On Friday 6th July, we invited MP to join us at Freedom Fostering HQ.
Freedom Fostering likes to maintain a strong working relationship with the MPs that cover their working area. In the past few years we have had visits from Emma Reynolds and Eleanor Smith. We wanted Pat to understand the work that we do and to meet some of our carers who help look after children in care in Wolverhampton.
Freedom Fostering very much wants to be for the community and it is important that MPs understand this. When speaking to Pat, the carers covered a range of topics from how important working relationships with schools are, the expectations of them as foster carers, their home being their work place as well as their home, what they want for the children that they look after (raising their aspirations and quality of life) and their success stories i.e. children that were previously in Nadine’s care going off to university. The children that were present also spoke of how lucky they were to be with the carer they were with and how much they love her.
The carers and staff also spoke about the financial responsibilities with Pat. Maureen’s wish is to create a community interest company for Wolverhampton, looking first at Financial Literacy. This is a service not just for looked after children or care leavers but for all people.
The idea stems from the amount of children who leave the care system unprepared on how to manage their finances, how to understand interest rates or credit scores/history, having previously been in a care system where they are given pocket money, savings, clothing allowance etc.
Often care leavers will leave the care system, spend their savings and come back claiming to have not been given it all because they have not managed it properly. This recurring situation often leaves care leavers at risk of homelessness. Maureen wants to prevent this as much as possible, engaging with schools and partnering with local business to achieve this goal.
Pat has made a few suggestions and has a few contacts that he will be putting Maureen in touch with so that we can see this idea flourish. We are all very excited to see what the future holds for the care system in Wolverhampton.