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Money Management Tips for teenagers

Money-Management-Tips-for-teenagers

“Money management tips for foster carers to share with their children”

Money money money!

A word that many of us find scary, even as adults. However, teaching a young person the importance of money management is a lesson that can benefit them hugely as they enter into adulthood.

Although the discussion of money is one that many tend to shy away from, it doesn’t have to be a scary conversation. We have compiled some money management tips for our foster carers that you can share with your young person to help them achieve financial success.

  • Transparency – Be open and honest when having conversations about money to normalise the discussion of money. Being less secretive about finances helps your young person learn about money. Understanding the concept of what comes in and what goes out, how you manage your money and what your relationship with money is like ensures that conversations about money don’t have to be uncomfortable.
  • Open a bank account – This will create a great sense of independence. Having the responsibility and trust to manage your own money, leads to better decision making about money. By having ownership of what comes in and out of their bank account, they will begin to understand the value of money.
  • Pay your way – Yes! You heard correctly, let your young person pay their way. Allowing your young person to have some sort of financial responsibilities from a young age means that they will have a better understanding of how to manage their money. It could be something as simple as being responsible for buying the milk in the house, or paying the Netflix subscription. This allows them to feel like they are contributing and ensures that they budget their income accordingly.
  • Teach the concept of saving money and budgeting – Having a budget and savings plan can help your young person to stay on top of their finances. Learning the art of budgeting and saving means that they will always be prepared for unplanned expenses or be able to save for things that they really want, such as a holiday or car.

By incorporating these theories into your young person’s everyday life, they will be on the right track to having a healthy relationship with money that will benefit them in their adult years.

We’ve also shared some more useful articles below:

Money money money!

A word that many of us find scary, even as adults. However, teaching a young person the importance of money management is a lesson that can benefit them hugely as they enter into adulthood.

Although the discussion of money is one that many tend to shy away from, it doesn’t have to be a scary conversation. We have compiled some money management tips for our foster carers that you can share with your young person to help them achieve financial success.

  • Transparency – Be open and honest when having conversations about money to normalise the discussion of money. Being less secretive about finances helps your young person learn about money. Understanding the concept of what comes in and what goes out, how you manage your money and what your relationship with money is like ensures that conversations about money don’t have to be uncomfortable.
  • Open a bank account – This will create a great sense of independence. Having the responsibility and trust to manage your own money, leads to better decision making about money. By having ownership of what comes in and out of their bank account, they will begin to understand the value of money.
  • Pay your way – Yes! You heard correctly, let your young person pay their way. Allowing your young person to have some sort of financial responsibilities from a young age means that they will have a better understanding of how to manage their money. It could be something as simple as being responsible for buying the milk in the house, or paying the Netflix subscription. This allows them to feel like they are contributing and ensures that they budget their income accordingly.
  • Teach the concept of saving money and budgeting – Having a budget and savings plan can help your young person to stay on top of their finances. Learning the art of budgeting and saving means that they will always be prepared for unplanned expenses or be able to save for things that they really want, such as a holiday or car.

By incorporating these theories into your young person’s everyday life, they will be on the right track to having a healthy relationship with money that will benefit them in their adult years.

We’ve also shared some more useful articles below:

Anti-bullying week

Anti Bullying

Let’s stamp out bullying!

Bullying, unfortunately, is something that many of us have faced or are even still facing today. And bullying is something that many children and young people face on a daily basis.

With the pace of life moving so rapidly, and new trends coming and going, it also means that bullying has taken on a new shape and form. No longer does bullying stop and start within the school gates, but more than ever we see bullying continuing once the school day is over due to the popular rise of the internet and social media. 

The internet has made it harder than ever for this generation to navigate through adolescence. There is never a moment where they truly get to switch off from technology, which opens the door for bullying to take place.

From comment sections, private messaging, public picture sharing, live video streaming and gaming forums there are so many outlets where children and young people can be exposed, leaving them more vulnerable to being bullied.

Anti Bullying Week aims to bring awareness to bullying, encouraging children, parents and teachers to take action against bullying throughout the year with this year’s theme celebrating differences and equality. 

So how can we help to stamp out bullying? What are some of the small everyday things we can all do to prevent bullying from beginning?

