With more and more children coming into care each year, Gloucestershire families can make a huge difference to a vulnerable young person's life by giving them a foster home – providing a safe and caring environment for them to grow up in.
For anyone considering it, or taking their first steps into fostering, SoGlos shares 11 good reasons to consider becoming a foster carer with independent agency, Nexus Fostering – from its people-first approach to benefits that span regular training to round-the-clock support...
Nexus Fostering has a local presence
Nexus Fostering has an office in Gloucester, just off the M5 at junction 11 – providing support for foster carers across the county, as well as those based in the nearby areas of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Wiltshire.
Its local base means help is never far from home for Gloucestershire carers.
It's rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted
This year marks the fourth consecutive time Nexus Fostering has achieved the highest possible rating from Ofsted, having been rated 'Outstanding' by the department since 2011.
The most recent inspection, undertaken in December 2022, found that Nexus Fostering offers an exemplary service to children in foster care placements, helping them to thrive in safe and stable homes and build positive, nurturing relationships with their foster families, praising the agency's effective matching process; its head of participation and head of education; and recognising how children benefit from its commitment to and investment in high-quality training and support.
It offers extensive training for its foster carers
From learning more about managing behaviour to first aid and developing self-esteem in children, Nexus Fostering offers so many training opportunities for approved foster carers, delivered face-to-face as well as virtually.
During the assessment process, foster parents are invited to take the Skills to Foster Course, which provides a fantastic overview of fostering, as well as receiving extensive initial training. It also offers ongoing comprehensive training in fostering-specific areas, including attachment, therapeutic parenting and emotional wellbeing for foster carers.
Foster carers get 24/7 support
Supporting its foster carers every step of the way, Nexus Fostering offers 24-hour support every single day of the year.
Foster carers benefit from an out-of-hours service; the expertise of an extensive team, spanning social workers, specialists and clinicians; and their own dedicated supervising social worker, who will visit at least once a fortnight to discuss your foster child's progress.
A competitive allowance for foster carers
Nexus Fostering rewards its foster carers with a competitive allowance, as a thank you for their valued work in providing a loving home for the children in their care.
The allowance is designed to cover the costs of looking after a child, including things like food, clothing and pocket money, as well as to reimburse foster carers for their time and care. Carers are also entitled to payments for festivities and birthdays, too.
Day trips and activities for all the family
Among the host of benefits available to them, Nexus Fostering carers and their families get to experience day trips to pantomimes and theme parks, fun activities like ice skating and plenty more – with social events for families to get involved in, too.
Access to support groups
There's also the chance to meet up with other foster carers in Gloucestershire by attending regular local foster carer support meetings.
Foster carers are invited to monthly support groups where they can discuss certain topics, ideas and socialise with other foster parents; while Nexus Fostering also holds specific support groups for single carers and men who foster, to name a few...
Nexus Fostering has its own expert head of education
Giving foster children access to appropriate educational provisions to help them meet their learning needs, Nexus Fostering has its own head of education, Andy Plant.
He is responsible for sharing expert advice, supporting and providing educational resources to foster carers and staff to help children thrive.
It offers a full range of fostering placements
Keeping every child's background and specific needs in mind, Nexus Fostering offers different types of fostering placements to suit their individual requirements.
These include therapeutic placements, respite placements and placements for children with disabilities; placements for unaccompanied children seeking asylum; the option to accommodate siblings or parents and children; as well as permanent and short-term placements.
There's a careful and considered matching process
Ensuring every child is well-matched with their new foster family, Nexus Fostering has a placements team which works closely with each foster carer and their dedicated social worker to carefully pair them with a child or young person who will thrive in their care.
It's social-worker led
Founded in 2002 by social workers Grace Wyatt and Kelly Randall, who is now the agency's director, Nexus Fostering is run by social workers with extensive experience in children's social work and family placements.