Case study: Fostering North Yorkshire host event for carers and foster children

Fostering North Yorkshire celebrated the achievements of foster parents while also giving them the opportunity to share experiences.

Fostering North Yorkshire oversees the fostering process of over 300 children across the county. It holds an annual conference to celebrate and support its foster carers while also giving parents access to professional experts.

Objectives 

Fostering North Yorkshire’s annual conference was hosted at the Lakeside Conference Centre for a second time. The conference objectives included celebrating the achievements of foster parents, while also giving them the opportunity to share experiences with, and enjoy the company of, fellow carers. 

Solution 

The event was attended by 160 foster parents and 68 foster children on a Saturday in September. All conference rooms at the Lakeside Conference Centre were used, including the Sand Hutton Suite, the Claxton, Sheriff Hutton and Kirkham meeting rooms, along with the mezzanine floor and atrium.

The event included advice-led presentations, Q&As and discussions to provide foster parents with the opportunity to gain and share knowledge.

Topics included ‘Managing the feelings of a child/young person’ and ‘What can carers do to help build trust?’ as well as ‘Helping the child to trust’.

Children over five joined in a variety of workshops, and the under-fives years were cared for in the on-site nursery. The workshops were operated on a rotating basis, allowing each group of children to attend drama, song writing, street dance and banner making workshops.

For parents, an exhibition took place on the mezzanine floor to connect them with additional services that are available in the region.

Lunch was provided by in-house caterers and was served in the restaurant, with a buffet for parents and pre-packed lunch bags for children. To end the day, long service awards were presented by Stuart Carlton, director for children and young people’s services from North Yorkshire County Council and included one award to a parent celebrating 30 years of fostering.

Verdict 

Stuart Carlton, corporate director for children and young people’s services at North Yorkshire County Council said: "We’re committed to ensuring that the children and young people we look after are safe, secure and happy – part of this is making sure that the parents have the knowledge and tools to create the right environment.

"The conference not only allows us to provide parents with the tools they need but also to celebrate their achievements. It gives them the opportunity to meet fellow foster carers and build a supportive community." 

Factfile:
Client: Fostering North Yorkshire
Type of event: Annual conference
Delegates: 228
Venue: Lakeside Conference Centre, NAFIC, Near York
Date: September 2017

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