Firstly, look for the bully. Yes, this may sound like a weird request. But ever heard of the saying ‘Go straight to the source’? Giving attention and time to understand why someone may be bullying somebody is a great start to addressing the root of the problem. It is very common to want to condemn the bully and isolate them due to their bullying but if we actually talk to them  and understand the reasons why they may be lashing out, it could potentially remove the root of the issue.

Secondly, having an understanding of the apps and websites that your child uses daily is useful when being able to spot signs whether bullying may be taking place. By showing a genuine interest in what your child is interested in, they will become more willing to share just how these apps work and what they get up to on them. Some good leading questions would be “Do you talk to your school friends here?”, “How does the app/website/game work?” and  “Do you know everyone you speak to?”. If you notice that sometimes your child could be withdrawn after coming off their phone or computer, or lock themselves away in their room when coming home from school it may be a sign that they are experiencing cyberbullying.

Listen. It’s so important for a young person to feel like they are being heard, and acknowledged during a time like this. If somebody feels as if they are being bullied it should be investigated thoroughly and they should feel supported throughout.

Bullying is not something that we will be able to drive out overnight. But by highlighting that bullying does exist and not being afraid to talk about it allows us to start taking action earlier.

To find out more about Anti Bullying Week, click here

Everyone needs a helping hand

Connecting with young people in foster care

Connecting with young people in foster care

If you speak to some of the most successful people in the world, there is probably one thing that they all have in common – a mentor.

A mentor is someone that is able to guide you, advise you, teach you and support you in reaching your goals. These are the reasons why Ascent has a mentoring scheme in place for our looked after children and young people. As we mentioned in our previous blog, ‘it takes a village’ and having a neutral figure to encourage and empower young people in their personal development can have an abundance of benefits.

Here at Ascent, we see a mentor as someone who can focus solely on helping a young person’s development. A foster child usually has so many different adult figures in their life who serve different purposes and a mentor can be someone who can offer a safe, informal environment to let a young person share their goals and visions with, whilst taking part in fun activities.

Our Mentoring team closely works together with the young people to provide guidance and support. Helping with day-to-day life activities, such as exams, finding a first job, connecting with grassroots organisations within the community in South London and offering useful tips and advice to young people to help them succeed in life.

The Ascent mentoring team works as the gap between the young person and foster carer, allowing the young people to have their voices heard, the purpose of the relationship is to give them an outlet.

Want to meet our mentoring team, watch the video below.

Would you like to learn more about what it means to be a foster carer at Ascent. Click here.

It takes a village

“Creating a community in foster care”

There is an old African proverb that says ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. Meaning that it takes more than a mother and father to ensure the well-rounded development of a child. Having an extended family and wider network is an important and well-needed contribution for giving a child the tools for life.

Here at Ascent Fostering, we understand how essential it is to provide a strong support network for a child in care. The absence of a conventional family dynamic due to circumstances out of their control should not deny them the opportunity of having their own ‘village’ to support them through their core formative years. We are proud to have cemented great working relationships with local authorities across South London such as Wandsworth and Lambeth council.

There are many benefits to having a ‘village’ that extends further than just the young person. Social workers, support workers, foster carers, supervisors, mentors, key workers all play a pivotal role in a child’s time within the care system and it is a huge benefit for a child if these key players all have positive relationships with one another. This creates:

  • One voice – open lines of communication between all agents means the child will receive the same message from all parties. It stops a young person from hearing several different viewpoints, ideologies and receiving differing advice which sometimes results in a negative effect.
  • Build strong networks and relationships – although everyone has separate objectives and roles, by working together closely you can create long-lasting working relationships that make your day-to-day work life run smoothly and more efficiently.
  • Unity – there is a huge stigma in the social care sector that there is a lack of unity between different agencies, making it difficult to give the best possible care and service to a child. Presenting a fortified unit ensures a child knows that their support system is solid, building trust and confidence in the young person.
  • Shared responsibility – there is sometimes the notion that one sole party should bear the brunt if anything was to go wrong with a child in the care system. By adopting the mindset of shared responsibility a child can see that their support network is like a family. Another additional benefit is that it allows parties to step in on behalf of one another, to ensure that any issues, concerns or serious incidents can be addressed directly without having to wait for the sole responsible party to step in.

