18 Feb Another great year for Fusion Fostering
Fusion Fostering has had a big year. We have continued to grow, and we are now offering care to over 200 children. This has been made possible by the 52 new families who have joined our committed and dedicated team of foster carers. During the past 12 months we have had three area offices inspected by Ofsted, all of which were rated as Good, an achievement we are incredibly proud of. We would like to take a moment to thank everyone that has contributed to providing such high-quality care for these children and young people.
Gary, Ron and Dave started Fusion in 2012. They collaborated on Gary’s original concept of doing things in a different way. The idea or our Care Partner model was born. We have had a chat with Dave, Gary and Ron to find out more. Dave told us about the virtues of the model, which he believes are at the centre of its success:
‘The cornerstone of our fostering agency is the strength of the relationships between those involved in it. The relationships we have with our foster carers, the relationships they have with their children and with their own birth children. One of our real intentions in moving forward is to ensure that all of our foster carers remain part of the family and part of the network. We know through experience that this is a great base to then support the children we look after. We do this in many ways but key decisions such as ensuring low caseloads for care partners, allows us to take a creative and flexible approach to supporting our carers’ – David Tucker, Operations Director
“It’s about doing it differently. It’s not about doing it in the traditional, corporate way. It’s asking, can you combine people’s enthusiasm, commitment and knowledge together to produce an outcome that is positive for young people, foster carers, and our social workers?”
Gory Dawkins, Director
“Our foster carers are the face of our agency, so we must give them the necessary support and guidance to be in this role. High quality support creates a virtuous circle that leads to happy carers, happy social workers and, most importantly, happier children with prosperous futures. It is very easy to forget that carers are at work all of the time. We go home at the end of our workday, but they don’t. It is crucial to ensure they are well taken care of.” David Tucker, Operations Director
‘We’re trying to build a structure whereby foster carers and foster children know, not only their care partner well, but also the regional manager, support staff and everyone else involved day to day in order to retain that ongoing continuity. It seems a shame that I no longer know each child and each carer, but as we’ve grown bigger, these things have needed to change. I am passionate about us not losing that family feel, and certainly I think it’s important to maintain that friendly feeling whilst also being efficient.
The key thing for me is how astounding it is that people want to foster in the first place and that all over the country there are people prepared to commit time and energy to often challenging situations. I don’t quite know how they do it, but I’m very glad they do. We also have established strong relationships with local authorities, who in the past we have helped to solve problems they would have otherwise struggled with. Our reputation is very important, and I hope it continues to grow. The last and most important thing is that we continue to work with children in a way that I’m proud of. Obviously, people matter, and it should be expected that we provide a quality service to our social workers, carers and their children. We do that all over the country, which is very impressive really”. Gory Dawkins, Director
“We are now looking forward to 2019, and we have some exciting things in the pipeline. We are holding our first Spring conference, and second Fusion Fest. It is important for us to hold on to our root principles which are essential in maintaining strong relationships with people we are in business with. We have many seasoned care partners and their successful staff, but also many at the start of their journey. We feel committed to ensuring newer staff also receive every opportunity established staff have. Our big message is that there is a huge need for foster carers across the country, we are hopefully providing a small part of the solution to this.” David Tucker, Operations Director