Christmas advent calendar

1

How do you choose?

When you are considering fostering there are so many fostering agencies to choose from. Its important to choose the right one for you. Download our checklist of what to consider and questions for you to ask.

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2

Supporting children struggling with Anxiety

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel, into which all other thoughts are drained". Helpful hints and information about how to support a child who struggles with anxiety

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3

Your supervising social worker, with the support of the team, has the most influence on your success in your role as a foster carer. Their ability to lead, coach, teach, empathise and empower you will play a big role in your relationship and success of enabling children in your care to achieve their true potential.

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4

What does being Trauma Informed mean?

Ask not "what is wrong with you?" ask "what has happened to you?" understanding the impact of adverse experiences on an individual child is a starting point of becoming trauma informed.

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5

How to support a child who is being bullied

Watching a child come home from school knowing that they are being bullied is hard. Harder still for the child or young person facing the bully day in and day out. Helpful hints of how to support your child and help you deal with the situation.

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6

What's Love Got to do With it

According to Dr Allan Schore our looks and loving smiles help babies brains grow. He describes how a baby takes the feedback of a smiling adult and this triggers’ internal processes, including a release of natural opioids, these are known to encourage brain neurons to grow. Put simply, those loving looks help our brains develop our emotional and social abilities.

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7

We have been very lucky this year to have worked with the care experienced poet, Ben Westwood. Ben is the author of Poems From a Runaway. His poems are autobiographical, they are insightful, emotional, witty and inspiring. Ben speaks from the heart and has inspired many social workers and foster carers at our events over the last year. He has kindly given us permission to share his poetry with you. His book is available

"Toby Sycamore" is a favourite poem of ours, it tells the story of Ben's running away to London and assuming a false identity to avoid being caught by the police and being returned home. Enjoy the fabulous poem read kindly by a good friend of To The Moon and Back.

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8

Domestic Violence

According to the NSPCC 1 in 5 children witness domestic violence in their home. It is recognised in research as an adverse childhood experience and one that can cause fear and significant anxiety in children and young people.

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9

A Christmas Poem

We have been very fortunate to have worked with Ben Westwood author of Poems From A Runaway. This is an autobiographical poem of his experience of spending Christmas on the streets. His fabulous book can be purchased via Amazon

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10

A Child May Not Remember But The Body Remembers

According to research undertaken initially in America but subsequently in other countries including England and Wales, the combined impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences results in a significant affect on the health and wellbeing of the child in their adulthood. The findings have led to NHS Scotland embracing the theories, to improve public health outcomes and across England Scotland and Wales we are becoming more informed on the impact of trauma in young people.

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11

What Makes a Great Foster Carer

People often ask what we look for in potential foster carers and what makes a foster carer great. Foster carers come from a variety of backgrounds and in all shapes and sizes, but there are key qualities that enables foster carers to be successful in their role.

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12

Supporting a child who is angry

When we are working with young people who have experienced adverse early experiences in their childhood, anger often masks the emotions that make them feel vulnerable. When faced with the very people who should care for you being scary, unavailable or abusive to you, the chances are we would not show how scared we are, we would try and become scary too. Sometimes attack is the best form of defence.

“Don’t teach your child never to be angry, teach your child how to be angry” -Lymon Abbott

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13

Transferring, The Who What & Why

When a foster carer feels unhappy with their fostering agency, they are likely to feel undervalued and as a result whilst still giving their best to the children they care for, there is likely to be some impact in the foster carers wellbeing which will eventually affect the children, no matter how hard the foster carers try to hide it. We truly believe that happy and successful foster carers are more likely to lead to happy young people able to achieve their full potential in life. Transferring, The Who What & Why

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14

Don't Take Our Word For It

When we asked our foster carers what advice they would give to new people looking to foster they said

"Do lots of research, take your time and don’t be swayed by large remuneration packages, they may well look good on the face of it, but please, please, do not judge an agency by what they pay, rather look at what you get as a whole to support you in your fostering role". see what else they said

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15

Social Pedagogy Explained

Social pedagogy is hard to define, but is overwhelmingly helping us to achieve great outcomes for our children and foster carers. It's not rocket science either.

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16

What does great support look like

Having a great relationship with our foster carers is the fundamental basis for good support. It has to be individualised and starts right at the beginning with honesty at the enquiry stage.

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17

What a Difference a Year Makes

Not many people decide to set up a new fostering agency why did you decide to start “To The Moon and Back Foster Care”?

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18

Poem for Luke

We have our own resident poet in Alison. Here's one of two lovely poems she wrote for us.

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19

Understanding and Building Relationships With Teenagers

Adolescence is a time of change, one when young people begin to separate from their parents and show signs of what kind of an adult they might become. There are surges of hormones combined with body changes. There may be a struggle for them to find an identity compounded by potential pressures from their friends and peers. Overall there is a sense of development of independence, but this is a confusing time for young people and can be very challenging for those caring for them.

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20

When a Child Doesn't Live With One or Both of Their Parents

Jeffrey Gitomer says “Resilience is not what happens to you. Its how you react to, respond to, and recover from what has happened to you.”

Supporting children to understand the reasons why a parent and they are not living together, can be hard. We share some of our top tips of supporting a child in this situation.

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21

Poem for Sophie and Her Baby

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22

A Day in the Life of a Supervising Social Worker

Supporting foster families to expand their “tool box”, watching them build their resilience and develop self-care strategies, whilst maintaining commitment, stability and continuity of care for the children is, for me, the most rewarding part of my work. Zuzana Day is more than a social worker, she is a trauma informed practitioner and a pedagogue. Read what a professional day looks like in her life.

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23

Preparing a Child For Leaving Care

Leaving the safety of a foster care family or a residential home to live independently between the age of 16 and 18 is far beyond the experiences of most children but a reality for young people in the care system. They are subsequently vulnerable if they do not have a strong supportive network around them as they move out.

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24

It's Christmas

According to one local authority “Most Christmas eves, we get asked to place around five children and we are phoning our foster carers asking if they can care for another child over Christmas”. The demand for new foster carers continues to be very high, with new children coming in to care at a rate of 90 per day across England and Wales.

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25

Christmas day offer

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas with a little gift from us.

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