All these elements working together create an excellent foundation for a young person. It shows them how all agencies are working together with their best interest at heart. Giving them the clear message that they have their own ‘village’, a unified network who wants to see them thrive and reach their full potential.

If you would like to learn more about fostering in South London, click here.

What is respite fostering?

We come across so many people who would love to foster children and young people, but many raise concerns about not being able to foster full-time. This could be for many reasons, such as their career or lifestyle that may restrict them from providing full-time foster care.

What is great about fostering placements is that it is designed to meet the individual needs and specific requirements of both foster carers and the children in their care. There are many different types of foster care, meaning there are many options available for you to find the right ‘fit’. 

What is respite fostering care?

Alongside long-term, short-term and emergency placements, there is respite care. Respite care is largely a short-term placement ranging from a weekend, school holidays or sometimes a few weeks. The main aim of respite care is to provide support and stability to a child that is currently placed with a foster family. 

The reason for respite care is to allow the original foster family, foster child or birth parents a break to rest and recharge. Respite fostering may also be needed if it’s not capable for a child to be included in the foster family’s travel plans.

Is respite foster care for me?

As mentioned earlier you may be somebody who wants to foster, but your current circumstances may not allow you to foster full-time. You may also be new to the profession and be slightly nervous about fostering and would like to build up some experience before committing to a longer-term placement. These are situations where becoming a respite foster carer could be more suitable for you.

Although as an independent agency we understand the need for stability to further the long-term development of foster children, we also understand the importance of parents and carers having access to a support network that can improve the quality of care being provided. Respite foster care allows you to enrich the lives of children and young people on a short term basis.

How do I become a respite foster carer?

To become a respite foster carer, the same fostering requirements still apply – must have a spare bedroom, be over the age of 21 and have some financial stability.

If you’re interested in respite foster care, or any other type of fostering, it’s definitely time to start your life-changing journey as a foster carer. Get in touch with us for an informal chat to learn more. 

Ascent in the Community: SLUKSWA Charity

Having community is what brings people together and unites them, but most importantly, having community means that you always have a helping hand.

We believe that it is important to build community wherever you go and at Ascent we want to be rooted in community. One great thing about community is that it can extend far and wide and you are able to reach people further than your doorstep.

We want to share our community with you, and so have created the ‘Ascent in the Community’ blog series. The aim of the series is to showcase our community and the amazing things that they do. It will be a window into some of the fantastic people, charities, businesses and schemes that Ascent are lucky to be connected to.

To begin the series, we have the Sierra Leone UK Social Workers Association (SLUKSWA). This is an organisation that our social worker, Remi is a part of and we had the opportunity to support them with their first project last Christmas.


Donations from the wider community were distributed to children and families who live in one of the most impoverished and deprived areas of Sierra Leone, West Africa.  They had experienced flash flooding which caused the destruction of homes, loss of personal belongings and claimed lives. Bags of rice, along with the numerous toys, clothes, kitchenware, bedding and other items were received with great appreciation by a number of children and elders that had been hard hit by the flooding in the Kroo Bay area of Freetown, Sierra Leone.


The densely populated slum area of Kroo Bay is located at the bottom of a hilly part of Freetown and houses some of the poorest and most vulnerable members of Freetown’s society. We reached out to our network to collect donations and the response we received was overwhelming.

It was a pleasure to hear from SLUKSWA:

“On behalf of SLUKSWA, I wish to say a very big thank you for the donations received from yourselves. They were far greater than expected and no doubt will have provided some relief to those in receipt.  Once again, many thanks for your contribution to a worthy cause and for giving selflessly.“


If you would like to learn more about the Sierra Leone UK Social Workers Association or see how you can support them with their fantastic work. Please get in touch by emailing: secretary.slukswa@gmail.com.

To find out more about Ascent Fostering and becoming a foster carer with us, get in touch with our friendly team today.

Ascent 7th Birthday

Earlier this year we celebrated our 7th birthday! And although we had to adjust the way we celebrated due to our current circumstances we still made sure that the whole Ascent family was still able to mark this milestone.

Ascent first launched in April 2013, founded by Mark Pomell and Mark Hobbs with the goal for Ascent Fostering Agency to be the leading therapeutic fostering agency in London in-terms of the quality of support, care and outcomes for the young people we look after. To offer foster carers the opportunity to be part of a genuine team, that is committed to learning and developing our skills together.

