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Five Things We Thought Whilst Watching Joe Swash: Teens in Care.

Joe Swash: Teens in Care

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We were so glad to see actor and TV personality Joe Swash shine a light on the realities of fostering in the UK in his latest documentary Joe Swash: Teens in Care.

We wanted to share some thoughts we had following the things Joe and his mother highlighted.

The main issue that the documentary raised was the lack of support seen in fostering in the UK. Support is something which we at Mosaic aim to address directly.

We are proud of the level of support we provide in our agency. For our young people, for our foster parents, for their own wider networks and for all of our staff.

Here are some of the things which we think Joe highlighted in his documentary and the ways in which we at Mosaic try to address them.

Fostering Children After 18

We only provide long-term fostering at Mosaic. This means we will provide a foster placement for young people until they are 18 and considered to be legally an adult and no longer in care. One of the things which was highlighted early on in Joe Swash: Teens in Care is that after 18, there is little to no support for families. 

Whilst financially this can be on the whole true, there is something called 'staying put' which essentially means that the young person you are fostering stays with you. Some foster parents choose to do this, others choose to take a break from fostering and some will choose to start the matching process to help another young person straight away. 

Multiple Foster Homes

Joe interviews a foster parent who explains how his young person had previously been to 5 other foster parents and gone through an adoption breakdown before finally settling down with him in his home. This is the exact thing we are trying to avoid at Mosaic. Can you even imagine someone putting you in a car with a bin bag full of your things? Where the norm is that you are indispensable. 

To be able to recover from childhood trauma it takes time with the right people and examples like this provides another reason why we only offer long-term fostering. We have an extensive matching process at Mosaic, aimed at making sure the young person will go to the type of foster parent who is right for them. This, alongside our individual therapeutic plan for each child, means that our placements are less likely to break down.

Supporting Foster Parents to be the Best You Can Be

At Mosaic, you are never alone. We are here to support you to be the best foster parent you can be at every single stage of your fostering journey with us. 

One of the young people Joe interviews talks about what he thinks foster parents should be like;

"I think all being kind and caring if everyone was like that life would be a lot more secure and safe".

We think to be able to demonstrate these attributes, you need to be able to feel supported. At Mosaic, not only does your young person receive therapy, but you do too. This means that you always have someone on hand to speak to about your needs. Our therapy is all in-house and led by Aly our therapeutic lead.

Financial Stability

Whilst we know no one gets into fostering for the money, it was highlighted in Joe Swash: Teens in Care, that there simply isn't enough financial backing within the fostering system generally. This is why at Mosaic we make sure that you as a foster parent are able to financially support yourself by paying up to £700 a week (well over the average national minimum allowance). This is because we understand that to be able to fully support the healing of a child who has gone through trauma, it takes time, energy and attention. We would hate to miss out on fantastic foster parents because they thought they might not be able to afford it. 

Reforming the System

Rest assured that we have read the Independent review of the care system report written by Josh MacAlister (who Joe interviews). We have actively been working (pretty tirelessly) to make sure that we offer the best fostering service we can, working to help children recover from childhood trauma and creating positive outcomes (in whatever way that looks to the individual child).

One of the ways we know we are doing it right is that we have recently been awarded "Fostering Agency of the Year 2023- Essex". Together we really can make a difference in the lives of young people.

Having said this, we totally agree that there is a huge need for more fostering families. Think you could make a difference in the life of a young person? We would love to hear from you. 

Want to learn more, why not give Joe Swash: Teens in Care a watch? 

Mosaic Foster Care is a Private Ltd Company (reg no 07133494) providing fostering placements for children and young people to age 18.
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