“It’s a Special Paper”
The Integrated Services Programme Monthly Newsletter
April 2012 Edition No: 131
In this month’s newsletter…
Sport Relief & ISP Schools
News from ISP Sussex
Pie Factory Music
News from ISP Teynham
Thank You Ofsted
How ,where and with whom would you journey?
Holidays, Holidays, Holidays Artwork by ISP South London Young Person
25 Ways to Celebrate ISP
News from ISP Rainham
The Handy Household
News from ISP Schools
News from ISP South London
News from ISP Chesham & Milton Keynes
News from ISP Enfield
Five things you Probably Never Knew your Mobile Phone Could Do.
Foster Carer Forum Meeting
Editors: John Whitwell & Natalie Durell
Please note that the views expressed within this newsletter are not necessarily those of the
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by John Whitwell
It’s typical – the clocks go forward, we all get used to the Spring-like weather and now there is a
possibility of snow! I invested in some winter tyres last October and of course we had a mild
winter. The summer tyres are back on…..! I can feel myself being a “grumpy old man”. Add to
this the chaos around petrol and the hose pipe ban and I could definitely become a Victor
In order not to dig myself into a hole of pessimism I must focus on something positive. The end
of term assembly for ISP School was full of positivity. When I arrived a student thrust a piece of
paper into my hand with two jokes written down for me to read out. The one I was going to use
“Why shouldn’t you tell an Easter egg a joke?”
“It might crack up.”
The student’s two, which I decided to go with were:-
“Why did the teacher put the lights on?”
“Because the class was so dim!”
“Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher?”
“He couldn’t control his pupils!”
I think you would agree that the student’s jokes are funnier than mine.
Also at assembly I saw the Key Stage 2 Group do a performance of the Maori “haka”, a
ceremonial war dance that the All Blacks rugby team enact before they play a game. It was a
rousing performance, very ably led by Rachel.
In this edition, Richard Tipping introduces himself in the role of “Contracts and Partnerships
Manager”, based here at Tunstall Court. This is a new role to help with the considerable
increase in workload in relation to the tendering process with local authorities. We have also
appointed a new Finance Director, David Edwards, who currently works for SACCS. David will
be starting on the 1st July and I’m pleased to say that Les Algar has offered to postpone his
retirement until David starts. You may be interested to know that Jim Hamil has become the
owner/director of Flying Colours, the fostering organisation he set up when he joined SACCS
after leaving ISP. We wish him well.
I have recently been to our new Centre at Milton Keynes a couple of times in the last few
weeks. I was greeted by a resident peacock with its plumage on full display – must be the
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The second time I was there the peacock also greeted me. I was delivering some training so it
was several hours later when I returned to my car to find the peacock had used it as a perch
and had deposited two large mounds of poo on the bonnet and roof. I made the mistake of not
immediately washing it off. The following day I noticed the poo had removed the lacquer which
covers the paintwork. So beware, if you find dollops of peacock poo on your car remove it
In case this story gives you a negative impression of ISP Milton Keynes, I must say it is a very
welcoming Centre, with a great bunch of staff, carers and young people. You must try and visit.
The fact that this is ISP’s 25th year features in two items; Peter Phillips and Elaine Holliday’s “25
ways to celebrate ISP”, and the ISP book proposal. In relation to the book proposal, if you feel
you have an interesting story to tell but feel unconfident about writing it up, don’t be put off. We
would like to hear from you as we can assist with the writing bit. Your own experience of
fostering is the crucial bit.
I have been looking back at previous editions of the newsletter and was interested to read again
an extract from Alain de Botton’s, “The Problem with Paradise”, which I used in my editorial in
May 2002. It warns us of having too great an expectation that our holiday will be perfect and
will make us truly happy. As we are starting to think about holidays this is a timely reminder of
the danger of unrealistic expectations. It also suits my “grumpy old man” persona.
“The prospect of a holiday is likely to persuade even the most downcast among us that
life is worth living. Aside from love, few pleasures are anticipated more eagerly or form
the subject of more complex and enriching reveries. Holidays offer us perhaps our finest
chance to achieve happiness, being outside the constraints of work our struggle for
survival and status. The way we choose to spend them embodies, if only unwittingly, an
understanding of what life might really be about. During the long working weeks we can
be sustained by our dreams of going somewhere else far from home; a place with better
weather, or interesting customs and inspiring landscapes – and where it seems we stand
a chance of being happy.
But of course the reality of travel seldom matches the day dreams. The tragi – comic
disappointments are well known: the sense of disorientation, the mid- afternoon despair,
the arguments, the lethargy before ancient ruins. And yet the reasons behind such
disappointments are rarely explored.