Over the last 7 years, we have reached some major milestones; receiving fantastic Ofsted reports, winning several awards, seeing our team grow and expand, working with outstanding foster carers, and seeing how our carers have impacted the lives of so many children and young people.

We would have never thought that at the beginning of this journey we would be where we are now and have so many people to thank for helping us get here.

Since 2013 we have;

  • Increased our team of staff from 3 to 11.
  • Held over 500 training sessions.
  • Looked after 158 children and young people.
  • We began with 4 carers and now have over 30.
  • Been a finalist in the Investors in People Gold – Award of the Year for Small Companies in the UK 2018.
  • Awarded an Investors in People in 2015.
  • 3 Ofsted inspections
  • Received the award for Resilience and Placement Stability to Children from Wandsworth Local Authority.

Check out the special video we created especially for our birthday.

We can’t wait to see what the next 7 years hold, cheers to many more!

Love Ascent

To find out more about fostering with us, get in touch with one of our friendly team today. 

Hypothesis of Needs

Our resident Therapeutic Child Care Consultant, Trudy Darien has over 20 years’ experience as a therapeutic practitioner. She founded the Introduction to Therapeutic Childcare course in 2005, that has now been accredited by APPCIOS (The Association for Psychodynamic Practice and Counselling in Organisational Settings)

The 4-day course is both theoretical and experiential. The aim of the course is to develop an understanding of child development and the impact of early life trauma. To equip us with techniques to support children and young people and to redress their unmet needs. 

Additionally, Trudy has developed the ‘Hypothesis of Need model’ as a technique to further assist with the understanding of why the knowledge of each child’s backstory is an essential tool to recovery. 

She had worked with several local authorities, residential homes, and foster agencies where the approach focused on behaviour modification, resulting in a lack of understanding of the child’s unmet needs.

In these organisations children’s behaviour was often misinterpreted and they were labeled as having behavioral problems. These children often had numerous placement and school breakdowns that further perpetuated the cycle of neglect.

This prompted her to devise a series of groundbreaking courses which evidenced the significant benefits when applying therapeutic techniques.

Trudy has delivered her training courses to social work teams, care homes, schools and foster agencies which have achieved remarkable outcomes in both the children and those who work with them. 

Trudy now works as a consultant and delivers her training and therapeutic model to a wider audience. Her long term aim is for this course to be nationally recognised as a model for working with children and young people who have experienced early life trauma 

If you would like Trudy to deliver some training or want to find out more about Therapeutic Childcare, please get in touch.

info@trudydarien.com  

If you are thinking about fostering, please get in touch today to chat to our friendly team.

What’s been going on at Ascent Fostering

It may seem like we’ve been very quiet over the last few months, but that’s because we’ve had a lot going on behind the scenes.

So we thought we would use this blog to share all that’s been going on at Ascent over the last few months. 

Brand new look!

You may have noticed that we have had a bit of a makeover recently. We think change is a good thing and after 6 years we thought why not!

Our brand new logo and colourways were designed by Jelani Pomell our resident guru for all things design and creative. This was complemented by some new imagery that we have used for our new marketing collateral.

Wandsworth Council Award

We were absolutely thrilled to receive the Wandsworth Council award for ‘Resilience and Placement Stability’. This is another testament to our fantastic team and all of their hard work! This award means a lot to Ascent because we focus on working with children and young people with difficult backgrounds and complex needs and it’s great that our team and carers have been recognised for this.

Come Dine with Ascent

If you follow us on Twitter and Facebook, you would have seen that the Ascent team have been cooking it up in the kitchen. Every fortnight a member of the team cooks up something special for the team to sample. So far we’ve had a Lebanese feast, apple and blackberry crumble with custard, Jerk chicken with special rice and coleslaw, Ice Cream and Sorbet, Banana cake

Come Dine with Ascent has unearthed some secret Nigella’s and Jamie Oliviers , stay tuned to find out what’s next on the menu.

Carer of the Month

In November we celebrated Nikki Best for unconditionally accepting the emotional needs of her young person. She has been a strong advocate for her young person which has led to a greater understanding and communication at school. She also wholeheartedly embraces the therapeutic training and implements what she has learnt with her young person.

