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Outstanding carer support from our social workers is recognised

Support, Uncategorized, Why choose us,

Image of social worker Dave alongside a quote from him on his enjoyment of the job and Portsmouth City Council and Foster Portsmouth logos          Image of social worker Jill alongside a quote from her on her fulfilment from the job and Portsmouth City Council and Foster Portsmouth logos

Foster Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council are celebrating our dedicated social workers this World Social Work Day 2024.


The event, on Tuesday 19 March, celebrates the social work profession and its contribution across the world. This year focuses on the theme of Buen Vivir: Shared future for transformative change, which emphasises the need for social workers to adopt innovative, community-led approaches. This theme serves as a timely reminder of the transformative role social workers play in driving positive change and fostering communities that thrive on mutual respect and sustainability.


As a relatively small local authority fostering service, at Foster Portsmouth we recognise that support is vital and we’re proud to offer our foster carers an extensive range of 24/7 support. This support is available at every stage of the process through an assessing social worker during the application process and then, in addition to the child’s social worker, carers will have a dedicated supervising social worker providing them with support, advice and encouragement throughout their fostering journey. They’ll also have access to a skilled team of professionals specialising in health and education, including child and adolescent mental health.


Foster carer Sandy* confirmed:


“My social worker is so in tune with our needs and is always aware of the
training and support I need to fulfil my role.”


Foster Portsmouth social worker Dave shared with us: “I started in social work in the 1990s. At the time I was driving a Black Cab and to supplement my income I started doing some bank work in a bail hostel before progressing to a full-time role. However, there was no clear career path, so I did some voluntary work with the Probation Service and completed my DiPSW (Diploma in Social Work) in 1995. On qualification I went into children’s social work.”


“During the past 29 years I have worked in most areas of children’s social work and moved into management in 2000. I have managed many service areas including children we care for, care leavers, unaccompanied children seeking asylum, fostering, adoption and I recently spent three years as an agency decision maker.”


Dave continued: “I currently work in fostering and this is an area that I have a big interest in and in which I have developed some expertise. I enjoy recruiting, training and supporting foster carers to make sure that they can provide the very best care and outcomes for our young people.”


“Enabling carers to make a difference to children and young people is why I do the job. This is what gets me out of bed in the mornings! Social work has changed beyond recognition over the past 29 years but at its core, there is still the necessity to safeguard and improve lives for children and their families.”


Supported Lodgings carers Tamara and Menno have received continued support from Foster Portsmouth via out of hours social workers as well as their own supervising social worker who they meet regularly.


Tamara shared:


“She is my sounding board and my adviser. No question or worry is too trivial for her, and she ensures that my queries
and concerns are addressed promptly. She is always my first port of call.”


Another of Foster Portsmouth’s dedicated social workers Jill started her career as a Primary teacher, then went into retail, training and recruitment whilst raising two children and caring for her elderly parents. Jill then decided to retrain in counselling after volunteering in a substance misuse service in Bournemouth. She set up her own private practice and obtained further qualifications to work therapeutically and using CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) with young people.


Jill shared: “I also worked at Addaction, a charity for substance mis-use, wrote a programme to take into schools for young people who were at risk of using drugs and alcohol or self-harm, etc., and set up a counselling service for children deemed most at risk. I also had a part-time role in Poole Children’s Services as the IMPACT co-ordinator for substance misuse. It was suggested that I went on the Step Up to Social Work Programme through Bournemouth University and I then worked in the frontline in Hampshire. I didn’t enjoy this, however, and recognised it wasn’t my calling.”


Jill continued: “The work with Foster Portsmouth is challenging because I am part of the ‘team around the child’, advocating for the foster carers whilst remaining child focused. I have found different ways of working with a range of people to support fostering placements to enable them to stay secure. It is not always an easy role; it requires me to be inventive, persuasive and to negotiate, and I have to adapt my training, but I enjoy working within fostering with Portsmouth City Council as I can employ both my therapeutic and training skills with foster carers.”




Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said: “Social care practitioners go above and beyond for adults and children in the city every day. They are part of a group of people who rarely get the recognition they deserve, which makes international days like this, even more important.”


Foster Portsmouth offer their foster carers competitive allowances for the children in their care, thorough training and round the clock support, access to the award-winning Mockingbird model of care, an experienced mentor, discounts and benefits, social activities, and free membership to The Fostering Network.




We welcome all enquiries about fostering regardless of age, gender, faith, ethnicitysexualitymarital, residential or work status. This could be a short or long term arrangement for a child or siblings until they’re ready to live independently or be reunited with family, support for children seeking safety and asylum or children with a disabilitysupported lodgings to develop their independent living skills, parent and baby placements, or respite care.


Foster carer Zhoura told us that: “There is such an amazing support network with Foster Portsmouth and so much training. I have my own social worker who is a regular visitor and the child has a social worker as well. It’s really important to have social workers because sometimes you may be struggling or you need to know about courses you need to go on. They’re there to support you.”


To enquire about fostering with Foster Portsmouth, or to arrange a 1:1 with one of our experienced team or existing foster carers, please contact us.


*Name has been changed to protect privacy.

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