One of the reasons that our travels go awry is that we are prone to forget one crucial
thing: that we will have to take ourselves along on the journey. We won’t just be in India,
Australia, Peru in a direct unmediated way, we will be there with ourselves still
imprisoned in our own bodies and minds – with all the problems that entails. I had
imagined an agendaless, neutral observer: pure consciousness. But worries, regrets,
memories and anticipations were to prove constant companions.
Another great problem of holidays is that they rob us of one of the important comforts of
daily life: the expectation that things won’t be perfect. In our daily routine we are not
supposed to be happy. But holidays give us no such grace. They are the one time
when we feel we have failed if we cannot be happy. We are therefore prone, not only to
be miserable on our travels, but also miserable about the fact that we are miserable.
D H Lawrence once said that if two people are in love they will be able to have a nice
time in a bare cell. The opposite is certainly true. If two people are unhappy together
then no amount of luxury will ever solve the problem.
The 19th Century German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer’s great insight was that we
stand a much higher chance of being content if we accept that we are unlikely ever to be
completely happy. He did not mean to depress us, rather to free us from the
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expectations (on holiday or otherwise) that inspire bitterness. It is consoling when
holidays have let us down to hear that happiness was never a guarantee. “There is only
one inborn error,” wrote Shopenhauer, “and that is the notion that we exist in order to be
happy. So long as we persist in this inborn error, the world seems to us full of
contradiction. For at every step, in great things and small, we are bound to experience
that the world and life are certainly not arranged for the purpose of maintaining a happy
existence, hence the countenances of almost all travellers and elderly persons wear the
expression of what is called disappointment.” They would never have grown so
disappointed if only they had set out on holiday with the correct expectations.”
After I included this piece in my editorial I saw that Irene Hall, Chair of the ISP Children’s
Foundation, has written an article with the title, “Holidays, Holidays, Holidays, Holidays”.
Don’t be put off by Alain de Botton’s comments. These holidays for young people are
about providing opportunities for growth and development.
18 May, 27 July, 19 October, 14 December
Sport Relief & ISP Schools
by Charlene Butcher
On Friday 23rd March, students and staff in KS3 and KS4 at ISP Schools took part
in a walk from Reculver Towers to Minnis Bay in order to raise money for Sports
Relief. The walk took about an hour and a half (except for the few boys who ran in
instead!) and fun was had by all. It gave everyone the opportunity to catch up and
chat with people we don’t always see from other classes and from the other school
site. Once we reached the finish line, we all ate our lunch and enjoyed the
sunshine before heading back to school. I hear we raised lots of money too,
although the exact amount is still uncertain at the time of this going to print…
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News from ISP Sussex
by Heather Royce
Hello everyone! Spring is here and the summer is not far behind. The weather has been
extraordinarily warm and we are surrounded by colour, daffodils, tulips, grape
hyacinth and beautiful tree blossom. I noticed a stunning magnolia tree in a garden
yesterday and wished it was in mine! Sadly the downside is the concern regarding
water levels and the impact this has on farm land and our consumption. Do I plant my
pots or not!?
Much has been going on at our Sussex centres. We continue to have a rigorous training
time table for our carers at both sites. Toni and Lee spent Tuesday and Wednesday here
this week, interacting with carers on the Education training. It’s an experiential course,
requiring all involved to engage in activities, which are probably outside the comfort
zone. It’s an effective and helpful way of trying to understand the emotion and feelings
that our young people experience within the school environment. I think as adults we
can become complacent or forget how it feels to be in a classroom amongst others who
seem to be able to ‘perform’ and ‘achieve.’ I certainly have memories and not always
I have always believed that ‘learning’ is a life long process and I’m always excited by
learning something new. Diana and I attended the East Sussex Virtual School
Conference last week, which both of us found inspirational. It was mostly attended by
Designated Teachers, SENCOs and head teachers throughout the county. An
Educational Psychotherapist, Marie Delaney, author of ‘Teaching the Unteachable’ and
‘What can I do with the kid who…?’ captivated her audience. With humour, based on
her vast experiences in schools, she not only focused on understanding traumatised
children but the feelings they arouse in the teachers by their challenging behaviours. I
sensed it was a relief for so many to hear someone identify, name and make sense of
their feelings and emotional experience, whilst working with children and young
people. It was useful for so many gathered together to hear that the reactive and so
often aggressive outbursts are not actually ‘meant for me’ but a re enactment of
previous experience, a defence mechanism to manage their overwhelming feelings
when ‘freeze, fight, flight response kicks in. It hopefully helped people to think about
behaviours being a form of communication and move from a reactive to a more
reflective approach. Marie spoke, interacted, engaged and captivated people for the
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whole morning. Quite an achievement amongst so many professionals! Gold star I
We also attended an exciting workshop about a project called ‘THRIVE,’ which is based
The project has been set up by teachers, social workers and therapists and is a dynamic
developmental approach using assessment to identify interruptions in early
development and the emotional needs that underlie troubling behaviours. It targets
vulnerable and challenging children whose behaviour interrupts their own and other’s
learning. Staff members in schools, support services and children’s centres are trained
to identify emotional learning needs and given strategies to provide and meet the
important building blocks that have been absent in early years. The approach is
informed by up to date neuroscience, attachment theory, child development and
research in to the role of creativity and play in developing well being and resilience.
