Over 100 adults and children from fostering families across the borough came together for a special weekend camping organised by Rochdale Borough Council’s fostering team.
Staff put on a variety of fun activities for the children and young people from cave exploration to making tie-dye shirts and wall climbing to learning bushcraft skills.
Adults got together to relax, make new friends and there were plenty of cosy nights around the barbeque making memories that will last a lifetime.
Janice Broadbent who has fostered local children with the council for over 11 years, said: “Thank you for a fantastic weekend. The kids had a ball and it was so good to see them without iPads and phones for a whole weekend. Apart from having fun it was nice meeting other carers and new foster team staff. It was also interesting hearing how about other fostering initiatives the council is running that will be a real support to carers. It was the best event I have attended in 11 years of fostering.”
The weekend also gave foster carers the chance to hear from fostering staff about further support and groups the council is bringing in to further enhance the foster carers’ support package.
Families took part in a range of activities.
Initiatives like ‘Mockingbird’ have proved to be really successful in supporting carers and reducing placement breakdowns. It is a pioneering fostering model, which sees a constellation of fostering households set up in a similar structure to that of an extended family, and is based on the idea that it takes a village to raise a child.
Mockingbird is not the only innovative project the council is part of that supports positive outcomes for children in care, or on the edge of care. The council has recently implemented the No Wrong Door model, a multi-agency approach based around a residential hub to provide care and outreach support for young people aged 9 and above. It sees social workers work collaboratively with health and police colleagues as well as foster carers. This model is delivering real results in support young people to move into a family setting or preventing them from coming into care, it’s giving young people support and a true sense of permanence to improve their outcomes.
Councillor Rachel Massey, cabinet member for children’s services and education.
Councillor Rachel Massey, cabinet member for children’s services and education at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The feedback on our camping weekend has been wonderful, we’re delighted to put on something that our amazing fostering families have really appreciated. We’re proud of the variety of events, groups and initiatives we have in our fostering support service. It shows how we’re all working together to support each other, just like any other family – just ours is a little larger than most.”