Charity partnership to help fostered children in Burgess Hill

A Burgess Hill fostering agency has announced it is partnering with an education charity to help improve the lives of children and young people in foster care.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 2:12 pm

Orange Grove Foster Care has teamed up with the Award Scheme Development accreditation Network (ASDAN) to provide young people with the skillsets for work and life outside of care.

According to the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, children and young people in foster care are more likely than non-foster care children to miss school, have either special educational needs (SEN) or experienced past distressing life events, which in turn causing them not to finish their education.

James McGarrigle, registered manager at Orange Grove Foster Care, said: “‘We continually strive to support the children in Orange Grove to the best of our abilities.

Diverse group of young people standing in school classroom smiling happily at camera and holding test certificates, copy spaceOrange Grove Foster Care has partnered with an education charity ASDAN SUS-210706-114022001

“This often means looking at creative ways in which we can accomplish this.

“By tapping into the ASDAN resources, we are hoping to provide another layer of service for our children and young people.

“With the resources available, children and young people can learn, grow and further prepare themselves for the future.”

At the centre of the program is Sarah Lambkin, an experienced foster parent with Orange Grove, who is taking the role of the support lead for the ASDAN course.

She said: “We’re committed to achieving better outcomes for children and young people and we hope that through the ASDAN courses, children in our care are able to prepare for their future in a fun and interactive way.”

Alongside this partnership, Orange Grove has announced that its West Sussex base is now a certified ASDAN centre.

The opportunities through this partnership will offer children and young people a range of curriculum development courses to enrich their lives.

A spokesman for Orange Grove said: “While the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the routines of many children and young people in care, Orange Grove is ensuring no one is left in the dark.

“Many young people within foster care have more than likely never been given the opportunity to harness the basic life skills due to unstable home environments.

“ASDAN presents a number of accredited and unaccredited programmes that can transform lives, presenting young people and SEN individuals with engaging programmes that equip them with transferrable and life-enhancing skills.

“ASDAN also offer more vocational based courses, which can be used to support young people of all abilities.

“There are more than 30 short courses available, and some of these can be achieved as part of a child’s regular activities, e.g. sport, football, gardening.

“Orange Grove is now offering its looked after children the opportunity to take part in ASDAN’s Living Independently Short Course.

“The course includes how to earn and keep track of money, finding a place of their own, cooking skills, health and wellbeing and career management, ultimately learning how to transition from education to adulthood.”

Orange Grove Foster Care is an independent fostering agency that currently takes care of more than 400 children across the south east, midlands, north west and Yorkshire.

Full training and support, including a 24/7 helpline, is provided for foster parents.

This includes mandatory training in first aid, safeguarding and child protection, giving people the tools to meet their foster children’s needs.

If you would like to find out more about fostering with Orange Grove, call 0800 3698513 or visit www.orangegrovefostercare.co.uk/offices/burgess-hill