Staff members in schools, support services and children’s centres are trained to identify
the emotional needs that underlie troubling behaviours and are given simple practical
strategies to address them. The approach is now being used successfully in Devon and
three other counties. East Sussex has several schools, which are piloting the project.
Intervention can take place at both primary and secondary levels of education. Again I
noticed so many colleagues showing an interest in the project. Definitely a very exciting
project and worth a look on the website. (www.thriveftc.com.).
Finally I’d like to send my best wishes for the Easter break. I hope the sun continues to
shine for us all. Until next term…. Heather
Pie Factory Music & Children’s Group
by Claire Webster
Pie Factory Music have been back to run more sessions with the younger children at
Teynham. This time some of them recorded their own version of “If You’re Happy and You
Know it” and Pie Factory Music were able to work on this and managed to create a
recording of their song. It has been sent out to the children involved and they enjoyed
hearing themselves on a CD. These are great sessions for the children as they are able to
express themselves and try something news.
Pie Factory Music will also be doing a musical treasure hunt with them in the Easter
Children’s Group Teynham
This month I have run some more groups with the children, one of which involved kites.
The children decorated kites, made them and then flew them. Although there was not
much wind the children still managed to get their kites flying in the air for a short period.
More sessions will be taking place over the Easter Holidays, including and Easter Egg hunt
and some sports activities.
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News from ISP Teynham
by Andrew Fox
Warm spring days always give everyone a lift, especially those of us lucky enough to be based
in the beautiful Kent countryside.
It has been a busy few weeks in every way and we would like to welcome those who are new to
We have had some good sessions with Foster Carers at Teynham and Ashford, which was
really well attended and most enjoyable, even though no one could hear the DVD I tried to play!
The builders continue at a pace with our new building and you can already see it taking shape!
The Children’s Group and Pie Factory have continued and are showing some success. I now
have the honour of the first CD, cut by the children and can confirm that the young persons’s
rapping is of the highest standard!
I am aware that Claire Webster has a number of activities happening over the Easter holidays
and we are looking forward to seeing children around over the holiday period and hope they
have a great time.
More exciting news is that the ITV programme, Daybreak is filming at the farm in May for
Fostering Fortnight, which should be good fun, the only thing left for me to do is convince
Carers and children that 5:30 am does exist and it is worth getting to the farm at such an early
Thank You, Ofsted
By Richard Tipping, Contracts & Partnerships Manager
What’s this about the new boy’s first newsletter article saying thank
you to OFSTED, you might wonder.
In doing some background reading before I came to ISP, I read that
John had been invited to a conference because he’s not afraid to ask
the awkward or difficult question. I am often described in such a way
so I knew this was going to be an organisation I fitted into!! Before
getting the job at ISP, my awkward question was posed by writing to
Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector at Ofsted bemoaning the fact that
I couldn’t apply to be an OFSTED inspector because I am neither a
qualified teacher or a qualified social worker but have a lot of
experience in children’s services. I was not knocking or criticising
either profession, both of which get enough of that from elsewhere,
but rather arguing that those of us who have worked in associated
areas such as performance management, service improvement and
commissioning might be able to add something to the inspection
process. While Sir Michael didn’t agree with me, I was extremely
grateful that he took the time to personally respond to me and to
explain his reasoning.
Sir Michael’s response made me reconsider whether those of us who are
not doing direct work with children and young people can actually
contribute to improving outcomes for them. For my MA, I explored
whether emerging management structures as a result of Every Child
Matters could contribute to improving outcomes for children and young
people. While my conclusion then was as it would be today that what
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matters most is what happens on the frontline, it doesn’t mean that
those of us who are not on the frontline can’t make a significant
In the current financial climate, it is essential that the quality of
services is assured, that services deliver the outcomes they are
supposed to deliver and that they offer value for money to the funder.
My new job is about demonstrating that to the many Local Authorities
we work with. Commissioners need clear processes for potential
providers to show how they’ll provide quality services, how to know
whether prices are reasonable and how they will deliver the desired
outcomes. From a providers’ perspective, we need to be clear what the
commissioners are seeking and are able to state it simply but with
clarity in the appropriate language, breaking down funding so it
indicates how spending plans will deliver desired outcomes. Both
sides need full understanding of monitoring and evaluation processes
which show that what is stated in tenders, contracts and Service Level
Agreements is actually being delivered on the ground.
