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Treehouse foster care

Warwickshire County Council are keen to find experienced foster carers for our Treehouse network. Within this role a central foster carer (named Treehouse carer) supports a number of branch foster carers by providing a range of support to them and a ‘home from home’ to the children they foster. Our Treehouse foster carers provide practical and emotional support to help the branch foster carers develop and maintain the essential role of caring for children. They also arrange social outings, training and regular support for their group in Warwickshire. Treehouse carers provide planned day-care, overnight stays or emergency support to the branch foster carers.

As a Treehouse foster carer, you will support between 6 and 9 foster carers by offering the children in each foster family short breaks, either in the daytime or overnight "sleepovers". The duration of sleepovers will ideally be between 1 and 3 nights and each branch family will be allocated up to 28 days/nights per year. We are looking to create a 'home from home' for these children and young people and as a Treehouse carer, you will have the amazing opportunity to help create this.

What will I need to do?

As a Treehouse foster carer, you will need to:

  • Have adequate accommodation, 2 bedrooms (minimum) for the looked after young person or child to have their own room on sleepovers or share a room (as appropriate).
  • Be available for branch carers needing 1:1 support.
  • Organise and diarise the events to support with overnight and day care.
  • Plan regular/ monthly support meetings for the branch carers in your network, to plan training events and social events
  • Work as part of a multi-agency team including health, education and specialist support services.
  • Be available 6 days per week.
  • Have a primary carer at home full time.
  • Preferably have no other children living at home.
  • Show you have the commitment, patience and ability to care for a child.
  • Offer a safe and caring environment for a children.
  • Commit to developing your own knowledge and attend training.
  • Have experience of working directly with or caring for children and young people.
  • Be open-minded and have the commitment to make a difference.

What support will I receive?

As a foster carer, you will receive: 

  • The support of a dedicated fostering social worker.
  • Access to a full training programme, some of which will commence during your assessment period.
  • An fee of £25,000 a year plus fostering allowances.
  • One weekend off every four weeks
  • An opportunity to undertake a QCF Diploma for the Children’s Workforce.
  • Opportunities for peer support and networking.
  • Support from our in-house psychologist.
  • Access to 24-hour support via the foster care support line and emergency duty team.

Our role as Treehouse carers enables us to provide support to our families (Branch carers) and their young people. We enjoy organising events and get together’s with our families. We take pride in watching the relationships forming between our young people and with the branch carers. We empower our carers, and help to build confidence in themselves and reduce their feelings of isolation. We can support both carers and young people and be a familiar face in meetings and help them to understand some of the processes of these.

We like to talk to our young people and get their ideas of activities that they would like to do and they produce some fabulous suggestions. We get together every month with our young people, this can be at our house where have lots of different activities for the young people to do and we have also been bowling, trampoline parks, ice skating and picnics.

All our young people come to us for sleepovers, we like to have these pre planned and not always as an emergency, we try to support before crisis point by offering breathing space for the carers and the young people. This gives an opportunity for some reflective space and allows restorative work to take place to prevent the placement from breaking down.

We are available 24/6 to our families and this can be a phone call, a message, or a sleepover. We have a group chat available for all carers and we all share ideas, advice, and information to each other.

The best things about being a treehouse carer is knowing that our branch carers have support available when they need it the most, and we have built strong relationships with our young people so when they have sleepovers with us, they have told us their anxiety is reduced as they already know.

- Michelle, Treehouse Foster Carer