About Us & Our Mission:
GLF is an independent fostering agency that was founded in 1998. We place a strong emphasis on offering a genuine 24-hour support system to our foster carers. We offer relevant training and competitive financial packages to reward your dedication and commitment to children in your care. We are a friendly team who promotes an active fostering community amongst its staff and carers by running regular events and support groups.
We're one big extended family.
We have a very simple clear mission – to improve the lives of children in care, and build positive aspirations in all of them.
We can't prevent children from needing foster care, but we can make sure when placed, they have a warm and loving home, which helps rebuild their confidence and creates aspirations for their future.
We do this by finding people who have the time and space in their lives to welcome a child or young person. We then ensure they are suitable to become foster carers. Once approved, we are there every step of the way to help everyone build an amazing young person.
Taking care of foster children can at times be challenging. It is important that you never feel isolated or left to cope on your own. When we say we provide 24 hour support, we mean it.
You will be assigned an assessor once you start the process of applying to become a foster carer with us. You will then be assigned a permanent supervisor once you are approved. Your supervisor helps to place children with you who are most suited to your family. They will support you throughout the time that the child lives with you, whether that be for days or years. They will help you to be the child’s advocate on day-to-day issues as well as when problems arise. They will also help you to foster the child’s cultural and religious identity, as well as accessing services they might need such as specialist health and school amenities.
Unlike some fostering agencies, your own supervisor will be there to help in any emergency, whatever the time of day. We have an out of hours system in place so that if you cannot get hold of your supervisor, there will be someone you can talk to. We also schedule monthly visits to your home. This is a chance to see how things are going and talk about any issues you have. If you need to see us more than once a month, that can easily be arranged.
Fun & useful training
GLF encourages its carers to view fostering as a profession. We offer a training programme to help you develop the skills needed to deal with all aspects of of caring for a foster child.
You will be asked to undertake a two day training course while you are being assessed as a potential foster carer. This covers the basic skills needed to be a foster carer (Skills To Foster). Once you have been approved you will need to attend another three day training course (Induction) that addresses things such as how to ensure your home is safe, record keeping and finances etc. These training courses will also help you to achieve the standards the government requires. You have to complete this within one year of being approved as a foster carer but your supervisor and GLF will help you every step of the way.
Every month we run training sessions on specific topics of interest such as first aid, managing challenging behaviour and helping children move on.
Fun events during the year
GLF likes to create a sense of community amongst its network of foster carers and children so that no one feels isolated or left to cope alone. We place lots of emphasis on arranging fun events throughout the year to which the whole family is invited. Last year’s events were very popular and included trips to Southend, camping breaks, Christmas pantomimes and end of year parties for both adults and children. Life-long friendships have sprung up from attending these events as well as informal carer support groups which are set up and run by foster carers who met at our events. We have set up a children’s council to help us ensure that we’re listening to children. We value every child’s opinion and this council helps us hear their views on the subjects that matter to them. We finish these discussions with a fun activity like bowling or go-karting.
Our quarterly newsletters include photos of our recent events, introduce foster carers that are new to our network and help you get in touch with any that are in your local area. The newsletters also keep you updated on any agency news as well as changes to general fostering practices.
Finances and foster care
People who are thinking about fostering often find it difficult to ask questions about finance and money, however, this is one of the first questions you need to ask.
All foster carers should receive an allowance to foster, this helps cover the costs of caring for a child.
Some organisations like GLF, also pay foster carers a reward element to foster – this can be thought of as pay. But not all agencies pay the same level of allowance and reward, it can vary as much as £200 a week, so make sure you find out exactly how much you’ll receive to foster.
As a rough guide, all our carers receive about £450 a week for each child they care for. There are some difference with age ranges, so find out more information on our fostering finance page.