While the knowledge and experience to do this could theoretically be
gained in any industry and any profession as there are commissioning
elements to all industries, I would argue (and frequently have done)
that working with people, and particularly children and their
families, is different to working with objects as these are people’s
lives. To effectively undertake the roles outlined above either as the
commissioner or as the tenderer, as well as having the expertise to
carry out the functions, you need a strong understanding of work with
children and young people. This might come from personal experience
of having worked with them directly or from experience of having
supported those who like many reading this are out there on the
frontline through areas like commissioning, contracting and
performance management. I hope that my experience in these areas
gained over many years will help in my new job.
I am grateful that ISP has recognised that they need support from
somebody who comes from a different background with complementary
skills to those of you who continue to do the most important jobs i.e.
working with the children and young people themselves. I believe my
experience will help me do this job to the best of my ability and
while I won’t be out there working with the children on a day to day
basis, I do believe that I will be contributing to improving outcomes
for them. I have a different skill set of course to those of you on
the front line, but if I know that in some small way I can contribute
to making things better for children and young people, what better job
satisfaction is there?
So why am I saying thank you to Ofsted? If I had been allowed to
apply and had been successful with them, I might never come to ISP and
would have missed out on the opportunity to work for such a caring and
child-focused organisation. So “Thank you Ofsted” and a bigger thank
you to everybody in ISP who has given me such a warm welcome to the
by Helen Southerden
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I have been fostering for over 13 years and during that time have received lots and lots of
training and many pieces of good advice. One of the best pieces of advice came during training
at Whitstable. We were talking about adolescent behaviour, and it came from Thelma. She said:
“You don’t have to have the last word. As long as you have been able to put across your point
of view/ set one boundary/ explained your feelings and so on, then it is ok to let a young person
have the last word.
When the young person is making outrageous claims or being completely unreasonable it isn’t
always easy to give up that “last word”. But if you can bite your tongue (almost literally) you will
allow the argument/ confrontation to come to an earlier end. Save the words for later when there
How, where and with who would you journey?
Would it be real or would it be fantasy?
Has it already happened or is it in the future?
Or perhaps your journey is in the present?
Why don’t you make a picture or object to depict your adventure, oasis of
calm or any place in between?
Then be ready to submit it for the ISP calendar and Christmas Card
Competitions. Or if you cannot wait until June, then send it now to John
Whitwell at Tunstall Court.
We look forward to seeing how you get on!
Holidays, Holidays, Holidays
by Irene Hall, Chair of the ISP Children’s Foundation
What is it?
The ISP Children’s Foundation will be making grants to enable ISP children to go on an Activity
Holiday this Summer.
The holiday can be used to develop specific interests eg film making or pony trekking or to
develop social and personal skills on one of the popular multi activity holidays.
The holidays can be chosen from either the PGL (www.pgl.co.uk), Camp Beaumont
(www.campbeaumont.co.uk) or Do it 4 Real (www.doit4real.co.uk) brochures. There are lots of
holidays on offer many not far from the various ISP Centres. Holidays can be for a week but
there are also shorter ones of 3 days which may be more appropriate for some children.
The child needs to be aged 11 – 16 to be eligible for one of these grants.
Will my application be successful?
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The ISP Children's Foundation has a limited budget and so may not be able to fund all the
applications. Your application is most likely to be successful if you clearly explain
What holiday and holiday centre you want your looked after child to attend, how much it
will cost and the dates of the holiday
How your looked after child will benefit from the holiday.
How do I get more information?
Please contact Mandy Stevens
How do I apply?
Please get an Application Form from www.theispchildrensfoundation.org.uk
When do I need to apply?
The closing date for applications is Friday 25th May 2012
When will I know if my application has been successful?
By the end of June 2012
25 Ways to Celebrate ISP
by Peter Phillips
in no particular order
1. Come to ISP Fun Day (August).
2. Attend ISP’s grand ball.
3. Contribute to ISP’s 25th Birthday ISP Special Edition Newsletter (September). Newsletter
will contain archive photographs, memories etc).
4. Enjoy the Easter egg hunt at Teynham.
5. Celebrate ISP’s birthday party in each Centre and eat cake (September).
6. Fill a small box frame with 25 things (workshop).
7. Contribute to ISP Book (contact Katy Grayson).
8. Visit I-Space.
9. Contribute to 25 ways that young people can inform practice in ISP.
10. Attend the Dan Hughes conference.
11. Visit ISP’s forest at Teynham and adopt a tree. Look out for special events – creative
workshops, treasure hunts (fun day) and story telling.
12. Suggest 25 qualities that we must continue to value (or 25 things that are good about
ISP (responses to be added in the ISP Special Edition Newsletter).
13. Learn about 25 ways to look after yourself (from ISP training).
14. Attend ISP conferences.
15. Be a part of 25 interviews (to include where were you in 1987).
16. Best 25th birthday card competition (winners will feature on Special Edition Newsletter
17. Bake 25 – a baking competition as part of the ISP fun day on the theme of 25. The
winner will be presented with a ‘best cake cup’ and cakes will be sold and eaten!
