Your local foster care office – Leeds
Welcome to the Swiis team in Leeds.
We first set up in 2005 and we were awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in our most recent inspection in 2012.
We organise regular support group meetings for the Leeds office and South Yorkshire region. These alternate between foster carer network meetings which are informal and sometimes take place in foster carers homes, and the more formal support group meetings, which are facilitated by a Swiis Social Worker or other team member and often include a training element.
We regularly have young adults, with relevant experience of the looked after system, offering volunteer time to talk with our carers and help out with children. This is in addition to the “buddy” system we offer, whereby pre-approved and experienced foster carers meet informally to offer support and mentoring.
We also have our ‘Caring Crew’, a dedicated group for our carers’ own children who are given the opportunity if they choose, to share experiences as ‘children who foster’ and are recognised for the real difference they make in their fostering families.
Children’s achievements are recognised through “well done” cards and certificates, as well as special mentions in the Leeds Swiis newsletter.
We are contracted by the White Rose Consortium consisting of several Local Authorities with whom we work closely to provide suitable foster placements to children and young people across the region. In addition we provide placements for other Local Authorities to ensure individual needs of children and young people are met, and work in partnership with local organisations throughout Yorkshire, recruiting from the local community through job fairs, GP’s surgeries, local clinics, libraries, cafés and market places.
|Download our latest Ofsted report >|
We have strong ties within the community, with direct links to local safeguarding boards and other agencies, such as the Child Sexual Exploitation service, “Blast Project”, that Swiis carers and staff join up with in order to utilise free, local and up-to-date training.
We hold an annual Christmas party, with DJ and Santa, for all our carers, children and young people, as well as organising group picnics in the summer and activities and events every school holiday. As part of our participation strategy, we respond to activity requests from the children and young people in placements so they can have their say in what’s on offer.
To mark our fifth anniversary in 2010, we organised an event where the Lord Mayor of Leeds presented certificates of recognition to all our carers in Leeds and Yorkshire and to their children, who are our “Caring Crew”. The Lord Mayor of Leeds also presented ‘medals’ to our looked after children at the Swiis jubilee party in 2012.
As part of preparing our young people for independence, I arranged a visit to Leeds British Gas Smart Metering Centre in Armley. The purpose was for the young people to experience: seeing people at work [...]