2018 – Growing pains are worthwhile when they mean more children end up in safe families!
2018 was a huge year of growth and change for us – so huge it’s taken us until the end of February to catch our breath and tell you about it!
We travelled from East to West to work with over 30 organisations on their journey to improve the way they care for children and support families.
We have worked with organisations big and small from meetings with the Vice President and Supreme Court Justices of Paraguay to first time foster carers in Morocco.
We even bumped into Mexico’s President Elect at an airport!
We’ve run training with a group of 200 lawyers in Paraguay and led one on one sessions online with social and case workers on multiple continents.
We were excited to work with organisations in three new countries in 2018 – Mexico, Indonesia and Philippines. SFAC is committed to working with partner organisations long term to see sustainable change happen so we were also excited to continue working with organisations in countries we’ve been working in for years such as India, Paraguay and Uganda.
Increasingly we are working differently:
- We ran group training sessions and one to one mentoring online to organisations in Morocco, India, Uganda, Paraguay, the Philippines and Lesotho.
- We conducted reviews of the services and practice of a number of organisations in South Africa, Mexico and India, providing recommendations.
- We also hosted a team from Paraguay in the UK. A big thank you to our generous friends at Team Fostering, Leeds Children’s Services, Cafcass, Switalskis Solicitors who helped facilitate their visit.
- This was all in addition to in country training covering judicial practice, social work and therapeutic approaches and awareness training about family based alternatives to orphanages and children’s homes for caring for vulnerable children.
Each year more and more countries and organisations are recognising the need to change how they care and protect children. This means each year the demands for our services are increasing.
In order to meet the demand, we had to expand!
Tory Barrow, an experienced therapist, and Nigel Priestley, a lawyer who specialises in adoption and kinship care, both had their first trips with SFAC – Tory to Morocco and Nigel to Paraguay.
Our board has undergone a transformation after a few retirements left John Swift as the last man standing! We welcomed Glynn Barrow, Philip Cotterill and Jane Booth who bring a wide range of experience from charity and local government leadership to our team.
A growing team has meant lots of behind the scenes work was needed – new policies and procedures, new systems! We needed to bring new skill sets to the team to help us out. Katy Lambert started in January to help get the ball rolling before moving on to new and exciting adventures of her own in June. We are very grateful for her assistance. Since then, two new staff members have come on board. Hannah Pease is heading up operations and communications and Judy Rose has stepped up from a volunteer to work one day a week keeping our accounts in order.
Another highlight was having Graham Pollard and Nick Porthouse challenge themselves to complete a triathalon while raising funds to support SFAC’s work at the same time. Between them they raised almost £3,000 – an extraordinary effort! It’s people like this, along with our regular individual and corporate donors like AHC & Faith Up, Enzygo and Team Fostering that enable us to do what we do and to work to ensure no one working with children lacks the training they need to do it well.
It’s been a year of transformation that has allowed us to align even more closely with our core values of sharing knowledge, working in partnership and being accessible to all.
Huge thanks to everyone who supported us in 2018.
It’s because of you we are seeing organisations change, their practice improved and, most importantly, the lives of children and their families transformed.