Thank you Nicky! We really appreciate you

Carer of the month celebrates and recognises a carer/s who have gone above and beyond to be the best foster carer. We understand that being a foster carer is not the easiest job and when we see a carer exceeding their role we think that it’s important to honour them and give them the spotlight.

Carer’s Day Out

Our foster carers mean a lot to us, without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. It’s important for us to show them how much we appreciate them.

So we took the Ascent Lads on a go-karting trip followed by a spot of lunch. It was definitely a nail biting race (eat your hearts out Formula One). The final winners were:

1st place – Kevin

2nd place – Mark H

3rd place – James

There’s nothing like some healthy competition for some team bonding.

Of course we couldn’t forget our wonderful Ascent ladies who enjoyed the latest musical production ‘&Juliet’, a spin on the Shakespearean classic ‘Romeo & Juliet’ It was a great time for all the ladies to catch up, spend some time together and take some well deserved time off.

Nurturing. Attachment Training 

Over the past 18 months the Ascent team has undertaken Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Level 1 & 2 training. An element of this training is Nurturing Attachment which is a group work program to provide support and guidance to foster carers of children who have experienced trauma and attachment difficulties.

Sita and Nicky delivered the first of the Nurturing Attachment training to a number of our carers and received glowing reviews. The underpinning theme for our carers to take on board is PACE –  Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy.

Below are some comments from our evaluation feedback – Well done Sita and Nicky.

“The Course exceeded my expectations, very informative, catered for all learning styles”

“The PACE model in all its aspects is a very useful tool and I will continue to use it in my work with the children”

The Ascent Team is growing!

This year we welcomed Nicky Challen-Probert as our latest Supervising Social Worker, Nicky has got stuck straight in becoming an extremely valuable member of our team.

Also we can’t forget to give a shoutout to our new interns Maria Tinawi and Stefan Bubu from  Middlesex University who are doing 100 and 70 day placements. Maria and Stefan have been a great help to the team undertaking a number of tasks.

We are delighted that Margaret, William and Natasha  have joined the team as Foster Carers, they have been amazing and are great additions to the team.

This month we also welcomed back Laura Martin, who is returning to her role as Supervising Social worker after maternity leave and we are so happy to have her back.

As we begin 2020 it’s great to look back over 2019 and see everything that we’ve accomplished. This year is Ascent’s 7th birthday (can you believe it!). We cannot wait to see what’s in store. We have to take this moment to thank our fantastic team, every year they go above and beyond to make Ascent the agency that it is today and 2020 won’t be any different!

Ascent Fostering asks: Is there room in your heart for one more?

Fostering Agency South London - Ascent Fostering Agency

Our latest campaign asks the question ‘Is there room in your heart for one more?’ Fostering is so much more than taking a child into your home and providing them with the basic essentials. It can be a fulfilling journey for both you and the young person you look after. Fair enough, it doesn’t come without its challenges emotionally, mentally and physically but there’s a reason why many foster carers foster for decades.

Most of the time when we ask people to step forward to become foster carers, the focus is predominantly on the benefits for the young person and how it will change their life. Though in this partnership more than one life will be changed. There are countless reasons people may have that stop them taking that step to become a foster carer.  It can be a daunting experience stepping into the unknown, people have thoughts such as, ‘It could tear my family apart’, ‘Will I be a good foster carer?’, ‘It will be too much hard work’, ‘I won’t have a life’, ‘I don’t have enough experience’. Martin Luther King once said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” and with fostering there couldn’t be a phrase more fitting. 

We can’t exactly tell you what fostering journey you’ll have, some days will be easy, some days will be hard, some days you’ll just want to give up and some days you’ll feel like you have the best job in the world. Something we can almost guarantee is that it will change you as a person and mostly for the better. If you speak to any foster carer they will tell you that through the challenges, and ups and downs, seeing a child who has not had the best start in life, open up their lives to you and begin to trust you is a feeling like no other.

Children and young people are such an important part of our society and we need amazing people with huge hearts to help nurture and build the next generation. Your life will be so greatly enriched and you’ll be able to see how you played such a huge role in transforming a young person’s life.

Fostering: Do you have room in your heart for one more?

Contact us now to chat to our team and find out if you are ready to start your fostering journey.

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