Children and Young People in Foster Care start a new life as part of a Modern Family but continue to have strong links to birth families. Contact between them is usually encouraged and at times supervised by the Child or Young Person’s Social Worker. Unfortunately, local authority councils don’t always have specific rooms designed for this contact which means that they use a standard office meeting room to facilitate this. Children who are placed in foster care out with their local council area do not have access to another councils meeting rooms meaning that finding a suitable place to see their birth family can be difficult, this can often happen at different locations in similar office style meeting rooms.
Modern Families first mission is to open a flag ship contact space within Edinburgh that’s different. We want to offer a private space for birth family and Child/ Young Person “Get togethers” which is designed like a home away from home, with no office chairs, corporate tables or clinical surroundings.
Each “Get together” or “Play Date” will be a planned in advance activity led session chosen by the Child/ Young Person. These could be anything from board games to art but also offer seasonal experiences they no longer could usually share with birth families, for example decorating gingerbread cookies, making tree decorations or even putting up the Christmas tree together while listening to their favourite songs. Each session will be photographed with the permission of all who attend and printed so each have a memento of the time spent together. As some birth parents aren’t always able to engage fully our trained team member who is facilitating the event can step in anytime to help and allow all to get the best from the session
At times birth families for many reasons are unable to attend last minute and the usual practise is to send the Child/ Young Person back to their foster home immediately which can be a very distressing experience. As these activities will be pre planned with the Child/ Young Person and the Team member will be there the activity can take place if the Child/ Young Person wishes. This will hopefully reduce the disappointment of not seeing their birth family and reduce the impact of this.
We need your donations to fund our premises allowing us to register as a charity and open our doors to children in foster care in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Once a successful model has been launched we hope to replicate this in other areas of Scotland.
By raising £750 we can open the space for three months allowing us to complete our charity registration while offering contact space. We will take a small fee from the Local authority for each session which will allow the space to be self funding over time.
Barrie @ Modern Families Scotland