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18. Take part in contributing to an ISP ‘time capsule’ that will be filled with 25 things.
19. Contribute to ISP’s calendar (theme – journeys).
20. Take part in a junk modelling workshop (creating creatures, animals or robots).
21. Film 25. Make a film that is 25 seconds long.
22. Write a message that is 25 words long (to be included in Special Edition Newsletter).
23. Donate 25p to the ISP Children’s Foundation (and get a chance to make your own
badge) (or buy an ISP raffle ticket).
24. Mix 25 colours and create a unique painting (workshop).
25. ‘Post 25’. At the end of the year an exhibition will be put together that will feature all
the things that people have made or said in 2012 (paintings, creations, photos, pots,
films, writings etc).
It is hoped that all the above events will take place this year.
Contact Peter Phillips or Elaine Holliday for details.
News from Sunny ISP Rainham
by Marguerita Bassi
We wish a big welcome and say hello to several new placements.
We have also said goodbye to some placements and wish them all the very best for the future.
There has been lots of training and contacts taking place recently at Rainham so the centre has
been kept very busy.
Our Talk and play Group continues to be valued and enjoyed by all those involved.
Nuestros mejores deseos y felicitaciones van a Balbina y John quien va ser casarse en México
durante las vacaciones de semana Santa. (Our best wishes and congratulations go to Balbina
and John who will be getting married in Mexico during the Easter holidays.)
Dates for future events at Rainham:
11 April – time – 2.00 – 4.00pm – Art afternoon
16, 22, 30 April – time 5.00 – 7.00pm – Pie Factory Music
26 April – Programme Meeting
Finally from Rainham we would like to wish everyone a very happy Easter.
The Handy Household
submitted by Jo Everett
Whether you know it as baking soda, bicarbonate of soda, sodium bicarbonate of simply,
bicarb, no home should be without this wonder product. While it’s regularly used in cooking
as a raising agent, bicarbonate of soda has many more household uses offering an
economical, non-toxic and effective remedy for a whole host of health and cleaning
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Its deodorising powers are second to none – a slight dusting under the arms or in your shoes
will keep you smelling fresh all day and if the cat litter tray starts to offend, just sprinkle
some bicarb in the bottom to neutralise nasty odours. In fact, bicab can be used to
deodorise everything from dishwashers to fridges, and a soak in a diluted solution, will
freshen up any kitchenware from old Thermos flasks to coffee makers.
Always keep some in the bathroom because if you run out of toothpaste, bicarb mixed into
a past with water will do the same job as well. This miracle paste also makes a fantastic skin
exfoliator and can also be used to sooth itchy insect bites, or, diluted with water, makes a
cure for indigestion. Also, added to a bath it will even soften your skin.
Its ability to cut through grease and oil stains makes it very handy for adding to your weekly
wash, or cleaning burnt pans or even unblocking drains – simply pour bicarb and add boiling
News from ISP Schools
by Lloyd Chapell
As I write this, we’re all dusting ourselves down after yet another furiously fantastic term at ISP
School. We’ve just celebrated all the achievements at the Spring Term Ceremony of
Achievements so that means the reports have been handed out, the trophies and awards have
been presented, alls been tidied away, oh, and a few rather yummy Easter eggs were passed
about too. Well done to all of the students for their hard work this term and congratulations on
all of your achievements. Now, all that’s left is for all the staff and students to have some well
earned chill out time before we start all over again for (and I can’t believe its come round again
so quickly!) the Summer Term. I always seem to say it, but we really have had yet another
great term. The Performing Arts Fortnight was a fantastic success with teacher, Damian once
again organising a series of workshops and events for the students. One of the highlights was
the returning visit of close-up magic man, Martin the Magician. He certainly dazzled everyone
with some of his tricks, but he’ll have to watch over his shoulder as I think we might have a few
budding magician’s apprentices here at Hogwarts, I mean, ISP; I’ve already been left, literally,
speechless by a few card tricks from one or two students this term. The pièce de résistance of
the Performing Arts Fortnight however, was the ISP Showcase. Described by some as
‘genuinely the best one yet,’ it really was a splendid afternoon of musical, dramatic and artistic
entertainment provided by all the students and staff who had been working hard behind the
scenes in preparation for the event.
Also towards the end of this term we held a few fundraising events for Sports Relief which has
seen us raise (so far – hopefully more sponsor forms and money to come in!) about £100.
Students took part in a Reculver Towers walk which turned out to be a great day out. Also,
unless you were hiding under a rock for the last month you won’t have failed to have noticed
that the comedian John Bishop made his way through Sittingbourne as part of his well
publicised Sports Relief challenge. On the day, a small group of staff and students headed out
to see him pass through the town and cheer him on. Teaching Assistant, Julie was particularly
excited at the prospect of seeing Mr Bishop and got so into the spirit of things that she ended up
jogging halfway up the road with him – now there’s encouragement for you!
