Stable relationships are the platform on which children in care can build their lives and achieve their potential. Foster families, social workers, teachers, friends and family all play an important role in the life of children in care. Consistent, high quality relationships are important; they help children develop secure attachments and enhance feelings of security, support their ability to form relationships as they grow into adults, and enable the development of a sense of belonging and identity.
Instability in children’s experiences of care hinders the opportunity for children to form secure relationships. Moving placements and changing schools may make it harder for children to maintain meaningful relationships with their carers, friends and siblings. Changing professionals such as social workers and independent reviewing officers may mean secure connections are lost and trust must be rebuilt.
-Stability index for children in care, Children’s Commissioner, April 2017
Children looked after by Mosaic Foster Care enjoy considerably higher levels of stability across all key areas of their lives compared to other children in foster care. Their foster placements are more stable, with 85% of children not having experienced a placement move or ending in 2018 compared with 68% of children in foster care in the South East of England. In other words, once placed our children tend to stay in long-term, successful foster placements. This is due to our unique approach of supporting children and foster families.
Similarly, none of our children experienced a change of Mosaic social worker in 2018, but a third of them did experience a change (and in some instances, multiple changes) of local authority children’s social worker. Our social workers are committed to the agency’s model of caring and consequently are able to offer ongoing relationship consistency in the place of high turnover experienced by local authorities, thus supporting key relationships for foster children.
Further, none of our foster children experienced a change of school in 2018, compared to an average of 10% of children in care with other fostering services across the country.
Children in care are more likely than their peers to experience mental health problems and related negative outcomes. This makes measurement of their well-being all the more critical for informing the planning of their care. Measuring well-being can also help to assess how well children are being supported to move on from any trauma they have experienced prior to entering care.
We use a range of measures throughout a child’s placement to measure their ongoing emotional well-being and development. All of our foster children have demonstrated clear progress in terms of their emotional and mental health with most showing significant improvements.
At Mosaic Foster Care, we have a unique method for tracking children’s risks and vulnerabilities as well as their strengths. This informs the ongoing risk assessment and care planning for each child, which helps them to feel safer and more confident within their family and wider community. We can accurately measure how well our children are safeguarded and how to address any areas of concern. This also allows us to demonstrate children’s progress over time in relation to keeping safe.