As 2016 draws to a close amid frantic festive preparations and joyful gatherings with friends and relatives, I feel there is a need to take some time out to reflect on the past twelve months at Ascent Fostering.
We are often so busy in our various roles here at Ascent that we don’t stop to acknowledge the positive impact our work is having on the children who need this the most. So, this blog is a celebration and acknowledgement of everyone’s hard work, commitment, and creativity in looking after children and young people in need of stability, sensitivity and care.
When considering anecdotes shared by colleagues and reviewing data we gather to evaluate our work, I am struck by how far so many children and young people have come in terms of their confidence and emotional wellbeing. Many have been encouraged to explore performing arts, with others joining sports teams and community groups. Many have settled in new schools forming positive friendships. Underpinning this has been the skill and capacity of their carers to enable them to settle in their homes and engage in therapy to come to terms with harm they experienced in childhood.
I am reminded of one young woman who, when she first moved in with one of our foster carers was consumed with anxiety and distress. However, over the past twelve months she has thrived, trusting her carer to help her deal with her past, excelling at school and in youth leadership, recently winning an award for her outstanding work. She presents as an altogether happier and hopeful young person who seems able to enjoy herself with peers and adults alike. This is testament to her carer’s commitment and sensitivity to her needs and a genuine desire to help her fulfil her full potential.
In terms of specific highlights from this year, attaining the Investors in People Gold Award was a particularly proud achievement as it acknowledges the dedication and skill of the foster carers, and the team here who support them in their work.
Social events such as the summer BBQ and last week’s Christmas Lunch are chance to have fun and thank everyone for their work, but also show the strength of relations between colleagues that underpins all of our work and enables carers to continue to provide excellent practice.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Ascent for their hard work and commitment over the past 12 months and envisage that 2017 will be a successful year with much innovation and ongoing dedication to meeting the needs of children and young people in our care.