A fostering game created by Sheffield’s award-winning Children In Care Council is receiving national acclaim after its adoption by other local authorities.
The game builds on the support foster carers, residential staff and social workers provide to ensure they consider all aspects of what makes a good home.
The game and its associated training programme has been shared at conferences with hundreds of professionals across the country and adopted by a number of other local authorities to share with their staff and foster carers.
The snakes and ladders style game uses a series of statements to help foster carers and residential staff think about what makes a good or a bad placement.
It also helps to build on the support they provide to young people. The game asks players to consider a number of statements – for example, is it important for carers to give clear boundaries and is it important that you are made to feel part of the family.
Lily, 18, from the Children In Care Council, who helped to create the board game said: “This tool is something that has really helped to open up difficult discussions with our foster carers and social workers about what makes placements difficult or easier for us in a way that is fun and engaging.
“It is really important that foster carers and social workers don’t make assumptions about how we are feeling. Thinking through these issues is really helping us to challenge these assumptions.”
Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Sheffield City Council, Coun Jackie Drayton, said: “This game is yet another great example of how children and young people in care and our Children in Care Council are helping to inform our staff and change the way we deliver our services in a creative and innovative way.”
She added: “The game and the training that is given provides an invaluable resource and a real insight into what it’s like to be a child or young person in care and certainly helps us to reflect on the impact our decisions and policies have on the children and young people in our care.”
There are more than 250 fostering households in Sheffield. If you want to find out more about becoming a foster carer visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/fostering website. Fosterers are offered a generous package that includes excellent support and training which is all held locally in Sheffield.