Looking ahead to next term, we’ve got plenty in the pipeline such as the Athletics Meeting,
Swimming Gala and Activity Week to name just a few things, oh, and the little matter of GCSE
exams for our Year 11’s, of course! Don’t forget we are still collecting Sainsbury’s and Tesco
vouchers, so please do send them into us. Finally, remember that Monday 16th April is a
STAFF DEVELOPMENT DAY. Pupils will return to school for the Summer Term on
Tuesday 17th April. Happy Easter to all!
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News from ISP South London
by Andrew Fox
South London continues to grow as a centre and we welcome all
newcomers, one of whom has already shown his quality of artwork, which
has been used as the cover for this newsletter!
We have had a good Carers‘ Supervision Session and given the quality
of the food, I for one, will have regrets amongst the happiness, when
we get our own centre building!
I am aware that the Carers and Claire are organising a Baking Day with
the children over the Easter holidays and I look forward to hearing
about that soon and possibly getting to taste the finished articles!
Congratulations to one young person for gaining not one but SIX awards
recently, as listed below!!!
1. Most Improved Student
2. 100% Attendance for Spring Term
3. Mathematician of the Term
4. Reading Improvement Award
5. 1st Merit Winner
6. Water Skills Award Grade 4 – Learning the Butterfly Stroke
News from ISP Chesham & Milton Keynes
(and a little bit from Enfield by Sue and Ali)
We have all been enjoying this sudden taste of summer, none more so than our resident
peacock, Percy, at Milton Keynes.
He is magnificent and it feels a privilege and a pleasure to be able to get to know a peacock,
other than our Simon, so well, to the extent that the braver souls amongst us have taken to
hand-feeding him tasty morsels.
Such a discerning creature is he that he only sleeps or defecates on the posh cars in the car
park. Audi and Mercedes drivers-beware of Percy!
Actually, the fact that I started the first newsletter item that I’ve written for a long while with info
about our peacock is indicative of how fascinated we all are about him but with no further ado,
on to what else has been happening.
In March, we held the first Skills to Foster training course at ISP Milton Keynes. It went so well,
with some very special people giving up five days to learn more about the work we do. The
building also played a part in the success, with its layout fitting well with the requirements of the
course: learning and sharing knowledge and experience, and EATING. No stairs are an added
bonus for us caterers.
I am delighted to report that after our pre-assessment day, three families for Milton Keynes and
two for Chesham were put forward to proceed.
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At Chesham, we have had more young people in the building than has been usual for awhile
and whether it’s for Contact, Therapy, Education or just visiting, they make the Centre come
alive. It is great to see and hear them here.
This afternoon, I’m off to ISP Enfield to join in a farewell lunch for Carol, administrator
extraordinaire, who is leaving us to move to Bristol with her lovely husband Phillip. Carol joined
us in January 2005 and actually had her induction at ISP Watford. What changes we’ve all seen
since then! Watford, Chesham, Enfield, Milton Keynes, as well as Sussex and South London,
but Carol has been a constant and has remained such a valuable member of staff for Enfield
and I know we’ll all miss her very much.
Happy Easter and egg-shaped chocolate to you all!
News from ISP Enfield
by Lis Davies and Di Taylor
Enfield is in bloom and it is wonderful to look out of the windows and see the blossom,
primroses and crocuses exploding in the park.
Yesterday, sadly, the park was also littered with picnic debris but luckily our very own “Angry
from Enfield” (aka Ann!) managed to get on the phone to the top bod at the Council and have it
all cleaned up in the blink of an eye.
Any complaints/petitions/ local news items she’s our woman!
Sadly, Pomilo, the shop below us and a landmark to help people find us, closed down this
week. Another victim of the recession and a great loss to all those who bought their bargain
Even more sadly, today is the last for Carol, administrator for Enfield for over 7 years. She
moves on to pastures new with her hubby in Bristol. She will be much missed by us all and we
hope to give her a good send off later this afternoon. I know the carers will miss her friendly
smile and ever helpful approach. I overheard one telling her yesterday that she was just not
allowed to go! I don’t know how I’ll manage – Carol has been my memory support for many
years (for example reminders about this newsletter!!) But every good wish goes to Carol and we
will keep in touch.
But the Enfield Team will forge on…
We are having a Skills to Foster at the end of the month and met some new and enthusiastic
possible carers at our open day on Monday.
News from Education
The Easter holidays are upon us already and yes, the glorious weather we are having is about to
change for the worse!
It has been a busy term at Enfield. Two young people have become part of the APPG Group,
and are involved in the Young Person led Parliamentary session, which will be taking place on
18th April. I went along for the first session and was inspired by the young people who were
there. The topic chosen for the debate is the vast difference in services provided for young
people across the Social Services. We also have two young people going to embark upon the
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Tall Ships experience in July. They will be sailing around the French Coast. I am sure they will
share their experience in the newsletter, once they have their land legs back!
