6 years, due to the trauma experienced by him in his early years and I'm sure that there have been times when she has wondered if she can continue and has been tempted to throw in the towel, but she refused to become just another statistic in his life. She has worked tirelessly, offering him love, support and stability which has helped him to get to where he is today. She has made an undeniable and huge difference in his life. I honestly think she is a Superhero and truly inspirational!

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