Following Whispers Family Service Consultancy Ltd was established in 2004 by Paula Henderson, a qualified social worker and former foster carer. Paula established the agency to primarily offer independent fostering services to local authorities who had insufficient fostering households for children in care. For Paula the company ethos has always been to offer individualised, person centred care for children and carers in a safe and supportive manner to achieve the very best outcomes for children.
This is a therapeutic agency and we have access to a male and female therapist for children placed with us on a therapeutic package. Training is commissioned in consultation with our therapists to ensure all our foster carers have a therapeutic approach to the care they provide.
The agency prides itself on offering a range of activities for birth children and children in care to enjoy together. The opportunities provided are vast and range from trips to theme parks to holidays abroad, all provided to broaden the experience of children in care and also offer the carers some well-earned rest.
The agency does not just provide children with somewhere to live; it provides them with an extended family and a strong sense of belonging. For children it is important that they remain with the agency, even if things haven’t worked out with their previous carer and we strive to make this possible for them.
Without our foster carers we would simply not have a successful agency and we ensure we are providing the very best support we can. This includes weekly phone calls, regular monthly supervision and adhoc support. We have several sessional workers who provide up to 10 hours a week day support for children who are not in school or require additional support because of assessed therapeutic needs. This enables us to provide good quality direct work to the children in addition to enabling the carers an opportunity to recharge themselves.
We also have a dedicated and experienced social work team to support children and carers. As an agency we all share the same vision and determination to provide children with the best possible childhood we can so they reach adulthood knowing they were cared about and have a strong sense of self-worth.
The agency is small by comparison to local authorities or neighbouring fostering agencies. We are not a national company and we have no intention of becoming a large organisation where individual care and support can be compromised.
We have two key areas where our carers reside, East Kent and East/West Sussex. We currently have 15 fostering households and intend to grow a little bit more to have a base of 12 fostering households in each area. We are keen to recruit carers from other areas in Kent, particularly Medway areas and welcome applications from existing foster carers or interested people.