Over the Easter holidays, Enfield have two trips arranged. Our secondary age young people
are going paintballing with the Chesham and Bedford centres. Our primary age young people
will be involved in an Easter egg hunt. They will also be designing their own T-shirts, having
their faces painted, along with other activities.
Five Things You Probably Never Knew Your Mobile Phone Could Do!
submitted by Barbara Simms
Emergency services. The emergency number worldwide for all mobile phones is
112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your network and have an
emergency, dial 112. This will work worldwide, on all phones, even if the keypad it
Keys locked in your car? If your car has remote keyless entry this may come in
handy. If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, telephone
someone at your home from your mobile. Hold the mobile about a foot from your
car door and have the person at home press the spare remote lock near to the
phone their end – it works, distance no object.
Mobile phone battery flat? All mobiles have hidden power. To activate press
*3370# (remember the *). Do this when the phone is almost dead. Your mobile
will restart in a special way with this new reserve and the phone will show a 50%
increase in battery life. This reserve will get recharged when you charge your
How to disable a stolen phone. To check your mobile’s serial number key: * # 0 6
#. A 15 digit code will appear. Write it down and keep it safe. If you every have
your mobile stolen or lost, tell your mobile provider and they will block the handset
and it will be unusable.
Cash Machine Robbery. If you are ever forced to hand over money whilst
withdrawing it from a cash machine you can top the police off by entering your PIN
number backwards. The cash machine will recognise it is your PIN but in reverse
and notify the police. You may still lose your money but this may also alert the
police in time to catch the robber. All cash machines have to carry this sequencer
Foster Carer Forum Meeting 28.02.12
Foster Carer Forum meeting – 28 February 2012
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Present: John Whitwell (Managing Director)
Naomi Dobbs (Teynham carer)
George Mackenzie (Enfield carer)
Sarah Barnes (Whitstable carer)
Lori Legg (Team Co-ordinator, Fostering Team)
Apologies: Jayne Westcott (Operations Director) – Chair
Chrissie Jewell (Rainham carer)
Jeff Smith (Chesham carer)
John Stanbridge (Sussex carer)
Sheila Patel (Principal Adviser Foster Care)
Tracy Livesey (Head of Family Placements)
Support to carers following an allegation Finance Director
ISP Website Dan Hughes conference
Holiday allowance Thanet carers
ISP Ball Prince’s Trust
ISP Business Plan
The minutes & action points from the meeting on 1 November 2011 were discussed:
1. Children Who Foster – Jayne raised the issues of support for carers’ own children with
Centre Managers. CMs are aware that they can contact Edel Bracken, who oversees the
CWF group, if support is needed. Claire Webster, Young Person’s Co-ordinator, is
arranging an event for the Easter holidays and Edel is arranging something for June half
2. Ofsted – John Beasty & Jayne Westcott took leading roles in the Kent pilot inspection which
took place in December. Feedback was very positive although only a ‘Good’, rather than
‘Outstanding’ would have been achieved. This does not affect Kent’s official rating which is
still ‘Outstanding’. This was due to an oversight regarding a reference and an audit has now
been carried out to ensure this issue is not highlighted again. All other areas such as quality
of care, training and support, management of the Organisation were rated as Outstanding.
3. Well person’s check – Simply Health do not provide the option of having these checks done,
however, individuals can arrange for a check themselves but would have to fund it. To keep
premiums at a reasonable level ISP have to shop around and some services will be lost or
4. Buddy System – ongoing until Tracy Livesey’s return.
George Mackenze was welcomed to the meeting as the new representative for Enfield.
Support to carers following an allegation
A carer questioned what support ISP provides to carers, emotionally and financially, in the event
of an allegation. ISP’s protocol document is held in carer Resource files, together with an
Allegations Q&A brochure, Dover Counselling leaflet and Fosterline leaflet. There is also a
policy regarding payments to carers during allegations.
It was agreed that it is difficult to remember all the documents held in the Resource file and it
was suggested that Centre supervisions could be used to recap on the documents held within
An update on statistics of allegations made, with outcomes, was requested.
ACTION: Jayne to provide up to date analysis of figures.
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This has recently been updated and the plan is that ISP Policies and Guidelines will be added to
the website in due course within a password protected area.
A carer expressed concerns about the £450 holiday allowance not covering the costs of a
holiday being taken during school holidays and queried whether any increase was planned. It
was advised that this grant is not intended to cover the whole cost of a holiday for a young
person but should be seen as a boost to the budget already saved by the carers from their
Details of this can be found in the recent newsletter and has been heavily subsidised,
particularly as ISP are celebrating their 25th year. Tickets are going very quickly and numbers
John advised that Les Algar is due to retire shortly as Finance Director although will remain as a
non-executive member of the Board. Interviews for a replacement are taking place shortly.
