Lin Redman, Registered Manager - Blog
Lin Redman - Registered Manager - Blog
13 February 2017
As Registered Manager at Xcel2000 Fostercare services, I have been spending some time reflecting on my 20 plus years working with vulnerable and complex (always wonderful) young people and their foster carers. I joined Xcel nearly a year ago and am so delighted that, as a service, in December 2016 as part of their pilot inspections under a new framework, Ofsted found us to be Outstanding in our care and protection of children. They stated that “children are happier, more confident, have increased self-esteem and a sense of belonging. Children are physically and psychologically healthier, and professionals comment on their improved appearance and demeanour. Children benefit from meaningful care planning which focuses on their aspirations for the future”.
Over the last 20 plus years, I have constantly explored ‘what works’ for children and the families caring for them, and conclude that consistent stable support for all, providing reflective analytical supervision and training and a secure base for staff and carers, so they are able to put their all into helping the most vulnerable children, is vital. For children themselves, I believe that building resilience in young people, through having protective and caring people around them, is the key.
Based on the research of Gilligan (1997) and Daniel and Wassel (2002), Daniel, Burgess and Antcliff (2012) identified 6 main areas for a child that can really help increase their resilience, (that is to be able to flourish and manage through adverse experiences and situations). Thinking about how we can therefore ensure children have a secure base, access to meaningful and accessible education, enjoy friendships groups and have their positive talents and interests encouraged are all vital areas of providing care. Ensuring children are supported to be competent and have positive values is all part of parenting , however carers within Xcel 2000 continue to strive to go above and beyond ‘normal ‘ parenting. Our children have experienced great trauma, separation, abuse and loss in their lives and struggle to trust anyone. Most of all, they have no belief in themselves and feel ‘rubbish’. Our aim continues to be to help children enjoy stable and safe relationships, be safe, feel good about themselves through consistent messages and activities to build their confidence and self-esteem, help them understand and regulate their own response to frustrating experiences, and develop and improve empathy for others. I feel proud every day when I see the creative ways carers and staff help children develop and be the very best they can be.
Ensuring we keep up to date with the work that is being done across the world to help improve outcomes for children is vital, as well as continuing to provide warm, secure family based care for all children and young people, with specialist carers able to help support parent and child and children with more complex needs as well. Xcel 2000 are lucky to have links with some of the most experienced and skilled trainers and researchers, and links with national organisations to help support our progress and development.
Xcel 2000 has made me feel beyond welcome in my first year of being here, and I know this is also the experience of carers and children. I feel privileged to be part of the family and am so excited about the year ahead, including our next Ofsted inspection, hopefully in the spring.