Dan Hughes conference
Out of 141 attendees, 90 feedback responses were received. Overwhelmingly positive and the
practical advice given was very helpful. A DVD has been produced and copies will eventually
be distributed to all centres.
Concerns have been raised by carers in Thanet who either don’t have a placement or have
placements due to leave their care in the near future, in respect of KCC’s current stance of not
allowing non-Kent children to be placed in Thanet. ISP’s policy of primary carers not having a
full time job means some carers have no income and their finances are dwindling.
ISP has had some success in arranging placements from outside the area as ISP are seen as a
responsible Agency providing their own therapy, education etc and so not taking up KCC
resources. Carers should also discuss their individual situations with their Centre Manager
particularly as ISP will consider a certain number of hours worked as long as the work is very
flexible. It was advised that ISP are not actively recruiting in the Thanet area.
Difficulties have also been encountered trying to find schools who will take on statemented
children and John advised that each Centre has a dedicated Education staff member so
suggested liaising with them re this issue.
Naomi advised that the Fairbridge Programme is now part of the Prince’s Trust. Fairbridge is an
individually tailored personal development programme for young people aged between 13 and
25. It combines 1:1 support and group activities, delivered by a dedicated team in Prince's Trust
This programme helps marginalised and disengaged young people who face a range of issues
and barriers in their lives. It empowers them through positive opportunities and experiences and
helps them re-engage with society. The Fairbridge under 16 programme supports young
people aged 13 to 16 who have been excluded, or risk exclusion, from education - they often
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face multiple barriers. The Fairbridge 16 plus programme supports young people aged 16-25
who are disengaged from society and not in education, employment or training.
For more information to go www.princes-trust.org.uk/fairbridge
ISP Business Plan
Further to the draft Business Plan circulated in December, John updated on the following
1. Develop a strategy for ISP Education (mainstream & ISP School)
“Paired reading” scheme is being piloted in Chesham.
2. Develop a culture in the organisation that evidences outcomes
More is being done on evidencing outcomes on young people. Local Authorities are
requesting a lot more information and proof of what we do.
3. Continue to review and improve our behaviour management, minimising physical
restraint and maximising de-escalation strategies, with the aim of becoming restraint-
ISP monitor significant events regarding physical interventions and those involving police
intervention. Regular reports are submitted to the Board.
4. Develop the “Contact” Service
A portfolio has been submitted to NACCS Accreditors with a view to obtaining Accreditation
across ISP for our Contact services. This will allow other agencies to use our services.
5. Follow up the findings from the Monitor
Following the first monitor of 14+ age group, Ian Butler has completed a second monitor
covering 10 – 14 age group. We want to do more to understand why the younger boys feel
less positive than the older boys in the first monitor. There is also confusion about the role
of the Social worker (both ISP and LA).
6. Strengthen the participation of young people within ISP
There is a Forum for Young People and also Claire Webster has been appointed as Young
7. Enable the Carers’ Forum and the Young People’s Forum to contribute to strategic
ISP want to develop the Carers’ Forum as a link between carers and the Board.
8. Implement the Marketing Strategy
The website has been re-designed, as have brochures. Search Engine optimisation is also
being used to get us on first page of Google.
9. To undertake appropriate commissioning and tendering activity
The plan is to appoint someone to assist with these.
10. Deliver our service in new geographical areas through new Centres
South London – there are now 9 families approved.
11. Improve ISP’s support and services for care leavers
With any spare resources ISP would like to help care leavers.
Naomi mentioned Kent Supported Employment (KSE) who can provide support
for people with a disability who are looking for a job. Also Voluntary Action
Maidstone who provide a choice of opportunities for people to volunteer. For more
info go to http://www.vam-online.org.uk
There are Voluntary Action organisations in many other areas.
12. Formalise and promote service for parent and baby/child
This service is being developed.
13. Enhance environmental awareness
ISP are looking to reduce use of paper and carbon dioxide emissions. The new building at
Teynham is to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
14. Develop the service for young people on the “autistic spectrum”
ISP are continuing with and providing additional support for the Autism Support Group in
Kent and also exploring whether additional support for carers with children on the Autistic
Spectrum is needed in non-Kent Centres.
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15. Contribute to the development of practice and policy by delivering training and
ISP ran a workshop at a Fostering Network Conference and are planning to attend IFCO
conference in Sofia.
16. Participate in public boards (including for example major charities, think tanks and
government policy reviews)
Jayne is a member of National Association of Fostering Providers Executive Committee; ISP
are also involved in FtSE – a group of charitable and not-for-profit fostering providers.
Next meeting: 11.00 a.m. on 15 May 2012 at Tunstall Court
Agenda items to be sent to Lori via Forum members two weeks prior to the meeting.
Last but not least….
to everyone celebrating a birthday in
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